Apr 30 , 2021
Can Sleep Tracking Become A Nightmare?
A sleep monitor or fitness tracker may actually contribute to the loss of sleep. As people strive to achieve an optimal sleep pattern with the use of their electronic devices, an unforutnate side effect may take place. It is possible to lose more quality sleep when trying to perfect your numbers. It’s hard enough to fall asleep if you have something on your mind, so why add one more concern to it. “How is my sleep going to go tonight? What will my sleep tracker tell me? What if it’s not perfect?”
These concerns have a name of their own: It’s called orthosomnia. The pursuit of “perfect” or “correct” sleep. Those who struggle with this are trying to achieve a perfect sleep score. It’s as though they are taking a test during the night with a subconcious mind worried about the test grades the next day.
There are some constructive ways to track sleep. Some may find great benefit from it. Others, however, will benefit more by putting away the trackers and giving them a rest. That way, they too may finally rest.
Sleep Health and Sleep Hygiene Facts:
- Quality Sleep. 7 to 8 hours of sleep may be a good quantity of sleep for most, but what about the quality of your sleep? Quality of sleep can be thought of as how long you spend in various stages of light and deep sleep, as well as how many times your sleep is disrupted throughout the night.
Not all devices are reliable. Truly, the best gauge of how well you are sleeping is yourself. How do you feel in the morning? Well rested? Energetic? Groggy and foggy? There are plenty of wearble pieces of technology which may purport to give you the inside track on sleep monitoring, but what good is a “perfect” sleep score if you wake up feeling like you got hit by a bus? Devices may track movements, which is nice for step counters, but really how well are they at monitoring sleep? We recommend evaluating manufacturer’s claims to see if they have been scientifically evaultted to perform their states function.
Sleep Labs and Apnea. For those who are concerned about the potential of a sleep disorder, consider evaulation at a sleep lab. A sleep lab is capable of monitoring brain waves, eye movements, and even periods of apnea. Apnea is the temporary cessation of breathing. Those who suffer who heavy snoring, for example, may experience several periods of apnea as they sleep. This can lead to a lot of health complications and is very important to rule out for those who suffer with sleep disorders.
Consult with your physician. Your physician can help you address any concerns you have about your sleep. They can also provide referrals to specialists and sleep labs in your area.
- Stay informed. Technologies and techniques to remedy sleep issues are consistently adapting to meet people’s needs. Staying up to date on any advancements or changes can go a long way.
Natural Sleep Remedies:
- Listen to your body. If you think a sleep tracker is contributing to unnecessary worry, give yourself time away from your device. If you wake up energized and without the need for an alarm, you’re on the right track and can keep on the natural route.
Maintain consistent bedtimes. Going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day is still one of the most reliable ways to beat insomnia. It’s a sound practice with or without any wearable device.
- Eat light. Heavy late dinners and bedtime snacks can interfere with your rest. You may crave carbs or a sweet snack before bed, but it’s best to stick to protein so you don’t have a glucose rollercoaster during sleep. Superfoods such as raw pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds are also a good choice since they contain helpful amino acids that improve your abilty to enter deep sleep cycles.
- Dim the lights and darken your bedroom. Heavy drapes can block out light, but be aware of other forms of light that are inside your bedroom. Phones emit blue light that disturbs our ability to enter into our normal sleep cycles. Our brain can be tricked to think that it is still daylight, so why produce melatonin if the sun is out? Adjust your phone reduce the blue light it emits at night, or put it away 2 hours before lights out.
Use soothing sounds. Loud, disruptive sounds can disrupt a good night’s sleep. One helpful trick is to use pre-recorder sooting sounds that remian consistent through the night. Running a fan may also do the trick.
- Consider new bedding. Your sleep position may need to be supported by specific pillows or different mattress toppers. Find what works best for you. The time and research you spend on getting it right is more than worth it.
- Get enough exercise. Exercise has many proven benefits including stress
reduction. Sleep.org says “exercisers may reduce their risk for developing troublesome sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.”
As much as one-fifth of Americans have a device they wear, and more than one out of 10 wear a sleep tracker. If this is you, make sure your device is really helping. Apply these helpful tips to help yourself achieve the most nautral and high quality sleep possible. If you remain concerned about any possible sleep disorder then talk with your doctor to answer those questions.