Google Fitbit, sleep score, sleep cycle, and Sleep++ are a few of the popular sleep tracker apps that have flooded the market. These apps are touted to help users know how well and how much they sleep each night.
They have become a staple in society, with many relying on them to know what happens when they sleep and if they have sleep disorders.
But do sleep trackers work? And if they do, do they provide accurate information? Let’s find out.
What are Sleep Tracker Apps?
Sleep trackers are applications built with technology that claims to track the wearers’ sleep by collecting data throughout the night. Such applications cannot help you fall asleep like a sleep aid sounds app. Your average sleep tracker app can measure the duration of sleep, the quality of sleep, and the depth of sleep.
These apps use sleep-tracking technology based on motion sensors to gauge how deeply asleep a person is. Some sleep trackers also monitor other body vitals, such as heart rate, to give a clearer picture of the individual’s sleep.
Pros of Sleep Tracker Apps
Are sleep trackers worth it? Here are some advantages of using sleep trackers.
Sleep Trackers Could Detect Sleep Disorders
Sleep trackers measure the depth and quality of sleep to detect sleep disorders that typically manifest during sleep, like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. These disorders might be more difficult to pinpoint by the individual because symptoms occur when they’re asleep. However, a sleep tracker can only suggest the possibility of a sleep disorder. You should visit a doctor for an official diagnosis and therapy plan.
They Give Insightful Data
Sleep trackers can pinpoint environmental factors that affect your sleep. For instance, if your sleep is affected by an environmental routine noise, the data collected from the sleep tracker can help you note this disruption and make changes. A sleep app for iPhone and Android also measures heart rate and oxygen levels during the night, and these data can provide deep insights into the user’s health.
Sleep Trackers Can Improve Bedtime Routines
Sleep trackers keep you aware of your sleep health. You can’t improve what you can’t measure, so most people who track their sleep improve their sleep in the long run. Most of them also have a sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
Cons of Sleep Tracker Apps
According to a study published on February 15, 2017, in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the major con of sleep tracker apps is sleep anxiety. Where sleep trackers make users aware of their sleep health, some users develop sleep anxiety. They worry so much about “perfecting” their sleep that they often develop sleep disorders like insomnia and orthosomnia.
Do Sleep Tracker Apps Work?
Sleep tracking technology used to collect sleep data is largely based on movement. According to some specialists, movement isn’t an accurate measure of sleep quality. Some loopholes could distort the data collected. For instance, sleep tracker apps measure little movement as a sign of deep, healthy sleep. So, if a person lay down quietly without moving, the sleep tracker would note that they had a deep, restful sleep.
On the other hand, movement isn’t entirely a wrong parameter for measuring sleep. The body tends to relax and have limited movement during sleep, so in typical situations, sleep tracker apps can give correct data on the quality of sleep.
Should You Have A Sleep Tracker?
Given the pros, cons, and questions around the efficiency of sleep tracker apps, should you get a sleep tracker app?
Absolutely. The technology behind sleep tracker apps is still developing and getting better. From motion sensors to heart rate monitoring, sleep trackers are getting more accurate with their data collection and interpretation.