Tracking sleep cheaply

Hi! We are interested in introducing sleep tracking into one of our studies (in Zambia). Has anyone done this or know of someone we could ask?

Theoretically, I’m guessing that we’re looking for some cheaper alternative to fitbit that would a) have a relatively long battery life, and b) let us sync multiple trackers to one computer or tablet. The information for the cheaper fitness/sleep trackers out there (around $40) is quite confusing, and I haven’t figured out yet which ones might work for our purposes. Does anyone have any thoughts/ recommendations on what could work, from a project or personal life? I’ve never used one before, so not 100% sure what to look for.

Important note: some of our respondents are not literate, so asking them to keep a sleep journal along with a tracker isn’t really an option.

Hello Gean,

I believe there are some open actigraphy/sleep tracking algorithms; if you have a technical team capable of DIY work in this area you can get very cheap sensors that can be placed on an armband that may work. Even more simple would be a pressure sensor under the mattress.

Haven’t tried it, but the Mi Band is just $15, water proof, and is supposed to last 30 days on a single charge.

Should be able to sync to a single tablet, but you’d still have to create a separate account for each participant. You’d also be on your own for aggregating the data (e.g. via Google Fit or Apple Health).

I believe you can get one of the Garmin ones under $50. Here are a couple recommendations by these guys - I think I’m going to get the Vivofit just for step tracking and the time and I believe it does sleep as well

Mi Band 1s (around 7-15 € )+ Mi Notify & Fitness App (3€). Both together makes nice sleep analysis