As a technology driven society, we love knowledge and we want it at our fingertips. We are conditioned to simply push a button or tap a screen to get what we are looking for. Where you used to see a watch on a person’s wrist, now you are much more likely to see a fitness tracker. A little gadget that gives several nuggets of information to the user at, you guessed it, the press of a button. We want to know how many steps we take, how active we are, what time it is, our heart rate and of course, how much sleep we are getting.
While there is such a thing as information overload, this focus on fitness and health isn’t all bad. The inclusion of sleep information on most health trackers is especially beneficial. If nothing else, it indicates that the health industry recognizes the importance of sleep in ones overall wellbeing. Fortunately, there is something else. Most people know sleep is essential to survival, but too few put it high enough on the priority list.
The National Sleep Foundation provides a useful chart for determining just how much sleep you really need. Knowing what you need as an individual and having an affordable and easy-to-use tracking device allows a person to take their sleep and their health into their own hands. Here are just a few reasons why tracking your sleep can be beneficial.
- By tracking sleep, individuals are able to make connections between a good night’s rest and an overall feeling of wellness. It’s common knowledge that good sleep is good for you, but few people truly make the connection between their general health and the quality and quantity of their sleep.
- Conversely, tracking ones sleep can reveal habits that contribute to poor quality sleep. Perhaps that afternoon cup of coffee isn’t a good idea anymore. Or, maybe exercising in the morning would be better than in the evening.
- Possibly most importantly, using a sleep tracker can help identify a possible sleep related disorders. If you or someone you know suspects a sleep disorder is at work, it is important to contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Sleep trackers do not diagnose disorders. They simply reveal patterns that could indicate something more serious. Sleep disorders can be quite serious, requiring medical treatment.
Each individual is different and therefore has varying sleep needs. A sleep tracker could be an affordable and accessible tool to help determine what your sleep needs and how to best meet them.