Is Tracking Sleep Quality Leading To A Poorer Night’s Rest?
Tracking sleep quality has become popular in the last few years as a means of improving performance both in and out of the gym. However, though data can be useful to make changes in your life, obsessing over it is not.
If you become too invested in your sleeping habits you can develop orthosomina— anxiety over perfect sleep. This anxiety can actually end up leading you to have worse sleep and ultimately negatively impact your performance.
But there are a few stress-free ways you can track your sleep without developing orthosomnia. Let’s take a look at the best ways to do just that.
Keep A Sleep Diary
While sleep tracking devices can be helpful they leave out a very real part of data— the subjective nature of how the sleeper felt. So what do you do if you disagree with the data your sleep tracker is giving you? Keep a sleep diary.
Scientists have come up with a ‘consensus sleep diary’ that will work with your sleep tracker but it will be more accurate in capturing your thoughts, feelings, and physical ailments when sleeping. Apps such as SleepSpace do just this.
Not only does the app ask you when you fell asleep and when you woke up it will also ask you a series of questions about how you felt about the quality of sleep you got. Over time this will help you better conceptualize the data you get from a sleep tracker and look at it with more discernment to interpret what you need to change about your sleeping habits.
Learn To Integrate Your Sleep Data
Sleep trackers are not 100% accurate. And while technology is changing and growing and they’re certainly getting better, there can still be major lags between how you feel and what your sleep tracker is telling you. There can be days when you wake up feeling exhausted and your tracker will tell you that you got a great night’s sleep.
Along with that, different apps and trackers will use different algorithms to track, thus giving you variations in your data across different platforms. This can become frustrating and lead to an obsession with how to use the data to your advantage.
Apps like SleepSpace allow you to integrate data from different platforms and algorithms and put them in one place for you. It is compatible with different devices such as the Apple Watch and Oura Ring. By compiling the data into one place you will be able to look at it and get a more accurate picture of what is going on with your sleep and what to improve. From there you can implement these changes without the anxiety that you may be doing it wrong.
Use Sound Masking Technology
Tracking your sleep is just the tip of the iceberg in sleep technology. As it turns out, sleep technology is advancing to be able to actively enhance your sleep— not just track it.
Scientists have found that sound is a major component in sleep interruptions. Steady noises in the background are not the issue at hand. So the low hum of your fan or AC is likely not impacting your sleep. But, sudden shifts in your environment are usually the culprit of sleep disturbances.
That’s why your alarm or a loud snore from your partner can jolt you awake, leaving you feeling exhausted. SleepSpace, among other apps, has developed sound masking technology called smart sound masking. This technology subtly adjusts background noise in your environment to effectively block out noise pollution while you sleep.
This is beneficial because it actively creates a healthier sleep environment without you having to track or do anything. This can alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety surrounding your nightly routine.
Orthosomnia doesn’t have to impact your life. By making a few adjustments to how you track your sleep and how you interpret that data you can create more mental peace for yourself. This type of balance will put your mind and body at ease to get a great night’s sleep.