How Effective Are Sleep Trackers?

Their accuracy is questioned.

I am one of tens of millions of people who wear fitness trackers. Last year, we wrote about wearables and health care.  For me, monitoring the quality of my sleep in a key reason why I wear it. But, in reality, how effective are sleep trackers? Not very, it seems.

Last month, Brian X. Chen wrote an article for  the NY Times entitled The Sad Truth About Sleep-Tracking Devices and Apps.” Here’s what he concluded:

“I wore an Apple Watch, since it is one of the most popular health-tracking devices. I also downloaded a top-rated app called AutoSleep, which uses the Apple Watch’s sensors to follow my movements and determine when I fell asleep and woke up. (The Apple Watch lacks a built-in sleep tracker.) Here’s what AutoSleep gathered on my sleep habits.”

How Effective Are Sleep Trackers?

“But the excitement ended there. Ultimately, the technology did not help me sleep more. It didn’t reveal anything that I didn’t already know, which is that I average about five and a half hours of slumber a night. And the data did not help me answer what I should do about my particular sleep problems. In fact, I’ve felt grumpier since I started these tests.”

“That mirrored conclusions of a recent study from Rush University Medical College and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Researchers noticed patients complaining about sleep data collected by apps and devices from Nike, Apple, Fitbit and others. In their study, they warned that sleep-tracking tech could provide inaccurate data and worsen insomnia by making people obsessed with achieving perfect slumber, a condition they called orthosomnia. It was one of the latest pieces of research supporting the idea that health apps don’t necessarily make people healthier.”

Click the image below to read more from Chen. Happy sleeping. 🙂

How Effective Are Sleep Trackers?
Image by Glenn Harvey

 

Getting to Sleep More Quickly

Valuable tips

Due to its importance, we addressed sleep in several prior posts. See Living a Longer Life with SleepGetting a Better Night’s Sleep, and Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough. Today, we look at falling asleep more quickly.

Healthline provides us with tips in “How to Fall Asleep in 10, 60, or 120 Seconds”:

“Spending more time trying to fall asleep rather than actually sleeping? You’re not alone. Just the act of trying too hard can cause (or continue) a cycle of anxious, nerve-wracking energy that keeps our minds awake. And if your mind can’t sleep, it’s really difficult for your body to follow. But there are scientific tricks you can try to flip the switch and guide your body into a safe shut down mode. We cover some science-based tricks to help you fall asleep faster.”

Click the image to read more.


 

Living a Longer Life with Sleep

Tips to sleep better.

Earlier, we presented two posts about sleep. Getting a Better Night’s Sleep. And Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough. Now, we look at an infographic about living a longer life with sleep.

A Bestow Team Infographic on Living a Longer Life with Sleep

Thank you to John Shieldsmith of Siege Media for guest authoring today’s post. And to the Bestow Team for the infographic.

When was the last time you had a whole week filled with great sleep? While the occasional night of poor sleep won’t hurt you in the long run, failure to sleep the recommended seven to eight hours every night can do a number on your body. 

So, why are one in three adults still not getting the proper amount of sleep? Many will say they’re too busy or that the late hours of the night are the only time they can get any leisure in. This mindset is only hurting you in the long run, so, let’s fix it. 

The Perks of Sleep

Here are a few of the more powerful perks of sleep. 

    • Sleep curbs weight gain: When you’re up all night, you can snack on up to an entire meal’s worth of calories. 
    • Sleep helps you heal: The U.S. Army did a study and found that when two nutritionally-similar people were physically injured, those with a full night’s rest actually healed more quickly than those without.
    • Sleep makes it easier to learn: When your brain is rested, you have an easier time storing new memories. This translates into an easier time learning new things. This can also help with your memory in general, meaning you can hold onto those precious moments for even longer if you let your brain get the sleep it needs. 

These perks only scratch the surface. Beyond this, sleep can help with personality disorders, make you less prone to engage in risky behavior, and more. In short: sleep’s great and we can all use it. So, how do you go about getting this precious sleep? 

Getting the Sleep You Need

It’s easy to say you’ll get a good night’s rest, but actually getting it is another matter entirely. Fortunately there are some changes you can make to your life that will get you on the right path as early as tonight. 

Bestow has created a visual on how sleep can extend your life. It includes tips on getting a higher quality sleep, too, so you can rest easy knowing your brain and body are getting the break they crave. 

Now, read on and go get some shut eye! 


 

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Sleeping myths!

We’ve written before about the importance of sleeping. [See Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough.] Now, we consider some myths about sleep.

As  Sandee LaMotte writes for CNN:

“What you believe about sleep may be nothing but a pipe dream. Many of us have notions about sleep that have little basis in fact and may even be harmful to our health, according to researchers at NYU Langone Health’s School of Medicine, which conducted a study published in the journal Sleep Health.”

“‘There’s such a link between good sleep and our waking success,” said lead study investigator Rebecca Robbins of NYU Langone Health. ‘And yet we often find ourselves debunking myths, whether it’s to news outlets, friends, family or a patient.’ Robbins and her colleagues combed through 8,000 Web sites to discover what we thought we knew about healthy sleep habits and then presented those beliefs to a hand-picked team of sleep medicine experts. They determined which were myths and then ranked them by degree of falsehood and importance to health.”

 

Click here to learn about 10 very wrong, unhealthy assumptions about sleep.

Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough

It’s been drilled into most of us from an early age. “Be sure to get enough sleep.” But do we get adequate sleep? Today, we look at the effects of sleep on our bodies and tips about sleeping.

It’s been drilled into most of us from an early age. “Be sure to get enough sleep.” But do we get adequate sleep? Today, we look at the effects of sleep on our bodies and tips about sleeping.

As Olivia DeLong writes for Sharecare:

“It’s a fact: Americans have trouble with sleep.  According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2018 Sleep Health Index, which is done quarterly, 41 percent of Americans said that poor or insufficient sleep had affected their daily activities at least once in the preceding seven days.”

“And when it comes to the type of trouble many of us are experiencing, sleep expert and clinical psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, thinks that most people deal with either acute or long-term sleep deprivation as opposed to complete sleep deprivation. In other words, most people are getting less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night over the course of one or more days rather than not getting any sleep at all.”

“The lack of sleep affects everyone differently.  And researchers don’t fully understand the short- and long-term effects of too little sleep. But the benefits of regular sleep are very much understood. Dr. Breus says there are three different areas of concern when we talk about sleep deprivation after acute or long-term sleep deprivation: emotional, physical, and cognitive. Here’s what you can expect after one or more nights of poor sleep—plus what you can do to improve your sleep.”

Click the image to view a slide show.

Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough