Watch technology has come a long way since the first watches were invented. From fob watches to smart watches that track your every move like the Fitbits and Apple ‘Watches, the classic watch has evolved by leaps and bounds.
Fitness trackers are all the craze right now, with most tech brands jumping on the wellness and digital lifestyle trend in the past years. Including features such as accelerometers, pedometers, and sleep trackers, wearable technology is everywhere and constantly growing.
Overall, these devices are highly flexible, allowing you to track your physical activities and read the data on your phone. However, one of most interesting features of these watches is sleep tracking.
What is sleep tracking?
For those who are unfamiliar, your smart watch can track your sleep and give you information about your sleep patterns, hours spent asleep, and the quality.
This tells a story that you can use to form better sleep hygiene, which overall can help strengthen your quality of sleep. Before, to find out this information you needed different tracking machines, but now smart watches can do it all.
But does all that data matter? The short answer is yes, if you want to improve your sleep. Understanding how much sleep you get and the manner that you get those shut-eye means you know what changes to make to help you go to bed faster.
Sleep health and quality is now becoming a focus for many people, as it should be. With a quality smart watch, sleep tracking is easier and more accessible than ever before. With a growing fast-paced 24-hour world, getting good sleep is increasingly important.
Another effect of a busy and on the go lifestyle is that it tends to lead to sleep problems which are detrimental to both physical and mental health. This is one aspect that a tracker can prevent without affecting hours of sleep.
Does that mean that you should invest on a sleep tracker? Hopefully, after reading, you've made up your mind.
Is sleep tracking worth doing?
Let's start with why you might be doubtful about sleep tracking or smart watches.
One reason that some are hesitant to try out these devices is that they seem intimidating. All the features that are cramped in a tiny watch, including a heart rate monitor, exercise tracker, cellular capability and all that can seem overwhelming for people who aren't really that technologically inclined.
Of course, familiarity with these features through constant use will lead to comfort in time.
Another problem that may be attributed to sleep trackers is that projected data may not be as comprehensive in relation to sleep pattern as may be desired. Plus the need to wear them as you sleep can be irritating, but you do eventually get used to the feeling.
One other substantial drawback against tracking your sleep time with smart watches is that these tend to be expensive. Like mobile phones, the more features you want, the more you have to spend.
However, fitness trackers with the ability to track sleep data are worth trying. Even the entry level models provide ample information to allow the user to manage their sleep patterns among other positives.
Don't sleep on sleep trackers
Aside from the obvious benefit of having a sleek smart watch making you look good, it'll also help you get better sleep.
One of the unique selling points of fitness trackers like a Fitbis or an Apple Watch is that they provide data about your sleep. This includes the amount of sleep you get on a particular night and how often you were in each stage of sleep, allowing you to identify the least amount of snooze time you get.
Another reason to use sleep tracking devices is that they allow you to identify and maximise your sleep habits. Do you sleep better after a particular time or after reaching a specific amount of steps? Watches like those mentioned provide that data and more.
Recognising those patterns will eventually lead to better sleep quality and potentially prevent sleep disorders from occurring.
Using these devices also helps you monitor the stages of sleep and tells you how long you spent in light sleep, deep sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
REM sleep is the part of the sleep cycle where shallow sleep transforms into dreaming, allowing the mind and body to refresh for the coming day.
One other benefit from using tracking sleep data is preventing the offset of problems that may affect how much you doze off and relax. Sleep issues are estimated to affect one in five Australians, with sleep apnea and orthosomnia being the most common.
By using monitoring devices such as Apple Watches, you can curate a regular sleep hygiene, in turn preventing the onset of disorders that might give you problems during bedtime. Plus you have the data to show professionals if any issues do occur.
Sleep duration is also monitored by these devices, which you can record to see how you can improve the bedroom to help your shut-eye sessions get better.
Are Sleep Trackers Worth It?
As discussed, sleep tracking devices work to help you monitor and record your sleep habits, duration, and even prevent problems from occurring.
It’s important to note that these devices can be expensive, however there are some available for approx $200 or less. That may be a turn off to some people who are only curious to see how their sleep measures up. If you believe that you will get the most out of the device and use the other features such as texting, music and tracking exercise, then it would be a worthwhile investment.
That said, it is evident that the benefits outweigh the negatives if you are looking to make some changes about your sleep.
If you’re interested in an Apple Watch or already own one, check out our blog about how to use your Apple Watch to track your sleep.