This is the first story in the Globe and Mail‘s nine-part series on the emerging wave of new-generation technology that monitors our health and wellness.

Cathy Barrick, chief executive officer of Alzheimer Society of Toronto, says she and her office mates routinely compare sleep reports from their personal sleep monitors. They wear Fitbits, Jawbones or other devices that slip around one’s wrist or under a pillow, monitoring things such as movement, heart rate and even body temperature.

“We definitely talk about it at work,” says Barrick, who wears a Fitbit Flex, a bracelet that tracks distance walked, calories burned and hours of sleep, then sends that data to a computer or smartphone for the wearer to review. “When you wake up in the morning you’re excited to look at the data and find out how you slept.”