As technology starts to merge into most parts of our lives, many people have looked to sleep trackers to monitor the quality of their sleep each night. And it is no wonder that we turn to technology for even a natural process like sleep – we’re a tired nation. According to sleep research, almost one in two people get less than six hours’ sleep per night. To top this, one in 10 people take sleeping tablets. So, it is no wonder than those struggling to sleep well have turned to technology to track how much sleep they are getting and what quality of sleep that actually is.
In fact, as a nation, we are so gripped with getting the perfect night’s sleep that researchers have even come up with a phrase for it: orthosomnia. The term was devised by researchers from Rush University Medical School and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in a 2017 case study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Ely Mattress looks at what exactly these sleep trackers measure, and could they be doing more harm than good?
Often you will find that a sleep tracker is built into smart watches, can be downloaded on to smartphones or are incorporated into fitness trackers, but you can buy standalone sleep trackers too which can be worn to bed on your finger or wrist or placed under your mattress.
A sleep tracker’s measurement varies from one device to the next. Some that are worn will monitor your heart rate or body movement. Some that are placed under your mattress or pillow will monitor how often you toss and turn in bed.
Sleep trackers are said to be inaccurate because if they report a bad nights’ sleep, but you move a lot in your sleep, that does not mean that your sleep lacked in quality. Alternatively, you may be resting in bed, wide awake, but you are very still, the tracker might log this as deep sleep – so we are unable to rely on such devices 100%
Some sleep experts have even suggested that sleep trackers can hinder your sleep. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine study discovered that devices that tracked sleep seemed to worsen the quality of sleep, due to what they termed as “a perfectionistic quest for the ideal sleep.” This basically means that we are looking into the data from sleep trackers too much and the focus on quality of sleep is making us feel anxious or uneasy. Therefore, it may seem that you are sabotaging your sleep in the quest to improve it.
Rather than fiddling with a bit of tech or your phone (which is considered as bad sleep hygiene) try a more natural method of falling asleep and getting quality sleep every night. Ditch the anxiety of tracking devices and worrying about whether something is wrong with you because your new gadget seems to think you don’t get enough deep sleep and instead invest in a natural mattress that will optimise your sleep.
The Ely Mattress is a natural mattress handmade in the UK – We believe that we can help more than any sleep tracker can in helping you rest healthily and as nature intended. We ditch all the toxic products and use only locally sourced wool, cashmere, horsehair and cotton.