Aqara vs. Fitbit – The Ultimate Sleep Sensor Showdown for Autistic Children

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Entrepreneur of over 35 years and caregiver of adult autistic son

Mike Carr discusses the best sensors for determining sleep patterns for severely autistic children. He compares the Aqara sleep sensor, which is mounted on the wall and senses heart rate, to the Fitbit, which is worn on the wrist. He mentions that his son refuses to wear anything on his wrist, so they found ankle bracelets on Amazon that can hold the Fitbit. He recommends getting a waterproof Fitbit, such as the Inspire 3, which captures sleep data better than the Aqara and also tracks steps. He suggests that more expensive Fitbits can monitor stress and heart rate, allowing parents to anticipate meltdowns. Overall, he recommends Fitbit as the best choice, despite being more expensive than some similar alternatives on Amazon.

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Transcript

Mike Carr (00:08): 

Today we’re going to have a SmackDown as to what sensors best for determining sleep patterns for your autistic severely autistic son or daughter. We’ve looked at Aqara and we’ve looked at Fitbit, so that’s what the SmackDown is all about. Now, I’ve talked about Aqara before, this little sleep sensor wireless doesn’t have to wear anything because our son won’t wear anything on his wrist, won’t wear a ring, refuses to do that. You mount this on the wall above his head and it senses his heart rate. It senses how well he’s sleeping during the night. The problem with this is you’ve got to get a hub. It also goes on the wall so it connects, and then you have to get a 2.4 gigaherz sensor or a network router. So a lot of hardware, a lot of expense ended up costing us maybe three, $400. 

(01:03): 

And the problem is here’s the sleep data showing that he slept less than seven hours yet. Here’s the Fitbit sleep data. Almost a little bit more than eight hours, and so we think the Fitbit is a little bit more accurate than the Aqara. The problem of course, is you wear a Fitbit on your wrist, not necessarily. So here’s the trick for today. My wife found on Amazon ankle bracelets, so she just took off the wrist bracelet and put on the Fitbit. Put on the Fitbit. This ankle bracelet, it’s adjustable. So you’ve got this little adjustable thing right here. You can tighten it as much as you want, so it fits nice and snug on his ankle at night, and it bugs him at all. It’s very soft material. It’s not abrasive. You can have it a little bit loose until he gets used to it, and that solves the problem. 

(02:02): 

We strongly recommend that you get one that’s waterproof. I don’t think Fitbit sells anything that’s not waterproof anymore. You can go out to Amazon and get Fitbit clones for like $22. The one that we like is the Inspire three. It’s like a hundred bucks, but it’s waterproof. And we’ve taken Michael Swimming, we’ve put ’em in the shower. This thing is great. It captures sleep better than a carra. It also captures his steps. So you can take reading on his exercise and see how that relates to his behavior. So the winner between that SmackDown is Fitbit and we recommend strongly that you go forward with that. And the more expensive Fitbits will even monitor stress and heart rate. So you can determine if a meltdown is fixing to go or fixing to happen before it actually happens. So Fitbit isn’t paying us anything for this, but we’ve used it for years and we still think that’s one of the best choices out there today, even though it’s a little bit more expensive than some of the clones you can get on Amazon. Have a great week. Until next time. See you. 

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