These days, there’s an app for nearly anything that you need to do or track. From activities to do to the things that you consume, there is a way to understand yourself better through these apps and a sleep tracker is one of them. What are sleep trackers? How do they work? And what do they tell us about your overall sleep health?
Types of sleep trackers
They can come in many shapes and sizes but the most common ones are the wearables or the devices you wear on your wrist or finger while sleeping. These can collect your data such as movement, heart rate, and breathing patterns. These are multipurpose in nature and can double as a way to track your footsteps, calories burned, and other physical activity.
There are also bedside devices that can collect data such as your breathing and movement, as well as environmental factors like the temperature, ambient noise and light, and even humidity.
Understanding sleep trackers
There are a variety of sleep trackers available but more or less they share the common features below:
- Tracking sleep duration — This means it tracks your inactive time, recording the time you fall asleep up until you wake up in the morning.
- Tracking sleep quality — Was your sleep an uninterrupted one? Or were you tossing and turning the whole night? Sleep trackers let you know of your overall sleep quality.
- The phases of your sleep — Some sleep trackers can track the different phases of your sleep can set off an alarm during your phase where you are not sleeping deeply. This makes it easier for you to get up from bed.
- Your sleep environment — Some of these apps and devices can track the environmental factors in your room such as how much light there was and what the temperature was.
- Your lifestyle — Sleep trackers can prompt you to enter activities that may affect your sleep such as your overall stress level, the food you’ve eaten, and how much caffeine you have had.
Understanding your sleep patterns
Perhaps the reason why people use trackers in the first place is to get a better understanding of their tendencies and habits. In this case, you would want to get more insight into your sleep pattern which can help you determine how much sleep you need, the ideal times for you to go to bed and wake up, and more. These trackers are usually built with data analysis through graphs and charts which can help give you something to reflect on and see your overall trends.
Sleep tracker for your goals
Because you can easily see with a sleep tracker how much sleep you are getting each night, it can help improve your habits. There are many features built-in that help set alarms at the right time or give notifications to let you know to lessen your screen time. These features help aid the habits you want to stick by such as getting consistent 8-hours of sleep every night.
Sleep tracker data for your doctor
For those experiencing sleep problems, talking to your doctor is still the best option. Having the data from your sleep tracker is a great accompaniment to your appointment to help paint a better picture of how you usually sleep. While these devices are not really made for clinical diagnosis, your doctor can still benefit from the data during their consultation.
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