In the modern age, apps and trackers have become instrumental in helping people monitor their health and well-being. These apps provide an integral insight that can help individuals make the right decisions to advance their health. It is, therefore, no surprise that such apps and trackers are gaining popularity in helping monitor sleep. 

Sleep trackers are intended to monitor different elements of sleep to help people take note of their sleep patterns. However, many people in different fields are always curious to understand whether these trackers actually do what they claim to do 

Let us explore this question by first delving into the details of what sleep trackers are.  

What Are Sleep Trackers? 

Generally, a sleep tracker is any tool that collects data on how someone sleeps. Contrary to the name, sleep trackers do not necessarily measure sleep as sleep is an unquantifiable quality. The trackers evaluate different sets of metrics that surround sleep. Using this data, it is possible to gain insight into the duration and quality of sleep one has had. 

Sleep trackers can be quite advantageous to you in multiple ways. For starters, the trackers will give you integral insight that can help you better the overall quality of your sleep. Having adequate sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health. It is always a good idea to use all the resources at your disposal to maximize the quality of your sleep. 

Sleep trackers can also help treat underlying sleep problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia. Dealing with apnea and insomnia can be a lifelong struggle for many patients if not addressed early. The data from sleep trackers can help identify the causes of these conditions and provide insight into how to treat them.  

Popular Types Of Sleep Trackers 

There are three different types of sleep trackers, depending on how one can use them. These are dedicated sleep trackers, general fitness trackers, and mobile apps. Dedicated sleep trackers are specifically developed to measure the variables surrounding sleep without any other incidental purpose.  

You can also use general wearable fitness trackers to monitor sleep patterns. The final category, which includes different types of mobile apps, helps to monitor sleep by using mobile phone sensors to collect the necessary data points.   

Metrics Sleep Trackers Use To Monitor Sleep 

Speaking of data points, are you curious about what metrics sleep trackers use to monitor and analyze sleep? Sleep monitors assess the following data points to get a general overview of how the data subject is sleeping. 

  1. Movement

Movement is an essential factor to evaluate when you are sleeping. Sleep trackers use accelerometers and motion sensors to collect data on your movements when sleeping.  

Are you surprised that you move when you are fast asleep? Not all the movements you make when sleeping are perceptible to the naked eye. Some of these movements, such as the flickering of your eyes and the raises in your chest cavity as you breathe, are too small to see. 

Some sleep detectors can observe these movements to gain insight into your sleeping patterns. 

  1. Heart Rate

The heart rate is an essential metric for sleep detectors. As you sleep, your heart rate varies across different points of your sleep cycle. The heart rate detectors in the sleep trackers evaluate how fast or slow your heart is beating. This information helps determine what point in the sleep cycle you are in and if any anomalies are evident. 

  1. Breathing

Your breathing pattern can indicate a lot about your sleep habits. People that have a challenge getting a good night’s sleep often indicate this in how they breathe. Similarly, breathing challenges while sleeping could indicate a condition such as snoring or sleep apnea.  

Evaluating breathing patterns is, therefore, an essential step in monitoring these illnesses.  

  1. Sounds Made When Sleeping

Not all sleep trackers monitor sound but some does such as sleep talking and other sounds you might make when moving at night. These sounds help evaluate how calm you are when sleeping. Similarly, the sounds also help indicate the depth of your sleep and the duration of each of the sleep cycles.  

Analysis Of Sleep Data  

Most sleep trackers ordinarily use machine learning algorithms and AI to analyze the data collected. Ideally, there are three main stages of sleep, from light sleep, REM cycle, to deep sleep. The various data points or metrics discussed above all indicate different things when it comes to sleep.  

For instance, the REM cycle involves rapid eye movements and deep breathing. Most times, these cycles occur in the morning, right before someone wakes up. By evaluating the data points, the sleep tracker can gain insight into whether your REM cycles occur as expected or whether there are any anomalies. 

Are Sleep Trackers 100% Accurate? 

Considering how popular sleep trackers are nowadays, you might be curious about the accuracy of these trackers. The accuracy of sleep trackers varies across models and the types you use. For instance, you can expect a dedicated sleep monitor to be more accurate than an app that relies on the hardware of a mobile phone.  

In the same vein, how you use the sleep tracker can also affect how accurate it can be. That is why you should follow the best practices for using sleep trackers indicated below. 

Sleep Trackers: Best Practices 

For you to get accurate data from a sleep tracker, you need to focus on three main things. First, always ensure that you wear it in such a way that it can effectively monitor your sleep.  

Secondly, ensure that you use your tracker consistently for you to get weighted data. It is impossible to rely only on the data your tracker collects in one instance.  

Finally, consider syncing your tracker with other fitness trackers to get an overall outlook on your well-being. 

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, we have broken down everything you need about how sleep trackers work. Using sleep trackers and monitors is an excellent way to get a hold of your sleeping habits and improve your rest.  

By following the best practices above, you can ensure that the sleep tracker gives you the best actionable information you need.