Let’s face it-good sleep is now a fad. We’ve listened to the wise wisdom telling us to incorporate sleep into our lives as one of the most imperative forms of self-care. Merchandisers have listened too, and given us everything from an ever-growing mattress market, to wearable sleep tracking devices. Fitness trackers have become ubiquitous forms of wearable tech, and most have the ability to track sleep stages, length, and deepness to help you on your infinite quest for good rest. But are these helpful tools actually…helpful?
Most sleep trackers measure sleep by monitoring your movement. The problem is, this data isn’t always accurate. And while some more advanced trackers even take heartbeat into account, the two most definitive measures of you sleep are a sleep study, and yourself. That’s right-self reporting tends to give you a more accurate picture of your sleep than sleep trackers.
What does this mean for your sleep? First off, if you’re obsessively relying on your sleep tracker data stream with an exclusive goal of sleeping sounder, you may be exacerbating your anxiety needlessly. A recent study coined the term “Orthosomnia” for this phenomenon of being so preoccupied with improving your sleep data, you’re ruining your sleep in the process. This particular study analyzed people who sought treatment based on problems they thought they had, according to their sleep trackers.
The key to wearable sleep trackers is finding a healthy balance. Use them to track quantity, rather than quality. See for yourself if you feel better with 7 hours, or 8 hours of sleep. If you think you may have a problem with your sleep, see your doctor for an official diagnosis. Of course, we still think the best way to join the sleep fad is with a supportive new mattress, but we might be biased.