Sleep Analyzer Basics - What Are They? Do They Work? Sleep Scores.


What Sleep Analyzers Do

It's often one of the last statistics noticed by people working on their wellness-- taking a backseat to heart rate, weight, activity levels, and diet -- but sleep quality is an incredibly important factor in our everyday health. 

Maybe you have already worked on the rest of these health factors, or maybe you want to skip straight to better sleep, either way, a sleep analyzer is just what you need to compile your sleep data.

See Related: Atria 2.0 Sleep Tracking Watch

couple sleeping

Identifying Your Sleep needs

Here's the thing: Everyone sleeps differently. Some people need eight hours per night, others nine or ten, others seven or so. Some sleep hot, some sleep cold. Some people swear by a different sleeping position or mattress firmness level. 

By using a sleep monitor, you can better determine under what circumstances your sleep improves. If changing up the temperature, position, or comfort level of your sleep improves the quality, your sleep tracker should be able to show you that, helping you create a better night's sleep.

How Much Deep Sleep Is Needed

There are no recommended amounts for deep sleep, however, there is an estimation of how much of your night's sleep should be made up of deep sleep. Most people should be spending the majority of their night (75 percent) in non-REM sleep, with only 25 percent of their time spent sleeping in REM. Of that 25 percent, 13-23 percent of your time should be spent in deep sleep.

The amount of deep sleep you actually enjoy will vary based on age, but the average is roughly two hours per night for most people, while those 65 years old and over may only receive half an hour of deep sleep.

How Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss?

man sleeping on back arms crossed

There are many different ways a person's weight could be affected by their sleep quality. If a person is overly tired, they are more likely to eat unhealthy, high sugar foods in an attempt to boost their energy.

Not to mention, food cravings, in general, are more difficult to ignore when you are sleepy. To make things worse, not only are you more likely to eat and crave unhealthy foods when you are tired, but late-night snacking is likely to increase, as well.

Along with unhealthy food cravings, poor sleep quality can cause the body's metabolism to slow down, making it more difficult to lose weight or maintain a healthy level. 

As you begin to see better sleep each night, you may notice yourself reaching for healthier foods and find your metabolism improving, helping to aid in weight loss and overall wellness.

How Does Sleep Affect ADHD?

sleep tracking smartwatch next to computer

The relationship between ADHD and sleep goes back a long way. In fact, people who report sleep issues early in life are at an increased risk of ADHD symptoms.

ADHD can have a major effect on sleep, as well. Racing thoughts, random bursts of energy, and late sleep times could be the result of ADHD symptoms.

Unfortunately, this leads to a vicious cycle. Not getting a good night's sleep can worsen the symptoms of ADHD, causing more forgetfulness, lack of focus, and delayed reaction time. So the circle continues, lack of sleep may cause ADHD, which may affect sleep quality, which may worsen ADHD symptoms.

How Does Sleep Affect Productivity?

Just like with ADHD, when you lose sleep each night, you are more likely to struggle to focus on the tasks at hand. Your thinking, decision-making, and reaction times may be delayed. And you may find yourself making more mistakes as you work. Because of this, productivity can be greatly slowed due to poor sleep quality or low sleep duration.

One Harvard study concluded that the average tired employee may lose around 11 working days' worth of productivity each year, that's an estimated $2,280.

Types of Sleep Analyzer

Perhaps the most popular type of sleep tracker is the smartwatch or wearable fitness tracker, such as the Atria FitTrack 2.0 fitness tracker. Another variable of this is the smart ring. Both are wearable tracking devices that use biometric feedback from the body to analyze sleep data.

If you would rather not wear something to bed, you could opt for a smart mattress that analyzes your sleep for you. Or, if you would like to keep the mattress you already have, an under-the-mattress option could be the best sleep tracker for you.

Most sleep trackers will connect to a sleep tracking app or to your smartphone via wi-fi or Bluetooth. The Atria 2.0 FitTrack sleep tracker is compatible with both android and ios devices.

Detecting sleep anomalies

sleep tracker data

The main reason a person would want to track their sleep data would be the detection of sleep anomalies. If you suffer from sleep apnea or your heart rate is unusual during sleep, you should get a clue to these issues through your sleep data.

Going further, if you end up with irregular sleep patterns, a sleep tracker could alert you to these issues so you can adjust your sleep conditions or consult a doctor.

If your sleep tracking device is fitted with a pneumatic sensor you may get feedback into metrics such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and even body movements so you get an idea of how often you toss and turn throughout the night. While trackers with a sound sensor could even tip you off to whether or not you snore!

Wearable Sleep Trackers vs non-wearables

Both wearable sleep trackers and non-wearable options should provide similar metrics: sleep times, sleep duration, heart rate, respiratory rate, movement, etc. However, the way they provide this sleep data will vary.

Wearable sleep trackers pick up movement and respiratory rate through an accelerometer, while non-wearable trackers pick up these metrics through movement sensors. Non-wearable monitors may read your heart rate using ballistocardiography. Wearable fitness trackers typically use an actual heart rate monitor for this purpose.

FAQs

How Accurate Are Sleep Analyzers?

Sleep analyzers are estimated to work with an accuracy of 78 percent. The biggest inaccuracy often reported is in determining how long it takes for a person to fall asleep. This could be due to reading the lack of movement when a person is lying in bed waiting to fall asleep or watching TV. Some sleep trackers have been known to falsely read this inactivity as sleep time.

Still, with an accuracy of nearly 80 percent, you could at least get a good idea of your sleep patterns even if the device makes the occasional mistake.

How Do Sleep Sensors Work?

Most will detect a combination of movement and heart rate to detect phases of sleep like deep sleep and light sleep, as well sleep times and sleep duration.

How Many Minutes Of Deep Sleep Is Normal?

Most people should expect around 120 minutes of deep sleep, or two total hours of deep sleep. Older individuals may only receive around 30 minutes of deep sleep each night.

Should You Track Your Sleep?

Yes! Tracking your sleep data could give you insight into health issues, sleep patterns and preferences, and can give you an overview of your wellness metrics such as heart rate, blood pressure, or respiratory rate.

Does Sleep Cycle Work If You Share A Bed?

It can, but your sleep cycle can most definitely be affected by your sleep partner. Movement, a partner who snores, or changes in temperature due to your partner's body temperature could all affect your sleep quality. Sleeping separately or investing in a mattress that caters to bed-sharing could reduce these issues.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/health/deep-sleep#benefits

https://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss#2

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mental-health/adhd-and-sleep

https://www.additudemag.com/sleep-deprivation-and-adhd/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryalton/2016/09/07/heres-how-sleep-affects-your-day-at-the-office/?sh=532bf197820b