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Take off your wearable if you want to sleep better

Smart watch showing sleep information

Take off your wearable if you want to sleep better

Dr. Anthony Warren
| 2017-03-24 | 2 min read

March 17th was world sleep day emphasizing a growing recognition that sufficient quality sleep is an important factor in maintaining a healthy life. This has spawned tremendous growth in sleep tracking, using wearables or other bedroom sensing systems.

However, there is growing concern that these trackers may actually be damaging sleep patterns rather than helping. Research at the Rush Medical Center in Chicago, reported in the Journal of Sleep Medicine, cautioned the use of sleep monitoring wearables for two reasons.  First, despite their inherent inaccuracy, users believed their data above that of professional sleep monitors; even when they were experiencing good sleep, they would believe that they were not, if the wearable said so. Second, the suspect data actually caused anxiety which can make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep rather than less.

Furthermore, the suspect data are used to make recommendations to improve sleep behavior such as don’t drink alcohol or coffee in the evening, keep the bedroom free of computers and smartphones, reduce the room temperature and wear ear-plugs – hardly earth-shattering insights.

No mention however, that breathing exercises have been shown in several clinical trials to help improve sleep. They can help relaxation before going to sleep or when you wake up in the night thinking of some worrying issues. They can also alleviate sleep disturbances from breathing disorders like snoring and apnea events. These exercises are carried out in the evening before going to bed and improvements can be tracked without the need for a wearable. So try our app for a better night’s shut-eye...and take off your wearable.

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