Sufficient sleep is vital to good health. Medical researchers have warned us about the dangers of poor sleep. Poor sleep could mean lack of hours of sleep or poor quality sleep. Either could result in high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and dementia. The ideal number of hours of sleep is between 7 and 9.
Why Sleep is Necessary
Your body needs sleep because that’s when restoration happens. Healing is at its peak during sleep. This is why you need sufficient sleep when recovering from an illness. Your brain also processes memories during sleep, distinguishing between important and unimportant items there. Think about it as a maintenance procedure wherein the brain deletes unimportant files and stores the important ones in the long-term memory. The result of all physical and mental restoration is you waking up feeling energized and refreshed.
Where Sleep Tracking Gadgets Fit
However, it’s not just how long you sleep that’s important. How well you sleep is just as important. This is the goal of many sleep tracking devices or apps. They are made to monitor your sleep duration and quality. However, it’s good to note what type of device you’re using. A few devices measure key aspects of sleep cycle, such as brain wave activity and eye movements.
One of the most popular devices out there is the motion tracker. A lot of people use it despite absence of scientific evidence for its effectiveness in tracking sleep. As its name implies, it only tracks motion, which is not indicative of the quality of sleep. It doesn’t measure your muscle tone, heart rate, breathing rate, or eye movement.
Smartphone Sleep Apps, Anyone?
They have mixed reviews. They are nothing more than alarms on your phone with a few tricks. According to descriptions, they track your sleep cycles and wake you up when you’re in the light phase of your sleep. Obviously, that’s when you’re about to wake up in the morning. So the app rings the alarm, prompting you to wake up. You could wake up on a vibrating pillow. It’s not so nice. Sleep tracking on your phone apps is not a good way to get a diagnosis of the quality of your sleep.
So What Should You Use Instead?
Aside from the fact, that you don’t need to track your sleep, unless your doctor advises you to go through a sleep analysis. Most of the sleep gadgets out there provide insufficient data regarding the quality of sleep. They don’t measure biometric indicators of sleep. You’re better off not using anything at all and just concentrate on getting 7-9 hours of sleep and making sure you sleep without distractions.
Maybe you can wait for the more accurate sleep gadgets, those that measure brain wave activity, heart rate, breathing rate, eye movement, and muscle tone.
If you can find sleep trackers that measure brain wave activity and biometrics, then get any of those.