Sleep is a vital part of your health and well-being. As society moves forward, however, and we become more prone to stress and pressure, more people are having difficulty getting the sleep they need. In such cases, many are finding new ways to get sleep and track their sleeping habits.
Tracking sleep, in fact, has become routine for many people. The question remains, however, whether these devices are good at fully tracking sleep. It’s important to remember that sleep apps provide limited, but still important, information about your sleep cycles.
For hundreds of years, people have been fascinated by sleep and dreams. We know that when we sleep, our body doesn’t shut down as once thought, but that it is a very active state where our body clears itself of the stresses of the day and our system “reboots,” similar to a computer after updates.
When the process of sleep is interrupted or not smooth, our brain is not able to fully clear itself of the prior day’s tensions. As a result, we experience tiredness, lack of focus, mood swings and other problems related to lack of rest.
Tracking Sleep with Sleep Apps
Activity and sleep tracking technology in the form of smartphone apps have become very popular and provide a simple way to monitor your sleep. Even popular wearable tech such as the Fitbit include software for this purpose.
Sleep apps provide information like how long you sleep, how well you rested and how often you awaken in the night. It can also tell you whether your sleep was deep or light. The device senses your movement over a set period of time and uses a built-in algorithm to determine your state of sleep or wakefulness.
Studies on Effectiveness
There have only been a few studies done on the efficacy of these devices. In general, those studies that have been done show that the devices are good at measuring when you’re asleep, but not so good at telling how often you wake up or how restful your sleep may be. They are also poor at telling whether your sleep is light or deep, since movement is a poor indication of these states.
What You Can Get
This doesn’t mean that sleep apps should be disregarded altogether. They can still be very important in helping you to understand your sleep and waking patterns over time. You can use the tech to track what your daily and evening habits are, how they affect you at bedtime and how much sleep you get daily. Comparing this to your feeling and activity during the day can provide valuable insight.
Don’t take it too seriously, however. Stressing out about your app can lead to further sleep problems! Remember, this is just a tool and the data is not 100% accurate, so take it for what it is: a general overview that can help your understanding of your sleep habits.
If you are in the Atlanta area and experiencing sleep problems, we can help. Take a look at some further information about daytime sleepiness, and give us a call for an appointment today!