A perfect uninterrupted night’s sleep is a luxury for many. If you have ever had a sleepless night, you know that it will negatively effect you for the entire next day.
Understanding why you can’t sleep is the first step to fixing this problem. What if we told you that Apple and other smartwatch companies are working on improving their sleep tracking features to do just this?
If you know which activities are preventing you from sleeping at night, you can work to avoid those activities to get your full 8 hours every night. While this may sound too good to be true, it is what is in store for the future of wearable technology. This tech is still far from perfect, but even the existing features can come in and make an impact on your sleeping habits.
Here is what you need to know about the current Apple Watch sleep tracking features:
How Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Features Work
Sleep tracking apps and features in wearables work by tracking four main aspects of sleep and the environment that the wearer sleeps in. The four aspects include the following.
- The time you spend sleeping: Trackers are able to analyze the periods where you are in a deep sleep and the times you are wide awake in between. The data gets charted as it is recorded.
- Sleep quality: Any movements during sleeping are interpreted as interruptions. Minimal movements usually characterize quality deep sleep.
- The sleeping environment: Trackers monitor the room temperature, humidity, light, and sound ambiance. All of these are factors that affect your quality of sleep.
- Health metrics: Sleep trackers take metrics such as dietary intake and exercise into account while analyzing how you sleep.
So how exactly does sleep tracking work? The apps behind the tracking work differently depending on the device you are using. Generally, they measure the body movements you make throughout the night by the use of accelerometry and actigraphy.
Accelerometry is the technique for quantifying human movements. The science behind it has been instrumental in sleep tracking apps and have been sharpened further to detect even the slightest motions your fingers make.
Actigraphy is a non-invasive technique that is employed to monitor rest and activity cycles in humans. Actigraphy works on the principle that a certain amount of movement positively corresponds with being awake and vice versa. If you do not move for more than an hour, the device will conclude that you are indeed sleeping.
What Are The Best Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Apps?
Apple Watches are the most widely used smartwatch in the market as they boast the best sleep tracking apps. The following are some of the most acclaimed apps:
- SleepWatch: This app is linked to the Apple Health app, and it keeps track of all important details of your body. It periodically submits your sleeping logs which you can easily access via an iPhone or iPad.
- AutoSleep: Another effective smartwatch app that monitors sleep duration, quality, and your readiness to go to bed. With its engaging sleep rings concept, you can easily track when you have achieved your sleeping goals.
- Sleep++: This is a free sleep tracking app that starts running the moment you close your eyes to sleep. It later shows you all the data pertaining to your night. While some similar apps can overwhelm you with information that is sometimes difficult to understand, Sleep++ comes with a simplistic interface with minimal interaction that is suited to those who want to easily track their sleeping habits.
- Pillow: A favorably reviewed app that has a smart alarm clock that wakes you up just when you have had the optimum amount of sleep. It also records snores and sleep-talking outbursts and plays it all back in the morning. With the Pillow sleep app, the longer you keep using it, the more accurate the readings you get.
The Downsides to Relying on Sleep Tracking
Sleep is natural; it is the body’s response to fatigue. However, in recent years, many issues have arisen that have destabilized the nature of our sleep such as excessive use of technology before bed. Because of that, people try to find new ways to enhance their ability to sleep soundly which can lead to an over-reliance on sleep trackers. This comes with its risks, the most common ones include:
Worsening of Insomnia
Orthosomnia is an emerging condition where people become so obsessed with attaining the perfect rest times using sleep apps that they end up developing anxiety over it, and eventually, are unable to sleep. In essence, you end up worsening the one situation you are trying to remedy.
Spending Too Much Time In Bed
The recommended sleep time for an adult is 6 -8 hrs. The hunger for a deep sleep has caused people to try to go to bed early in the hope that they get the highest level of sleep. This can result in you spending more time in bed than you should, giving rise to major health complications.
Like all machines, not everything is perfect. There are different variables when you are sleeping that can cause inaccurate readings. If you end up depending on flawed data, you may not get the results you are looking for. That being said, as smartwatch technology improves every year, so does the accuracy of it’s data collection.
What Apple Watch Sleep Tracking Does Right
No technology is perfect. As with any tech, its ability to work as advertised depends on the wearer using it correctly. Sleep tracking does work for many people; some of the best devices in the market like the latest Apple Watches have amazing apps that not only keep your sleeping routines in check, but also help with your overall health.
If you have been on the fence on whether to get a wearable that can help improve your sleep, below are some compelling reasons why you should invest in one:
- They tell you the exact time you started sleeping and the time you woke up in addition to giving you reliable information on what transpired during your slumber.
- With advanced tech like Accelerometers, you are able to get insights on the number of times you tossed and turned while asleep. This data is indicative of your quality of sleep.
- They come packed with other helpful features. Sleep trackers do more than help with sleep: they analyze your physiology and provide data that you can use to improve your fitness and general health.
- They help you plan your day: there is nothing that beats a good night’s sleep. When you wake up refreshed, you are half-assured of a good day. Quality sleep is the foundation for a productive day.
The Bottom Line
Wearable devices are on the rise and are improving faster than we can keep up. While there are aspects of wearable technology that we must be wary of (no pun intended), the benefits of the sleep tracking features can help many people with several various sleep disorders or individuals who simply want to monitor their sleeping habits.
All things considered, Apple Watch sleep tracking technology has more pros than cons and can work to add convenience to your life. However, like everything else, it should be consumed in moderation to reap optimum benefits.
Do you know anyone that could benefit from these sleep tracking features? Share this with them to get them onboard!
Mo AbidAs a professional trainer, I’ve spent a lot of time and resources buying smartwatches, gadgets, and checking them out. I'm the founder of SWYH and we focus on helping you with your activity tracking and smart technology journey. Here on this website, we try to provide the most helpful and updated content on this subject.
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