Sleep tech: do sleep monitors actually work?

Tech has evolved to such a point that it’s now central to how many people monitor their health – from tracking the amount of steps we take in a day to the number of calories we consume.

Until the past couple of years though, judging the quality of sleep we got was no more advanced than checking for bags under the eyes and counting the tea spoons of coffee it took to make us fee human.

Now though, there are a wide range of sleep monitoring apps and gadgets available to help you keep track of your slumber.

But do they work? And, if they do, do you really need one? TEMPUR takes a look at the essential facts and information…

How do sleep trackers and monitors work?

A vast majority of devices work by using small motion detectors called accelerometers that measure the amount you move throughout the night.

In simple terms, they equate movement to being awake and stillness to being asleep.

While it may seem a fairly rudimentary measurement, they are fairly accurate and, for most people, the information gleaned from these gadgets is more than enough to help them understand their sleep patterns.

In fact, sleep specialist Dr Christopher Winter compared the findings of several of these devices with advanced sleep monitoring techniques and found the results to be rather favourable.

However, one criticism of these devises and apps is that your partner’s movement can sometimes trigger the sensors, which will log that as you being awake.

TEMPUR material conforms to your body shape – soft where you want it and firm where you need it – which means that any movement from you or your partner is absorbed, giving you the perfect conditions to have a great night’s sleep.

What can I do with the information from my sleep monitoring device?

While the data we get may be fairly accurate, you’d be well within your rights to ask ‘what does this mean for my ability to get a better night’s sleep?’

On a very basic level, it lets you know how much sleep you are getting.

While you may spend plenty of time in bed, how much of that is actually quality sleep? Sleep monitoring devices and apps help to log the amount of time you are actually asleep which means you can make changes to your pre-bed routine or bedtime to ensure you are getting enough.

Many sleep monitors will also monitor your REM sleep – deepest stage of sleep where you dream

It’s generally believed that the REM stage allows your brain to organise your work and memories of the day and people who go long periods without this stage can suffer psychologically as a result.

This stage often occurs in the latter third of your night’s sleep.

Having the details of when you enter REM sleep can allow you to tailor when you wake to avoid disrupting this important stage.

Have you tried any sleep apps or devices? Let us know your stories and advice below…

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