You might have heard, “a good laugh and good night’s sleep can cure anything.” Yes, that is cent percent right. Your sleeping habits can improve or impair your quality of life. But that does not imply how long you sleep in a day; instead, it’s the quality of the sleep that you take in a day.
Speaking of quality sleep, it entirely depends on the time you spend in two sleep phases: REM (Rapid Eye Moment) and deep sleep. Unless you are getting into these two sleep phases that usually occur at the end of your sleep, you have a night of quality sleep.
One way to know whether you were in these REM and deep sleep is pairing up to an ECG during sleeping. Moreover, companies and brands are introducing sleep trackers to track how long you spend in these quality sleep phases.
While there is a huge debate whether sleep trackers work or not, Emma Loewe, co-author of “The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care,” expressed her experience with sleep tracking and showed what six lessons her sleep tracker taught her.
Lesson 1—Tackling Orthosomnia
The first lesson was that sleep tracking could significantly impact sleep anxiety that is Orthosomnia. For those who do not know, It is a condition where you fear your sleeping patterns on a sleep tracker and further develop anxiety about it.
According to experts, it is alright to be conscious about your sleep quality, but if your sleeping pattern affects your work and relationships, you need to consult a psychiatrist. Moreover, this does not mean you have to throw away the sleep trackers.
Stay consistent with sleep trackers for some time, and then switch to traditional sleep diaries. This way, you will get to know whether sleep trackers are hurting you or helping you.
All in all, sleep tracking is meant to improve the quality, so if you work hard for it, you might be over-stressing yourself and hurting sleep patterns.
Lesson 2—Quitting Sleeping Pills
Sleep tracking lets you find out how restfully you sleep. Moreover, they are smart enough to recognize how much time you spent at a particular stage of sleep. Plus, these trackers can sense your environment and show the stats under what circumstances you sleep well.
Emma Loewe was on sleeping pills when she started sleep tracking, and after 18 nights, she found out how to get a good night’s rest.
Initially, the sleep tracking was not helping her to sleep without the meds. The sleep tracker showed that her sleep was broken the night she missed the meds.
Although Dr. Michael Breus recommends delaying bedtime gradually, and for that, you can use a sleep tracker. Moreover, the ultimate goal here is to get to bed sleep-deprived, and such deprivation will lead you to fall asleep without tranquilizers.
Lesson 3- Scheduling Bed Time
The sleep tracker’s vital objective is how to get a good night’s rest. For that, sleep trackers show patterns and trends. From that recorded patterns, you can configure under what conditions your sleep quality increases and what habits make you sleep deprived.
Emma Loewe shared her experience and said that sticking to the same schedule of going to bed was a key factor for her quality sleep. If she went to bed late regardless of the same hours of sleep, her sleep quality was disturbed.
Lesson 4- Be Physically Active
As I stated before, sleep trackers are all about picking up trends and sticking to them for sleep quality. For some, it may be not drinking coffee after 10 pm, and for some, it might be quitting the desk after 8 pm. It varies from individual to individual.
If you use a sleep tracker for two to three weeks regularly, you will get enough stats to tell under what circumstances you sleep well. For Emma, the sleep tracker indicated that she stays more physically active during the day, more restfully, she sleeps at night.
Moreover, the studies rejuvenate the fact that physical activities lead to restful nights. Further, there is not much evidence that you should be doing exercise to sleep better at what time of the day, but physical activity is key to consider.
Lesson 5- No Alcohol Before Bed
Despite the fact, alcohol is sedative, and it can steal away your night rest. The science behind, is that when alcohol starts to digest, the sedative effect starts to wear off; result? You wake up more often and refrain from getting into the REM phase.
During a month of sleep tracking, Emma also configured that going to bed with even a single glass of alcohol tends to disturb her sleeping quality. This is why insomniacs are more inclined to have a drink for a night’s sleep, yet they do not get that quality sleep.
Lesson 6- Environment Matters For Sleep Quality
Sleep trackers can sense your environments, such as your room temperature, light conditions, and noise. Based on such factors, it bars your sleep quality. For Emma, a quiet and cold room showed a positive impact on sleep since she spent more time in REM and deep sleep phases in such conditions.
Does Sleep Tracking Work? Key Takeaway
According to statistics, 50-70 million Americans have sleep disorders. So with such a massive figure, people are more referring to countermeasures for quality sleep. And for that, sleep trackers have flooded the market.
People are referring more to such devices for tracking their sleeping patterns and improving their lifestyle accordingly. While such devices can show the sleep trends, there is not much support for this correctness.
Experts say that sleep trackers are only 78 percent accurate in detecting sleep and wake cycle—furthermore, this accuracy is lower when you compare the time taken to fall asleep. On the flip side, the only proven method for sleep tracking is Polysomnography.
So it is not recommended to rely solely on sleep trackers for quality sleep as you will develop Orthosomnia in the long run. Moreover, it is your healthy lifestyle that makes a difference in your sleeping patterns.