The Best Non-Wearable Sleep Tracker to Get More Energy

The RISE app is the best non-wearable sleep tracker. It tracks your sleep debt and circadian rhythm, boosting your energy, productivity, mood, and health.
Published
2023-12-27
11 MINS
Written by
Jeff Kahn, M.S., Rise Science Co-Founder
Reviewed by
Chester Wu, MD, Rise Science Medical Reviewer
Our Editorial Standards
We bring sleep research out of the lab and into your life. Every post begins with peer-reviewed studies — not third-party sources — to make sure we only share advice that can be defended to a room full of sleep scientists.
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Updated Regularly
We regularly update our articles to explain the latest research and shifts in scientific consensus in a simple and actionable way.

What’s the Best Non-Wearable Sleep Tracker?

  • Non-wearable sleep trackers include smartphone apps, mattress devices, and room sensors.
  • One option is the RISE app. It tracks your sleep from your phone use or mattress movements, or you can pair it with a wearable sleep-tracking device. 
  • RISE works out how much sleep you need exactly, and focuses on the two most important metrics for better days: sleep debt and circadian rhythm. It gives you daily recommendations based on your own biology to help you get better sleep and more energy.

Tracking sleep is useful, but we don’t all want to wear a smartwatch, ring, or headband to bed. Luckily, there’s RISE. 

RISE is an app that tracks your sleep and — most importantly — gives you in-depth insights and advice based on your own biology to help you get better sleep and more energy.

Below, we’ll cover more on the non-wearable sleep trackers out there and how RISE can help you master nights, and therefore, your days.

Is There a Sleep Tracker You Don’t Have to Wear? 

Yes, there are several types of sleep trackers you don’t have to wear. You can use apps like the RISE app and Sleep Cycle, bed-based sensors like the Beautyrest, sleepme, or Withings sleep mats and the EightSleep mattress cover, or room sensors like the Somnofy or the Google Nest Hub. 

We think sleep-tracking apps are worth considering because: 

  • You don’t need to worry about buying, charging, plugging in, or looking after another gadget. The less friction there is with a sleep tracker, the more likely you are to stick with it, and therefore notice improvements in your sleep and energy.
  • You don’t need to sleep on a special mat, mattress, or with anything under or on your current mattress. Anything that makes you uncomfortable or nervous won’t help your sleep. 
  • Apps are more affordable than other types of non-wearable sleep trackers.
  • Apps don’t usually track metrics like heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, body temperature, or your workouts like fitness trackers do. There are fewer tracking features, which means fewer distractions from the metrics that matter. 
  • Apps can sync with wearables and other tracking devices, though, if you’re interested in more data or use other products to track non-sleep health metrics.
  • If you use the RISE app, you’ll find out your sleep debt and circadian rhythm. These are the two factors sleep researchers agree make the biggest difference to how you feel and perform each day. RISE doesn’t just track them, though. The app gives you personalized guidance and daily recommendations to improve them to better your sleep, energy, mood, performance, and health. 

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How Can I Track My Sleep Without a Smartwatch or Ring? 

You can track your sleep without a smartwatch or ring by using a non-wearable sleep tracker. Each product tracks your sleep differently, but many use microphones, to track snoring or talking, or accelerometers, to track movement. 

As an example, here’s how the RISE app can track your sleep. You’ve got three options: 

  • Phone motion tracking: If you touch your phone last thing before bed and first thing when you wake up (no judgment here), RISE can use your phone use behavior to estimate your sleep times. You can leave your phone on your bedside table and sleep as you usually would. 
  • Mattress motion tracking: You can sleep with RISE on your mattress and the app will track body movement to detect when you’re asleep and awake. 
  • Pulling data from wearables: If you don’t mind using a wearable device, RISE can pull sleep data from the Oura Ring, Apple Watch, Garmin, or Fitbit to calculate your sleep debt number. Wearables often use skin-touching sensors to track metrics more accurately, and, with this method, you can leave your phone out of the bedroom if you prefer. 

If you forget to start mattress sleep tracking or your wearable runs out of battery life, don’t fret, RISE will use phone motion tracking, so you never lose a night of sleep data. 

Keep reading to find out what sleep data the RISE app tracks and helps you improve, and why our users think RISE is the best non-wearable sleep tracker out there.

Looking for the best non-watch sleep trackers or  best Oura Ring alternatives for sleep tracking specifically? We dive into those here.  

Sleep Debt Tracking

RISE tracks your sleep debt and gives you daily personalized guidance to help you pay it back to get more energy. 

Sleep debt is the amount of sleep you owe your body. If you don’t meet your sleep need — the genetically determined amount of sleep you need each night — you’ll start building up sleep debt. 

Most sleep experts agree sleep debt is one of the biggest factors affecting how you feel and perform each day. That’s why RISE places so much focus on tracking and lowering it.

You can see your sleep debt each day (and other RISE data) in the app, on a widget on your iPhone home screen, iPad, or on your Apple Watch, if you use one. 

How Does RISE Track Your Sleep Debt? 

RISE tracks your sleep debt by comparing your sleep duration to how much sleep you need. 

The app doesn’t use generic guidelines, though. Sleep guidelines are designed to be just that: guidelines. They’re purposefully broad (like the seven-to-nine-hour recommended window for adults) to account for the wide range of sleep needs. But in reality, some people need more or less sleep than this, and even this two-hour window isn’t broad enough. Plus, these guidelines are based on how much sleep people get, not what they need, so they can be even more misleading. 

To find out how much sleep needs vary, we looked at 1.95 million RISE users aged 24 and over and found sleep needs ranged from five hours to 11 hours 30 minutes.

The RISE app can tell you how much sleep you need.
How much sleep RISE users need.

Instead of generic guidelines, RISE uses a year’s worth of your phone use data and sleep science algorithms to work out your unique sleep need. 

It then works as a sleep calculator, tracking your sleep each night. You can also add any naps you take. 

From here, RISE calculates your sleep debt over your last 14 nights. The app’s algorithm places 15% of the weight on last night's sleep, as this impacts how you feel today the most, and 85% on the remaining 13 nights. More recent nights have more weight. 

You’ll get one easy-to-understand sleep debt number to focus on.

You can learn more about sleep debt here, including how RISE can help you pay it back.

RISE app screenshot showing how  much sleep debt you have
The RISE app can calculate your sleep debt.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can view their sleep debt here.

We’ve covered more on sleep debt tracking apps here, including why RISE is the most accurate.

What Can I Do With Sleep Debt Data? 

Tracking your sleep is interesting, but the real magic happens when you do something with this data. RISE doesn’t just work out your sleep debt, it gives you personalized recommendations to help you lower it. Lowering your sleep debt will improve everything from your productivity at work to your appearance, your brain fog to your weight loss efforts. 

Eliminating sleep debt entirely may not be achievable for many of us, but reducing it as much as possible can help you feel and perform your best.

RISE helps you lower your sleep debt by: 

  • Guiding you through 20+ sleep hygiene recommendations each day. These are the daily sleep habits that help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often in the night. You’ll learn when to have your final coffee of the day and when to get or avoid bright light.
  • Guiding you through relaxation and breathing exercises to wind down for bed.
  • Telling you if your wake time will add to your sleep debt if you use RISE’s smart alarm clock, and gently waking you up and easing you into the day. 
  • Giving you a recommended bedtime based on your body clock, how much sleep you need, how much sleep you need to catch up on, and what’s realistic (no dramatic jumps in bedtime here).
RISE app users get more sleep
Regular RISE users get more sleep.

Sleep Quality Tracking 

The RISE app doesn’t track sleep quality. 

Many wearable and non-wearable sleep trackers give you a sleep score based on multiple metrics and the company’s own scoring system. RISE tracks and helps you lower your sleep debt, the most important metric going for those who want more energy and better days.

There’s no consensus definition for sleep quality, among sleep scientists or the everyday sleeper. And unlike sleep debt, it may not make that much of a difference to how you feel each day. 

You can self-rate your sleep quality in RISE, though. Research (like this study from 2023) suggests how you feel about your sleep can make a difference to your well-being and energy during the day, so how you feel about your sleep may give you more insight into your daily energy levels than what a sleep monitor tells you about sleep quality.

Learn more about sleep tracking and why sleep quality is a particularly useful metric here.

Sleep Stages Tracking 

The RISE app doesn’t track sleep cycles or the amount of time spent in different sleep stages.

You can’t control how much time you spend in different stages of sleep, so why stress about it? That’ll only make sleep harder to get.

And even if you could control it, 2022 research shows sleep trackers — both wearables and non-wearables — can’t accurately track sleep stages anyway. Even with polysomnography (a sleep study), accurate sleep staging is tricky. Experts only agree on test results about 80% of the time.

Focus on getting enough sleep for you and your brain will spend the right amount of time in each sleep stage. 

We’ve covered why you shouldn’t worry about light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep too much here. 

Circadian Rhythm Tracking 

Your circadian rhythm is your internal body clock. How in sync you are with it is another huge factor determining how your days feel.

RISE uses your inferred light exposure, recent sleep times, and algorithms built on the SAFTE model, which was developed by the US Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense, to predict your circadian rhythm each day. 

You’ll see the exact time your energy is expected to rise and fall across the day.

With this data, you can: 

  • See how your sleep affects your energy levels: RISE users say this is key for motivating them to change their habits and get more sleep. RISE gives you an Energy Potential score, ranging from zero to 100, based on your sleep debt. Lower your sleep debt to increase your energy levels
  • See when your body naturally wants to go to sleep and wake up: Sync up your sleep pattern to these times for an easier time falling asleep, waking up, and getting enough sleep.
  • Know ahead of time when you’ll have energy peaks and dips each day: Integrate RISE into your calendar or turn on notifications to be one step ahead. Try doing your most demanding tasks during your energy peaks and easier tasks (or taking a break or a nap) during your energy dips. If you can’t prioritize sleep right now, this will help you make the most of the energy you have. 
  • Shift the timing of your circadian rhythm: This can help you become a morning person, get over jet lag, reset your sleep schedule for shift work, or adjust to daylight saving time
  • Regularize the timing of your circadian rhythm: This will boost your energy, mental health, and physical health.
  • Know exactly when to do 20+ sleep hygiene behaviors: Doing these habits at the right time for you can make them more effective, helping you fall and stay asleep more easily. 

We cover more about how RISE predicts your circadian rhythm here.

RISE app screenshot showing your energy schedule
The RISE app predicts your circadian rhythm each day.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can see their circadian rhythm on the Energy screen here

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Cost 

The RISE app costs $69.99 a year, which works out at $5.83 a month

You can try RISE for free for seven days. You’ll find out your sleep need, how much sleep debt you have, and see your energy predictions across the day. Plus, you’ll have several days to see how timed sleep hygiene reminders and relaxing sleep content can improve your sleep and energy before the free trial ends.

RISE Reviews 

Don’t just take our word for it. Users say RISE’s sleep coaching has helped improve their energy, wellness, and productivity: 

  • “I discovered RISE over a year ago and since then it’s been my daily checkpoint. Before seeing the sleep debt numbers I didn’t understand how exhausted I really was. The biggest difference was when I finally reduced it to 0. It was a journey of several months, but I felt years younger after.” Read the review
  • “I love the option to view your energy cycles throughout the day. I can plan more important tasks just when my energy is at its peak.” Read the review
  • “I cleared my sleep debt within the first week, decided to stop drinking coffee after 11:30 a.m. (big achievement), and generally got more done, working hard during energy peaks and doing less attention-heavy tasks during energy dips. Highly recommended!” Read the review.  

Improve Your Sleep and Energy With the RISE App 

The best sleep trackers track metrics that make the biggest difference to your days: sleep debt and circadian rhythm. RISE tracks these metrics and gives you personalized recommendations to help you get a good night’s sleep and more daily energy.  

You can get all this data without wearing a wristband, watch, or ring by using the RISE app on your phone, or you can pair RISE with a wearable device to further inform your sleep data. 

RISE works fast too — 80% of users feel the benefits within five days.

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The power behind your next best day

RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential

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Try 7 days free

The power behind your next best day

RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential

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