Glossary

Sleep tracking

What is sleep tracking?

One of the favorite features for wearable users, sleep tracking generates reports that register not only how long a person was asleep for, but also how much of that time was divided between light and deep sleep. The latter is what humans need the most, as it is the most restorative kind of sleep and the least likely to be disturbed by external stimuli.

As the number of tracked nights increases, users can access valuable insight into their sleeping patterns. If you, for instance, get enough hours of sleep but are still tired in the morning, one of the many possibilities is that you're remaining in the light sleep phase. Bear in mind that sleep tracking is mainly guided by movement tracking (although some devices also take heart rate tracking into account), and various situations can lead to inaccuracy. Some examples are someone else moving a lot next to you, a case of insomnia in which you remain still while trying to sleep, or if you are asleep, but move so much that the sleep tracking feature records this motion as being awake.

Although sleep tracking is by no means a substitute for medical assistance, the feature may help you think of an action plan. This may involve cutting back on caffeine and other stimulants, adjusting your bedtime and alarm, and improving your sleeping environment conditions; is your mattress the most appropriate for you? Is your room too warm, or too cold? Perhaps, of course, there is a more severe condition (such as sleep apnea or prolonged insomnia due to stress and anxiety), for which you should seek medical aid.

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