A good night’s sleep is hard to come by these days.
A lot of people are suffering from sleep loss, insomnia, and poor quality of sleep, which can all cause various mental and physical health issues. The reasons vary but generally include environmental distractions (headlights through your curtains for example), an unhealthy lifestyle, work pressure, or personal stress. Even the best sleep tracker won’t help you overcome these issues.
However, technology can help you monitor sleep and ultimately work towards getting you 7 to 9 hours of peaceful rest, despite what else may be happening in your life. This will have a tremendous effect on your overall energy levels, which can help you tackle the root causes of your sleep problems.
With all the options on the market, let’s boil down the key value behind sleep-tracking mobile apps and other technology.
In general, sleep tracker apps have three categories of functions:
- They record how long you sleep.
- They record how much time you spend in the various sleep stages.
- And they track your habits as a sleeper.
Habits like how long it takes you to fall asleep, the number of times you wake up during the night, and so on are valuable insights you can use to improve your sleep quality.
Its been found that the more users checked their sleep apps, the more sleep problems they had.
Researchers found that the more people used their sleep apps, the more they reported feeling dissatisfied with their sleep, and the more problems they had sleeping. This might be because they compared themselves to other people, or felt guilty when they didn’t get good results. Dr. Rapoport explains: “Our research shows that not being able to go to sleep right away can trigger a negative feedback loop for many users of self-tracking devices for sleep: The longer it takes to fall asleep, the more frustrated and anxious you become about your performance and whether or not you’re meeting certain targets set by an app.”
These tracking apps, however, are NOT designed to improve your sleep.
Tracking apps have many benefits, but none of them apply to sleep—they’re designed to help you manage your fitness (exercise) or your life (time management). Sleep is a very individualized thing, and there is no set way of doing it. That’s why people are always contradicting themselves over what’s “right” or “best.” If you’re looking for better sleep, it’s not going to come through an app.
There are things you can do in addition to reviewing sleep data that could help improve your quality of sleep.
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine before bedtime. They make it harder for you to fall asleep and wake up in the morning.
- Make sure your room is dark before bedtime. Make sure the lights do not shine directly on the ceiling or walls. This will eliminate light-sensitivity issues, which often occur when people get up during the night and leave their bedroom light on when they go back to bed. It will also lead to less eye strain during the night and make falling asleep easier overall
Sleep tracker apps tend to overestimate the amount of time spent in REM sleep.
Your phone’s sleep tracker app is probably not the most accurate way to measure your sleep patterns, according to Dr. Shahrad Taheri, a Professor of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. “The most important thing to remember is that the accuracy of these sleep trackers can be very variable,” he says. “Some are much better than others, but none of them are 100% accurate — especially when it comes to measuring REM sleep.” As a result, Dr. Taheri advises against using these apps as more than just guidelines for our sleep health: “If you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning without having used an alarm clock and without any daytime tiredness or napping then it’s highly likely that you’re getting enough hours of sleep.” In other words: if you feel good, you’re good!
The jury is still out on whether or not sleep tracking apps are helping more than hindering.
One of the biggest problems that sleep tracking apps face is their accuracy. While some researchers have reported that they can be helpful, there has not been enough work done to conclude anything definitive about their ability to track your sleep habits.
If you suffer from insomnia and think that a sleep tracker app might not be effective for you, or if you think that using a sleep tracker will make your insomnia worse, then it is probably best to avoid using one altogether. However, if you want to try and use a sleep tracker app as a way to better understand your sleeping patterns and habits over time, then it is likely worth your while! Sleep is vital for your physical and mental well-being. Did you know that poor sleep patterns mean you are not functioning at your best? This can affect everything from health and relationships to your memory and weight.
How much sleep do adults need?
Forget the old 8 hours a night you probably grew up being told was best. We are all different and the best amount of sleep usually falls somewhere between 7 and 9 hours. By keeping track of your sleep with a bujo sleep tracker you get an understanding of any bad habits you have, what helps you sleep best, and how long a night of sleep is optimal for your body.
A sleep tracker is not a cure-all, but it can help lead to yours.
There are a few basic things that are really beneficial to track in your sleep log. To make the best sleep tracker, be sure to include these points:
Total Sleep Time
– Keep a simple count of the hours you have slept.
Sleep Time Frame
– Do you sleep best between 10 pm-6 am or are you a night owl who works best with 12 am-8 am?
– Do you feel rested and energetic, or do you feel drained?
Things That Have Affected Your Sleep
– This could be stress, a sick child, or a noisy party next door.
Now you have all this information, how do you use a sleep log to improve your sleep? Take a look at things like what times you get your best sleep (and wake up feeling the best). This will give you a goal for your ideal time to try and get some shut-eye. See what relation there is between how long you sleep and how you feel when you wake up. We are all made differently and we all need different amounts of sleep. You may also find that you need more sleep at certain times of the month too or if you have a busy schedule.
Another great benefit to being more mindful and using a sleep tracker is discovering habits that stop you from having great quality sleep. Look back at your habits and that night’s sleep. Did you have a great night’s rest on the same day as ingesting a lot of sugar (alcohol included)?
Mobile apps that help with tracking your sleep.
Once you realize what a great tool a sleep tracker is you may want to use it to help others. For example, keeping a sleep log for kids is a fantastic way to work out when is the best time for your little one to go to bed and what habits help them sleep the best. After you have worked out what your best sleep habits are, you can act on your data however you’d like to.
This is at the top of the list of the best sleep tracker apps for a reason. This extremely useful app is intuitive and includes a great deal of important sleep data. This sleep tracking app records sleep quality, plus the average sleep time you are spending in your bed. It gives you a detailed analysis of your hours—When are you in deep sleep and light sleep stages? When are you waking up on average? It collates the data and further pins down your weekly and monthly sleep patterns. The developers continue to add functionalities to enhance user experience, with the latest being the ability to detect snoring, putting it even more solidly one of the best sleep monitor apps. The app has got its own patent on sleep tracking technology and has been featured in some major health and lifestyle publications.
This best sleep tracker app and its underlying technology are well researched and based on scientific methods. The makers claim that they have undergone years of research and have reviewed multiple sleep patterns to make the app as close to perfect as possible. They have devised a proprietary “sleep score” based on six sleeping parameters and give personalized recommendations to improve your sleep. The app is advanced enough to understand if there are 2 or more people sleeping on the bed and makes sure that the tracking is correct. You don’t have to put accessories under your bed for the app to analyze your sleep patterns. Another unique feature of Sleep Score is that it sells accessories that can further analyze the lights and sounds of the room to better analyze your sleep patterns. Trust this app to give you scientific and structured data to help you track, monitor, and ultimately sleep better.
The developers claim that it is a sleep optimization app. The application does all the basic things that all the other sleep-tracking apps do. For example, it monitors when you are asleep when you are waking up, body motions, etc. However, it does pack a few USPs. It measures your heart rate to check your sleep quality. The app also provides an option where you can set an alarm when your sleep quality lowers so that you wake up when you are completely rested. Furthermore, the app can also be used to account for naps and power naps. The data of all this can be integrated together to give you a useful analysis of your sleeping behavior. If you are looking for an application that can give you a holistic approach to your sleeping patterns, MotionX 24/7 is a recommendation.
This best sleep tracker app is actually a bot that helps you sleep better. It has garnered some good reviews from its existing user base. It has a reliable sleep tracking technology built in and a smart alarm that helps you wake up in the morning in your lightest sleep phase. The app also has some relaxing and ambient music that helps you sleep better.
The alarm feature is one that sets this app apart from others. AI is embedded into the alarm, which helps it learn user behavior, patterns, and movements, and adjust alarms accordingly. The alarm plays soft music 30 minutes before the actual first alarm. There are also custom sounds that you can set based on your preference.
Endorsed by scientists from NASA, the developers claim that this is the most advanced and best sleep tracker app in the world. The app is made by authorities in the space of neuroscience, sleep, and music to bring to you an app that not only tracks your sleeping patterns but helps your brain relax and sleep soundly. The app has various programs that can be customized to your preferences and daily routines. These include sleep patterns, cycle alarms, relaxation programs, and power naps. Sleep Genius has also ventured into IoT Development and has brought out devices that help you create an ecosystem for a good night’s sleep. Sleep Genius is developed by using research that helps astronauts fall asleep. Chances are that it will also benefit you and help improve your sleep quality.
This is another sleep tracker app that springs from the advent of the Internet of Things. It tracks, records, and monitors everything that you do during your sleep (including snoring!). You don’t need to adjust any settings, set alarms, or set it up. Just wear your Apple watch to sleep, and Pillow does its job. It is a good app for those who are obsessed with wearables and like to keep them close. Beyond sleep, the app also monitors your heart rate and records audio during your sleep hours. This gives you a complete insight into your sleep cycle. A beautiful visualization chart explains your patterns and helps improve sleep quality.
This app is for people who believe that a good night’s sleep is determined by your entire day—what you’ve eaten, how productive you were, your moods, etc. This app comes with a Mood Diary that syncs easily to the Cloud. You can make entries of your mood throughout the day in the diary. You can also track calories, weight, time, to-do lists, etc., making it a complete lifestyle app. As a bonus, Sleep Tracker has the ability to read the analyses to you in 8+ languages.
Alarm Clock Xtreme
This is technically a smart alarm clock app, but it has evolved to be one of the best sleep tracker apps. It is intuitive, has a beautiful UI, and is constantly being upgraded. The app contains melodious alarm sounds and tricky snooze options. The alarm will snooze only when you solve a math problem—an amazing feature for people who keep hitting the snooze button and fail to wake up. The sleep tracking features are as good as any other app. It also gives you a lot of manual settings, which you can adjust according to your preferences. If you are looking for a perfect combination of an advanced alarm clock and a basic sleep tracker app, Alarm Clock Xtreme won’t disappoint.
Sleep as Android
As the name suggests, this app is exclusive to Android users. This app is on the list because it has almost 250,000 reviews on Google Play, giving it 4.3 stars. The app uses advanced technology, like motion sensors and sonar to detect motions and patterns during sleep. It also comes standard with a smart alarm, which won’t turn off unless you perform tasks that it shows you on screen. Compatible with various smart devices like Samsung Health, Google Fit, and Fitbit, this best sleep tracker app is a must-have if you are looking to up your overall fitness game.
Best Life Health Diary by LLIF
Combining data from your Apple devices (Apple Health), Google Fit, Fitbit, environment, and more, Best Life Health Diary by LLIF empowers users to see their sleep and other tracked data in a single super-app. No provider bias, no medical recommendations, no data manipulation. It’s just like if you wrote it down and kept it yourself, but online, and automatically graphed for you.
The Bottom Line
Using a sleep tracking app is an easy way to start seeing trends in your sleep patterns. Take your data with a grain of salt, though. If the sleep tracker app is only measuring sleep based on mobile device activity, it is missing a massive picture of your overall sleep.
In an era where tension is rising and sleep-related disorders are common, technology, if used correctly, can come to your aid. Don’t neglect health habits and lifestyle changes though, and try to keep a sleep mask around. You’d be surprised how much ambient light will affect your Z’s.
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The Live Learn Innovate Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity that empowers software users to regain control of their personally generated health data, gain intuitive insights about their social data, learn the impact of their environment on health, and build a foundation of data analytics that empowers research, academics, and innovation in economic development.
Use cases for this secure, private method of data aggregation appear everywhere, expanding to family care, community growth, agricultural planning, and many more things still unseen. Help us keep going by getting involved today.