In an age where there is an app for nearly everything, you might be wondering whether sleep apps can actually help improve your sleep?
Sleep is a vital part of health and wellbeing, yet recent statistics show that one in three Australians fail to get enough sleep. In addition, around 10% of us take more than an hour to get to sleep and a massive 85% of us wake up at least once a night, with 13% of people waking between 4 and 5 times.
It is any wonder we’re tired!
But could introducing a sleep tracker to your nightly routine help you get a better night’s sleep?
What are sleep apps and what do they do?
In their most basic form, sleep apps track whether you’re asleep and how much time you spend sleeping. They can also measure other aspects of your sleep including:
- quality of your sleep
- amount of time spent asleep
- how much time you spend in each stage of sleep
- snore time
- your sleep environment
- health metrics that relate to your sleep (e.g. exercise, caffeine consumption, stress, etc.)
Some apps may also have the ability to help you fall asleep by playing relaxing music or even hypnotherapy or meditation recordings.
Types of sleep trackers and apps
Sleep tracking devices come in a few different forms. The biggest distinction is whether it is wearable or non-wearable.
Wearable devices include the Fitbit and Apple Watch. The most used non-wearable sleep trackers are apps you download onto your SmartPhone. Most sleep apps have been developed for iPhone and Android.
Do they work?
The big question is whether sleep apps help you improve your sleep.
Unfortunately, the jury is still out on this one.
Many sleep experts say that using an app to track your sleep can help you monitor when you go to bed, when you wake up, how often you wake up and how much sleep you get overall. From this perspective, they can be useful in encouraging people to make sleep a priority, by getting to bed earlier, and making sure their environment is conducive to sleep.
However, when it comes to the various graphs and statistics that these apps generate, we’re advised to take them with a grain of salt. According to experts, tracking REM sleep isn’t possible through an app. In addition, the data that sleep apps provide regarding the amount of REM sleep we get is usually inaccurate.
While tracking your sleep may help you be more aware of your sleep habits, the best way to improve your sleep is to exercise regularly, watch what you eat before bedtime, avoid napping in the day, ensure your environment promotes good sleep, and to ensure you’re sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress.
While we can’t control all the factors that impact your sleep, we can help you choose the right mattress for you and your family. Check out our range online or in-store.