Sleep studies were the gold standard for tracking your sleep habits in the past. These involved you being hooked up to over 20 wires and sleeping in a sleep lab with a person watching over you at night as your sleep. This technique is called polysomnography and the cables and sensors are fine-tuned to track eye movements, leg movements breathing and heart rate. This type of study changes your environment and may actually change the manner in which you sleep at home in your own bed.
Sleep trackers allow you to monitor your sleep through an accelerometer and only one sensor to track movements while you sleep. This is a much simpler device that you can use to determine sleep patterns and make changes in your daily life to gain more restful and longer sleep.
Results of Lack of Sleep
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked a deficit of sleep to chronic diseases and conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and depression. They claim that sufficient sleep can help with chronic disease prevention and promote overall health.
What about Sleeping Pills?
While prescription sleeping pills may give you relief for short-term use, they all have different levels of dependency. Sleeping pills can cause nightmares or night terrors, sleepwalking and burning or tingling in your hands, arms, legs or feet. They can cause you to be drowsy or appear to be impaired the next day and you could have difficulty in maintaining your balance.
How do Sleep Trackers Work?
Sleep trackers are available today in many styles. Some are worn on your wrist at night or on your forehead while others are a mat that you install under your sheet.
Sleep trackers gather data all night long from the time you put them on until you wake up in the morning. Some of the items they track are your total sleep time in hours and minutes and your sleep latency, or the time it takes you to go to sleep. Other areas in the percentage of total sleep that it tracks are REM sleep, N1, or transitional sleep, N2 or light sleep and N3 in deep sleep.
Sleep Tracker Benefits
Using the data gathered by your sleep tracker, you will have a chart of your daily sleeping patterns, including naps to determine the quality of sleep and total hours you sleep each day. It will allow you to track disturbances in your sleep such as lights or sounds that wake you. You can determine when nightmares, dreams, night terrors or sleepwalking occurs. It helps you to keep a diary of your daily activities and note how they affect your sleep habits. You can also track how different medications influence your sleep patterns.
Routine Changes for Good Sleep
Most people sleep best in a room that is cool and dark. This will prevent you from tossing and turning when you are too warm or lights shine into your room. You may want to invest in some blackout curtains if you work shift work, so the bedroom is dark when you sleep.
Don’t go to bed hungry or too full. You may require a light snack just before bedtime to help you sleep better.
Choose your organic and all natural mattress wisely. Your mattress should be comfortably soft enough to rest on but give your body total support. If your mattress is bumpy or lumpy, you won’t sleep well. Try mattresses in the store by lying on them to choose a coil spring, natural latex or memory foam and gel foam mattress. Professionals at the store can help you choose the perfect mattress for your best night’s sleep possible.
Make changes in diet and get some light exercise if necessary and use your sleep tracking information to determine what other changes may help you find the ultimate sleep patterns.