Lady Using a Sleep Habit Tracker

Sleep Tracker Face-Off: Apple, Fitbit, The Sleep Syndicate

Apr 18, 2024

In today’s era of ‘wellness optimization’ and health consciousness, individuals often find themselves using technology as a tool to improve their health. This cultural movement is making waves over all aspects of health, but one of the most unsuspecting nooks of wellness is the sleep industry. There are tons of sleep trackers available, but in this article we’ll be dissecting the performance of three: the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and The Sleep Syndicate (TSS). Let’s discuss which tracker truly deserves a place on your nightstand.


Types of Sleep Habit Trackers

Let’s start with the different types of sleep tracker. They come in different forms, each with unique features and methods of monitoring sleep patterns:

  • Wearable Trackers: These are devices like the Apple Watch and Fitbit, worn on the wrist to track sleep and other fitness information through motion and physiological signals.
  • Bedside Trackers: Devices that sit on a nightstand like a gargoyle and may use sound or other sensors to monitor sleep. With some, you can listen to recordings of those disturbances come morning. Fun if you’re a sleep talker who enjoys laughing at themselves.
  • Bed Sensors: These are placed under the mattress and can detect movement and pressure to analyze your sleep quality.
  • Smart Rings: Rings like the Oura Ring are worn on the finger (obviously) and use sensors to track sleep stages and quality.
  • Apps: There are tons of sleep tracking apps that use the phone’s sensors to track sleep, allow you to manually enter information like when you go to sleep or wake up, or send you messages throughout the day reminding you of how you should be preparing for bedtime that night.


Why am I So Tired All the Time? Can a Sleep Habit Tracker Help Me?

The short answer is: yes, a sleep tracker can help your sleep quality tremendously. In several ways:

  • Consumer sleep-tracking devices perform as well as or even better than actigraphy, a professional sleep assessment tool
  • They can enhance sleep quality by increasing awareness of sleep patterns and identifying potential sleep disorders. Awareness and respect of your sleep patterns is most of the battle when it comes to your sleep.
  • In patients undergoing digital treatment for insomnia, wearables improved wake-after sleep onset (WASO), total sleep time, and therapy engagement.
  • By analyzing the data collected, individuals can make informed adjustments to improve their sleep. Your tracker might even provide you with tailored sleep suggestions.

Now, let’s move on to the titular sequence of this article.


Apple Watch: A Shiny Wrist Piece

The Apple Watch has been parading as a jack-of-all-trades for years, but it’s the recent WatchOS 9 update that gives it some more credibility in the sleep tracking arena. It now tracks sleep stages with more precision, leveraging heart rate and movement data. 


  • Comprehensive health features
  • Syncs with the Apple ecosystem, for those already too deep into it
  • Enhanced sleep stage tracking


  • Premium price tag, as always with Apple
  • Battery life demands daily charging, so be ready to plan your life around it
  • Sleep tracking is still lacking without the use of third-party apps


Fitbit: The Old Guard

Fitbit has been around the block, positioning itself as the go-to for sleep data. The Fitbit Sense, for instance, is lauded for its insights. But let’s not mince words: the device can be stingy, often discounting your precious sleep time.


  • A trusted name in sleep tracking
  • Provides sleep data, though it might not always be what you want to hear
  • Won’t burn as big a hole in your wallet as the Apple Watch


  • Can be overly critical, don’t expect it to coddle you
  • Lacks the bells and whistles of a full-fledged smartwatch


The Sleep Syndicate (TSS): The Newcomer

TSS might not have the brand recognition of Apple or Fitbit, but it’s attempting to carve out a niche with a unique approach to sleep tracking. It’s about time someone focused on improving sleep, rather than just tracking it. Think of this app as the way you improve your sleep while the other ones measure the current state of your sleep.


  • Gets you to make the right changes for better sleep
  • Tracks the key elements that impacts sleep quality, before you sleep
  • Prioritizes sleep quality, which is a neglected aspect of the sleep wellness industry
  • Created with a science-backed approach
  • Affordable, lifetime access to the program


  • Not a household name (yet)
  • Limited user feedback


Who Takes the Sleep Habit Tracker Crown?

In wrapping up our extensive exploration of sleep trackers, it’s evident that each tracker - the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and The Sleep Syndicate - brings its own strengths to the table. The Apple Watch impresses with its sophisticated health features and seamless integration within the Apple ecosystem. Fitbit, with its longstanding focus on sleep tracking, offers constructive criticism and a user-friendly experience. Meanwhile, TSS introduces an affordable, holistic approach to sleep improvement.

The decision on which sleep tracker is the “best” doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s a personal choice that should be made based on individual needs, preferences, and values. Whether you prioritize detailed health metrics, budget-friendliness, or a novel, holistic approach to actually improving your sleep quality, there’s a tracker that aligns with your sleep tracking goals.

Remember, even though none of these trackers will be the ultimate solution to your sleep issues, they can guide you toward better understanding and management of your sleep patterns (and sleep habits in the case of TSS). And since it’s our article, we’ll go ahead and plug our Six-Week Sleep Bootcamp program. It’s really very good.