All you need to know about the benefits of tracking sleep
Sleep tracking can be life-changing for the benefit of better sleep and better health. Studies have found that 50-70 percent American adults have sleep disorders. Nearly 35 percent of all adult’s report sleeping for less than 7 hours a day. There are multifarious reasons behind it. Today, we will shed light on the reasons that reveal the significance of tracking sleep.
What is sleep tracking?
When we think about having a healthy body and mind, we majorly focus on diet and fitness regimen. However, we miss another aspect of maintaining good health, that is proper sleep. From meeting deadlines to worrying about upcoming times, we stay awake till late or have disturbed sleep that leaves us low in energy, tired, and mood swings the next day. If you are experiencing disturbed sleep, monitoring your sleep can be helpful.
What are the benefits of tracking sleep?
From improved sleep to better health, there are many reasons to track sleep. Let’s delve deeper into knowing how tracking your sleep can improve your health:
- Understand your sleep pattern – One of the most significant advantages of tracking your sleep is knowing the different sleep phases like how quickly you fell asleep, how much deep sleep you had, etcetera.
- Know your sleep duration: Tracking your sleep can let you know how many disruptions you faced while sleeping.
- Track your lifestyle factors: If you have sleep problems, tracking your sleep can give you valuable data about your slumber habits that interfere with your sleep.
- Know your sleep efficiency: By tracking your sleep, you can assess your sleep efficiency. This number will show the records from sleeping to how long you stay awake in bed.
What are the types of sleep that can be tracked?
It is essential to understand the sleep types that occur while we are asleep. Let’s understand the different stages of sleep:
- Entering Sleep: As soon as we go to bed, our brain starts to relax and produce slower waves known as alpha waves. You are not fully asleep during this time, and you may experience strange sensations like you may feel you are falling or hearing someone call your name, known as hypnagogic hallucinations. Another common experience is myoclonic jerk which means sudden jerks as soon as you fall asleep.
- NREM Stage 1: This is the lightest sleep stage and can be considered a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. This period of sleep lasts for about five to ten minutes.
- NREM Stage 2: This stage of sleep lasts for about 20 minutes. In this stage, while asleep, you become less aware of the surroundings, your body temperature falls, and breathing and heart rate become regular. American Sleep Foundation has stated that people spend 50% of their sleep during this phase of sleep.
- NREM Stage 3: During this stage of sleep, people become less responsive and fail to respond. It acts as a transitional period between light sleep and profound sleep.
- REM: This stage stands for rapid eye movement. During this phase of sleep, the brain becomes more active, the body becomes relaxed, and when dreams occur, eyeballs move rapidly. The American Sleep Foundation has stated that people spend approximately 20% of their sleep in the REM stage.
How would you know that you are getting enough and sound sleep?
Good night sleep is characterized into the following forms –
- Fall asleep within 30 minutes after lying in bed
- Stay asleep throughout the night without waking up more than once
- Fall back asleep within 20 minutes after waking up
- No snoring or dry mouth at night
- No daytime sleepiness
- Feeling fresh and rejuvenated the next day
So, these are the common characteristics, but how would you know how well did you sleep. Here it would be best if you track your sleep.
Why is sleep important?
A good night’s sleep plays a crucial role in our life. It is as essential as eating healthy and staying fit. Here are a few reasons that reveal the importance of a good night’s sleep:
- Improves Focus and Memory
- Better Heart Health
- Curbs Inflammation
- Lowers Stress
- Stronger Immune System
- Reduced Risk of Diabetes
- Healthier Skin
- Boosts Fertility
- Prevents Weight Gain
- Longer Lifespan
What factors affect sleep?
Several internal and external factors can interfere with sleep at night. Know about them here:
External Factors that affect sleep:
Working in shifts: Shift work can affect sleep quality as changes in the schedule every week or every month confuses the body clock and results in inadequate sleep.
Noise: External factors such as the sound of traffic, neighbor noises can impede sleep. The sound distracts your mind from relaxing and falling asleep. To optimize your sleep quality, you can try using earplugs with radio and audio off or add mineral wool insulation to your walls to block external noises.
Lighting: Being exposed to light during nighttime tricks the body’s circadian rhythm into thinking that it is daytime. Therefore, the brain does not get relaxed and shifts to sleep. To maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, you should block out the light before sleeping.
Diet: The food you consume the most, especially before going to bed, directly impacts your sleep. For example, if you consume caffeine before going to bed, it can make you more active and not let you sleep even if you are willing to. Make sure you do not consume those foods before going to bed that could interfere with sleep.
Internal Factors affecting sleep are:
Chronic Stress – Any stress on the mind could lead to anxiety and prolonged depression. This could ultimately impact your sleep pattern. It can keep you awake all night, leaving you frustrated the next day.
Body Aches or Pains: Pains in the body like muscle pain, headache, stomach ache, or other health issues could create discomfort in the body and affect one’s sleep.
How many hours of sleep are enough for good health?
The number of hours a person needs to maintain good health varies for each age group.
The Bottom Line
Poor sleep is prevalent globally, and people find it hard to go to bed and fall asleep immediately. Tracking your sleep can help you improve your sleep and prevent complications.