Fitness tracker features on smartwatches are constantly putting important information at our fingertips. You don't even need to pull your phone out anymore. This convenience makes us even more likely to take advantage of the benefits. The iFitness activity tracker helps monitor and improve several areas of health, including sleep patterns. Short sleep affects up to 40% of the adult population. Sleep tracking helps raise awareness of sleep habits and also helps identify sleep disturbances like insomnia.
Why is Sleep Important?
Most of us know that sleep is important for general health and well-being. Let's look at a few specific areas of health sleep impacts.
- healthy brain function and emotional well-being
- physical health
- cell renewal
- daytime performance and safety
When you don't get enough sleep you may experience brain fog, emotional turmoil, poor health, and even put yourself in a dangerous situation. On the other hand, when you are able to get enough sleep, there are important benefits.
Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep:
- improved immune function
- a healthy body weight
- lower risk of diabetes and heart disease
- reduced stress
- improves energy
- clear thinking
- may even help you get along better with others
Tracking any health behavior can help improve results, and sleep is no exception. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night for adults is ideal, but unless you use a tracker to track your sleep hours, you don't know how long you are sleeping. Time spent in bed and time asleep is different.
Tips for Deeper Sleep
Once you know how much sleep you are currently getting, you can start making changes to optimize sleep.
- Replace your mattress if it's been more than 8 years.
- Plan to get to bed earlier. Set a bedtime alarm.
- Drink warm tea and turn off electronics 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Make sure your room is completely dark when you are trying to sleep. No nightlights.
- Keep wearing your iFitness activity tracker when you sleep so you can see the improvements.
- Get at least 10,000 steps during the day. The harder you workout, the better you will sleep.
- Don't workout late at night.
Signs You Aren't Getting Enough Sleep
- feeling tired
- hormone issues
- emotional outbursts
- trouble concentrating
- not wanting to do workouts
- brain fog
- dozing off at work
REM Cycles and why they Matter
A REM cycle is sleep that occurs at intervals and is characterized by rapid eye movements and dreaming. This is a deeper level of sleep and is most refreshing. Non REM sleep occurs before the REM cycle and has two stages.
- Stage 1- eyes are closed but it's easy to wake up. This lasts 5-10 minutes
- Stage 2- You sleep lightly. Heart rate slows. Your temperature drops as your body prepares for deep sleep.
You have to be in a light sleep for up to 100 minutes before your first REM cycle starts. This matters because REM is the type of sleep that is most refreshing and healing. If you aren't sleeping long enough, then you may not be getting any REM sleep at all. This can cause exhaustion.
Optimizing sleep with a smartwatch tracker is essential. You need optimal sleep to have energy, feel refreshed, heal properly, and to stay well. Better sleep can improve many areas of life, including how much energy you have to go for a run or head to the gym. If you have never tracked your sleep by wearing your smartwatch at night, give it a try and see what you find out. Better sleep habits start with awareness.