My name is Jason Piper. I am the founder of Build Better Sleep and certified sleep science coach. Give me the opportunity to give you my spin on if sleep trackers can improve your sleep.
I work with clients on improving their sleep. Some of them only need minor adjustments while others have bad cases of insomnia. Now I know what you must be thinking is everyone should be wearing a sleep tracker if they are having problems with their sleep. I cannot fully agree with that and here is why.
Sleep trackers are useful as a tool and only if they are used in the right setting. It is the same if you were to use a hammer to drive in a screw. Yes, it kinda of got the job done, but not real effectively or cleanly.
Trackers do not help on the ends of the spectrum.
I feel sleep trackers work well for people that fall into the middle of the spectrum. If someone is suffering from insomnia or fragmented sleep that last thing that will help them is seeing every morning a really low score reminding them of how poor their sleep was the previous night.On the flip side I see people on the other side of the spectrum where they are really into data, personal goals, and competing with themselves. So where they were getting pretty good sleep, they end up stressing about not getting a perfect score which causes them anxiety and they end up sleeping worse with a sleep tracker than without one.
So if you have a habit of always checking your health data and trying to one up it, approach sleep trackers carefully and if you start noticing yourself obsessing over sleep scores, it might be time to take a break.
Trackers can improve sleep for people in the middle.
For the person that falls in the middle sleep trackers can be useful for seeing how doing, eating, or thinking certain things throughout the day and before bed and how it affects their sleep on metrics they might not be aware of like body temp or the different stages of sleep. This can really help to instill new habits that are more conducive for better sleep.
The one con with sleep trackers is do not let the sleep tracker dictate how you slept. It is important to be aware of your body and how you actually feel. If you felt you slept good and feel good, but the tracker says otherwise don’t let it have that power over you. Trackers are not perfect and do have margins of error. The key to any good sleep is be consistent with a rock solid sleep routine.
The Oura ring is great for tracking your sleep time, heart rate variability, body temp, and sleep stages.
The BeddrSleep tracker is more useful for someone who thinks they may have sleep apnea. It is about the size of a postage stamp and goes on your forehead. It measures your blood oxygen level, position you are sleeping, and stop breathing moments.
If you are interested in an online sleep analysis reach out to me or click on this link for an online sleep analysis.