Withings Aura

Remember the story of the princess and the pea? If you’re easily bothered by things when you’re sleeping, you might want to check out the Withings Aura. Instead of having to wear a fitness band or sleep with your smartphone in order to track your sleep patterns, you can go with a non-wearable solution. And unlike some products that slip under your bottom sheet where you might notice it, the Aura is designed to go under your mattress. Yes, under your mattress!

According to the company, the sensor strip is sensitive enough to measure your heart rate, breathing, and body movements while you’re in bed. It can even distinguish when you’re in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The strip connects to a bedside base station, so it does not have to rely on a wireless connection to transfer data.

The base unit is hardly a passive box. It has a discrete little time display, but it also has a colored light and a speaker. It is programmed to play soothing sounds and gradually decrease the light level to help you fall asleep smoothly. As you drift off, it shines in a melatonin-enhancing shade of red. And in the morning, the light shifts to melatonin-inhibiting blue shades gradually wake you up. As it learns your sleep patterns, it will start to wake you at the right point in your sleep cycle, within a time window that you specify. The base also tracks room temperature, as well as sound and light levels that might affect your sleep. All of this is tracked and logged on a smartphone app (iOS only, but Android support is coming). The Aura even has a program for naps. It’s a bit pricey at $300, but what would you pay to learn about how you can get a better night’s sleep?