thorpe sleep

UP3: A deep dive into sleep tracking

I’ll be honest with you, I’m deeply passionate about all things sleep.  With a decade of sleep technology experience under my pillow, I’m lucky enough to have had Olympians, Pro All Stars and rookie hopefuls call me “sleep coach”… and a few have actually called me in the middle of the night.  My travel bag is armed with a memory foam eye mask and multiple sets of ear plugs.  And, unsurprisingly, one of my favorite movies is Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

So believe me when I say I am excited about the arrival of UP3 and with it, advanced sleep tracking. With UP3’s sophisticated multi-sensor platform, we are now equipped to track REM and Deep sleep.  These two stages of sleep are highly integral to the way we function. Deep sleep repairs our muscles, strengthens our ligaments, fights diseases and has many other physical perks.  REM sleep is packed with mental benefits; it optimizes concentration, improves decision making, consolidates memories and organizes learnings.  Plus, REM is the stage of sleep in which we dream.  In short, Deep and REM are the critical, restorative elements of sleep that renew and revive us.  Put simply, you can’t be a healthy person without sufficient Deep and REM.


UP3: a technological advancement in sleep tracking

Before UP3, the traditional way to track Deep and REM was to fall asleep wearing a couple dozen electrodes glued to the scalp, forehead and chin – not exactly the most comfortable night of sleep.  These electrodes captured the different types of brainwave patterns associated with each stage of sleep. Thankfully, the multi-sensor technology in UP3 takes a different approach to sleep stages: it seeks out the unique physical characteristics associated with REM, Light and Deep sleep, then classifies the sleep accordingly.  During REM sleep, the body usually does not move (strangely enough, it becomes paralyzed so we don’t act out our dreams) but the heart rate is fairly irregular.  Deep sleep has slightly more physical movement but a very steady heart rate.  Light sleep is associated with more movement plus a couple other identifiers.  By coupling the signals from our new bioimpedance sensors with smart algorithms, UP3 can accurately identify sleep stages:

Sleep coaching

But we don’t believe it is enough to simply provide a dashboard of time spent in various sleep stages.  What we really need is personal guidance on how to get a better night of sleep  – focused on you, your lifestyle, what you eat and how active you are.  So the UP app looks at all of these factors in order to provide recommendations tailored for you. This feature is called Smart Coach. Let’s say it takes you a while to fall asleep at night, which in turn might reduce the amount of Deep sleep you can get.  UP may suggest some well-known recommendations (i.e. keep your bedroom dark and cool), and some lesser-known, such as the value of taking nighttime showers*. Depending on what impacts your sleep, Smart Coach will deliver a range of bite-size, actionable recommendations for a better night of sleep. We’re really pleased with these great sleep features – and we know our users will love learning more about their nocturnal patterns and getting a better night’s sleep. And the great thing about UP3 is that the platform is updatable so our tracking and coaching can go deeper and get more personalized over time.

thorpe new sleep graphs

While we can’t bring yet bring you warm milk or tuck you in – we can at least get you on the path to a better night’s sleep. That’s UP3 – the personal sleep coach on your wrist. Good night!


* The science behind nighttime showers: when you start to get drowsy, the body’s core temperature naturally drops.  Before bedtime, if you warm the core temperature by taking a shower (or more effectively, a bath), as you towel off, your core temperature will naturally start to drop, thus jumpstarting the signal to get drowsy.

About The Author

Jason Donahue

Among other responsibilities, Jason Donahue leads sleep initiatives at Jawbone and serves as the editor of the sleep standards committee of the Consumer Electronics Association. He previously co-founded Zeo and uses @sleepras his somewhat dormant Twitter handle. He graduated from Brown University and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.