Are you curious and interested to know more about your personal sleeping habits? Ever wondered whether you are getting a balanced, healthy, full night’s peaceful sleep? With personal sleep tracking, there is no need for you to be kept in the dark anymore. Although it is a fairly new technology, with the looks of it and the number of benefits that it offers, it is pretty likely to stay. Inherent curiosity about one’s self, increasing awareness about sleep and its effects on health, and several other factors have contributed to a rise in sleep monitoring technology.
Issues related to Sleep
There are several issues that are sleep related, such as:
- Loses in economic productivity
- Fatal accidents caused due to lack of sleep
- Possible links with obesity
- A rise in sleep apnea
The advantage of tracking sleeping habits
The data regarding their sleeping habits which individuals gather and then analyze gives them the ability to know what is wrong with their sleeping habits and what aspect of their sleep needs to be improved in order to have a better and healthier living.
Sleep is one of the three pillars of health along with nutrition and exercise. The quality of what we eat can be monitored and we can do exercises consciously. But measuring the quality of our sleep was not possible until sleep monitors came along.
Questions answered by Sleep Monitoring technology
A few questions that can be answered by the sleep tracking technology are:
- The number of hours spent sleeping
- The time it takes for a person to fall asleep
- Is the sleep peaceful or restless?
- The quality of sleep: deep, light or REM?
Working Principle of Sleep Monitors
How do sleep trackers work? With advances and development in microelectronics and software, there is a number of sleep tracking gadgets out in the market. The basic technology and concept behind these monitors is almost the same. Some of the ideas incorporated in sleep technology are:
This is a way of monitoring and recording human body’s movement
These are tiny electrical sensors that convert the movement of the human body into electrical signals
Heart rate varies with your sleep stages i.e. deep, light and REM. So, by measuring heart rate, information about stages of sleep can be inferred. Heart rate can be measured using any of the following:
- Optical sensors
- Bioimpedance sensors
- Non-contact sensors
Types of Sleep Trackers
There are several types of sleep trackers, such as sleep tracking apps or wearable sleep trackers. There are sleep monitors which can be attached to your bed as well.
Sleep tracking apps
Sleep tracking apps are the simplest and cheapest way to start monitoring your sleep. They can be downloaded either free of cost on your phones or for the price of a few dollars. There are several sleep monitoring apps available in the market. A few of the most popular are:
- Sleep Genius
- Sleep Time
Wearables and fitness trackers
Wearable sleep trackers combine sleep tracking abilities with other fitness monitoring functions as well, such as communications, healthcare, calorie intake etc. There are several wearable devices such as smartwatches by tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
There are many advantages of tracking and monitoring your sleep. The technology related to sleep monitoring is improving with each passing second. Sleep tracking is a good thing for managing your overall health. Home-based sleep tracking is cheaper and more convenient to professional sleep tracking, but it may not be very accurate and is certainly not a substitute for professional medical treatment.