How a fitness tracker can help you get a better night’s sleep
Good quality rest is as important as good quality exercise, and a great fitness tracker will help you get both. Find out how…
27 Mar 2020
Do you find that once you’re in bed, it takes a while to drift off to sleep? Or, once you’re asleep, do you frequently toss and turn?
If you’re not sure, but you’re still tired when you wake up, some fitness trackers and smartwatches can give you useful insights into your sleep quality. With this data, you can make little adjustments to your sleep routine so that you wake up refreshed, and ready for what the day throws at you.
How do fitness trackers monitor sleep?
Many fitness trackers require you to switch to a sleep mode function to properly monitor your rest. Otherwise, it’ll continue to track movement as if you’re awake. Once you’ve activated sleep mode, you’re ready to go. Just make sure to switch off sleep mode once you’re awake to get accurate info.
Fitness trackers record sleep data with the combination of an accelerometer and heart rate monitor. The accelerometer records your movements as you sleep, like waking up in the middle of the night or rolling over. When you’re in a deep sleep, your heart rate should be at its resting BPM. This is how your fitness tracker works out what stage of sleep you’re in.
What can a fitness tracker tell me about my sleep pattern?
If you have trouble with insomnia, it’s still worth seeking medical advice as well as owning a fitness tracker. However, the data that fitness trackers collect can help you pick up healthier sleeping habits so that you’re more energised the following day.
A good sleep chart should show peaks and troughs to illustrate multiple sleep cycles from beginning to end. It’s hardest to wake up when we’re in the deepest stage of the sleep cycle, as this is when the body restores energy.
Some fitness trackers can tell you what stage of sleep you’re in when you wake up. This information is crucial in understanding why you wake up feeling tired or energised. Plus, they can also give you an idea of how long it takes to drift into sleep.
With this data available on your wrist, you can change your bed time and wake up time for a better-quality rest. You could even wake up earlier and feel more energetic if you’re in a lighter stage of sleep.
What are the best fitness trackers for monitoring sleep?
Garmin Vivoactive 4
Try the Garmin Vivoactive 4 if you’re on a mission to feel well-rested and refreshed each morning. It’ll give you a full breakdown of your sleep, including your sleep stages, to give you a better picture of how refreshed you are. It also features a Pulse Ox sensor to measure oxygen saturation in your blood. And with respiration tracking, your Vivoactive 4 can even detect a key symptom of sleep apnea.
Fitbit Versa 2
If you’re partial to the classic rounded square watch-face design, check out the Fitbit Versa 2. It looks super stylish, and has great features to help you recharge your batteries. Just like the Garmin Vivoactive 4, you’ll get a breakdown of your sleep stats, including your heart rate and time spent asleep. All that data can be exhausting to wade through. That’s why the Versa 2 analyses your data and gives you a sleep score. So, you’ll know exactly how good your night’s sleep was.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 not only records your sleep data, it can actually advise you on how to sleep better. With the Samsung Health app, you can see your total time asleep, as well as sleep stages, trends and more. You’ll also get a sleep efficiency percentage based on the time you spend in each stage of the sleep cycle. And if it still takes you a while to nod off after you’ve gone to bed, it’ll even recommend guided meditations. So, you can clear stress from your mind, feel more relaxed and catch up on those Zs.