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3 Ways Tracking Your Sleep Can Help

SLEEP TRACKING: YOUR NEW FAVORITE WELLNESS HABIT

Whether you’re someone that springs out of bed each morning ready to take on the day or you’re more of a hit-snooze-and-pray-for-a-few-more-minutes type of person, there’s no denying that sleep is an important part of your life. We spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping, which explains why sleep tracking has been growing in popularity over the last few years as a way for people to optimize sleep and improve their quality of life. Here, we’ll dig into the importance of sleep and why this is one habit you’ll want to pick up this year.

WHY SLEEP IS REALLY IMPORTANT

Sleep does more than just provide us with enough energy to take on our day–many vital bodily functions are carried out while we sleep and can be impacted by the amount and quality of sleep we get.

Hormone regulation, memory processing, and tissue recovery and repair are three of the most important processes that happen while we’re snoozing. Each of these processes can be affected by our sleep habits and contribute to our overall health, which means dysfunction in our sleep can lead to dysfunction in our bodies and cause issues if we’re not diligent about counting sheep.

HOW MUCH SLEEP IS ENOUGH?

This is the first question many people ask when it comes to sleep, and the answer is a little more complicated than a single number. There are many biometric and environmental factors that affect the amount of sleep an individual might need, like age, sex, occupation, exercise level, and medical history, so your magic number may be different from your neighbor’s.

 

The sweet spot may vary from person to person, but experts say that adults should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimum health. The younger you are, the more sleep you need, and women tend to need more sleep than men.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T SLEEP ENOUGH?

Not getting enough shuteye can affect your quality of life and health. It’s about more than just feeling sleepy during your waking hours–according to a report by the National Sleep Foundation, a consistent lack of sleep is shown to have the potential for both short- and long-term negative impacts on your overall health.

 

Impaired memory, increased risk of accidents, decreased alertness, depression, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke are just some of the issues you may face when you’re not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH SLEEP?

As we all know by now, you can have too much of a good thing. If you routinely sleep in or frequently sleep for longer than 9 or 10 hours of sleep, it can be just as concerning as a lack of sleep. Chronic oversleeping is associated with health conditions like depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and increased risk of premature death. You may also experience symptoms like heightened anxiety and chronic fatigue during the day.

 

A frequent need to oversleep can be attributed to something as simple as interrupted sleep or an irregular sleep schedule. But, it may also point to something more serious like an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

3 WAYS SLEEP TRACKING CAN HELP

The first step to improving your sleep is figuring out what’s currently going on–which is where sleep tracking comes in.

#1 FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOU’RE ACTUALLY SLEEPING

You may think you have a general idea of how long you’re sleeping based on what time you’re in bed and what time you’re out of it. But the actual number may surprise you. It may take you longer than estimated to fall asleep, you may be waking up several times throughout the night, or you might be hitting snooze more often than you think.

 

These few examples (and more) can shorten the amount of quality shuteye you get, which in turn can affect your overall well-being. Tracking your sleep gives you a more accurate estimate of how much sleep you get on a regular basis and how the way you feel throughout the day is affected.

#2 SEE HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND IN DIFFERENT STAGES OF SLEEP

Quantity isn’t the only factor to consider when examining your sleep health–quality is just as important! Just like revealing the overall amount of sleep you get, tracking your sleep can also clue you into the quality of your sleep. Determining how much REM versus non-REM sleep you’re getting, plays a vital role in your brain and body health. Tracking may reveal that you’re a lighter (or heavier) sleeper than previously thought, which is a valuable insight to have when you’re trying to dial in conditions for optimal sleep.

#3 DETECT PATTERNS OF SLEEP DISRUPTION

Finally, sleep tracking may help you discover frequent interruptions in your sleep schedule, like waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, tossing and turning, or other disturbances that prevent you from getting an adequate amount of sleep.

 

These patterns may clue you into habits that need to be changed in order to sleep better:

  • Reducing your liquid intake before bed,
  • Adjusting the temperature,
  • Changing meal times or snacking habits,
  • Turning off or silencing electronic devices like phones and TVs at night,
  • Changing pillows and bedding for better support,
  • Wearing a retainer or bite guard to prevent teeth grinding,
  • Adjusting the timing or frequency of your alarms,
  • And more!

HOW TO START SLEEP TRACKING

There are several ways to track your sleep, and most of them involve using technology either on your person or in your bedroom while you sleep.

 

Wearable tech, like rings and watches (psst–we love the Fitbit Versa!) are growing in popularity for their depth of insight and accuracy, though some people don’t love the idea of wearing accessories to bed (which is totally valid). These devices can often use heart rate, motion detection, and other biometrics to measure the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting.

 

There are also special sensors for your mattress.  And, bedside devices that use motion sensors and thermal readings to determine how you’re sleeping. These may not be as accurate as wearables.

 

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to tracking sleep is that the information alone won’t impact your sleep. It’s what you do with the information that counts! Tracking sleep can offer clues to help you change your routine. Which, in turn, can improve your odds of getting a good night’s rest. The key is to use sleep tracking as part of a comprehensive sleep routine. Like stretching, self-care, and supplement with CBD.

Speaking of CBD–browse our selection of full-spectrum CBD products from tinctures and balms to roll-ons and massage oils to help you fall and stay asleep! You can use sleep tracking to see the difference a few milligrams can make. Get 20% off your first order when you join our email list!

Aria Hastings

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