Check your Aura with a doctor

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A new device that’s from French electronics company Withings uses light, sound and carbon dioxide sensing to help you to sleep better, Withings claims. However, one expert says that if you have sleep problems, your best bet still is to see a doctor.

The Aura ($299) tracks your body movements, breathing and heart rate while you sleep and monitors the noise, temperature and carbon dioxide levels of your bedroom. The Aura, which is compatible with Apple iOS and Google Android devices, gathers data through a Bluetooth-enabled pad that’s placed underneath the mattress.

The Aura also comes with a bedside alarm that uses red light to help you to fall asleep and blue light to wake you at the best time in your sleep cycle, Withings says. Jessica Darrican, who is a spokesperson for Withings, didn’t say how far ahead of the audio alarm that the blue light will begin to shine. The device also produces sounds to relax or wake you.

Dr. Christopher Winter of Martha Jefferson Sleep Medicine Center says the Aura and similar sleep products aren’t proper health devices. Winter admits bias but insists that the information that the Aura collects should be brought to a sleep expert to diagnose a potential sleeping problem better.

At press time, the Aura was expected to be sold at Apple and Best Buy stores and at Amazon.com beginning in spring 2014, Darrican says.