Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Trackers
Health tracking devices and apps are growing in popularity as people discover the benefits of using technology to monitor and improve their wellbeing. Much of this trend has focused on fitness, but sleep tracking is also essential for those interested in overall wellness. Monitoring the quantity and quality of your sleep can help you improve your physical and mental health.
What Is a Sleep Tracker?
A sleep tracker is exactly what it sounds like: a device that monitors and records how much you sleep at night. You may think you already know how much you’re sleeping. For instance, you turn out the lights at 11:00, and your alarm goes off at 6:00, so you’re getting seven hours, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that clear-cut. You’ve been in bed for seven hours, but how long did it take you to fall asleep? How many times did you wake up during the night? The point of a tracker is to go deeper and determine when you fall asleep and wake up and how often you experience sleep interruptions. In other words, trackers monitor your sleep patterns in detail.
Where Can I Find a Sleep Tracker?
Many wearable devices, like your fitness watch, include a sleep tracker. It’s not always desirable to sleep with a watch on, though. Having it on your wrist can influence how you sleep. It can make you uncomfortable and cause you to wake up more often. It’s also not great for your skin to wear a watch around the clock.
Another option is to use an app on your smartphone. BetterSleep is a sleep app with soothing sounds and music, meditations, bedtime stories, sleep tips, and a sleep tracker. Simply place it on your bedside table at night so it can record when you sleep and wake up.
BetterSleep’s tracker compares your sleep goals with how you’re actually sleeping. It also calculates your sleep debt, the difference between how much sleep is recommended for you and how much you’re actually getting. For instance, ideally, your sleep goal might be to get eight hours of sleep each night. If you only get six hours one night, you’ll accrue a sleep debt of two hours.
Why Use a Sleep Tracker?
Getting quality sleep for an adequate amount of time is extremely important for overall health. Sleeping well and enough boosts your immunity, helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduces stress and the risk of chronic disease, and improves your mental health.
A sleep tracker can be a useful tool, mostly because it gives you a clearer picture of how much sleep you actually get each night. Knowledge is power, and if you know you need to improve your sleep, you can begin to make effective positive changes.
For example, if you consistently struggle to wake up when you intend to in the morning, you may need to adjust your sleep schedule. Or, you can try healthy morning habits that help you wake up feeling more rested.
A sleep tracker can’t replace a sleep study performed by doctors, but it can help you find your personal sleep issues and improve your sleep. It can also push you to see your doctor if your sleep still doesn’t improve after making positive changes. All in all, incorporating a tracker into your sleep routine can only do you good. Try the one on the BetterSleep app tonight, and you’re sure to see a difference with time.
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