A lot of modern fitness trackers (which these days are such a big part of our lives) not only track how you exercise, but they also track your sleeping patterns. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Sleep is an extremely important part of fitness and one that is far too often ignored in fitness discussions. If you aren’t getting a proper amount of sleep, you will find it harder to diet, you won’t have as much energy for exercise, and your body will just be more sluggish overall. So, ensuring you get enough sleep is very important, and in order to do that, you need to track your sleep in the same way that you track other important information while dieting.
However, you may wonder if these fitness trackers can actually track your sleep patterns with something approaching accuracy. You may wonder how something like a fitness tracker, which goes around your wrist, can track sleep movements. The short answer is that yes, sleep trackers can be and often are accurate (obviously this assumes that you are using an actual good quality tracker and not a knock-off).
How Do Sleep Trackers Work?
Sleep trackers almost always work by monitoring movement, more specifically, they measure the amount of movement. The idea is that if it detects a certain amount of movement, then you really aren’t sleeping. This is referred to as “actigraphy.” At first, this may not sound all that scientific or accurate, but it is actually one of the methods that doctors use when researching sleep patterns, and in fact, some doctors actually think that it is the best method for doing so.
The first question that many may have is “what about those who toss and turn at night.” Well, there are a couple of ways that different sleep trackers deal with this. Firstly, some trackers will actually differentiate between the different kinds of sleep (if you are moving a lot while sleeping, you likely aren’t getting enough deep sleep), which helps you track sleep patterns. Secondly, some sleep trackers include heart rate monitors, which again helps to prevent the sleep tracker from registering every movement as you not being asleep.
Now, with this being said, there does need to be a bit of caution on your part when using sleep trackers. If you notice that they are claiming wild things (like saying that you only slept 30-minutes for example) then you should seriously consider if something went wrong with the tracker during the night. Don’t always take them at their word.