Note: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this site. Our sponsors, however, do not influence our editorial content in any way.
Today’s fitness trackers can do much more than count the number of steps that you take or how many calories you burn. Some devices, including the Fitbit Forge and Jawbone UP, have sleep modes that can measure the length and quality of your sleep. If you’re interested in tracking your sleep, then you might want to learn more about how these devices can help.
Fitness Trackers Use Accelerometers to Track Movement
Most fitness trackers contain small devices called accelerometers. Accelerometers measure how much you move, so they can track your performance while running. More recently, developers realized that they could use accelerometers to measure sleep.
If the accelerometer in your fitness tracker doesn’t detect much movement, then it will assume that you are in a deep sleep. If it detects a lot of movement, then it will determine that you’re either awake or sleeping fitfully.
Tracking Your Sleep Can Lead to Meaningful Insights
Getting the right amount of sleep can work wonders for your body. People who get seven to nine hours of sleep per night are less likely to suffer from:
- Heart disease
Getting enough sleep can also improve your mood, creativity and memory.
Of course, not everyone needs eight hours of sleep per night. Some people thrive on less rest. Others need an extra hour or two. Using a fitness device to track your sleep can lead to meaningful insights that help you determine exactly how much rest your body and brain need.
After a couple of weeks tracking your sleep, you may discover that you feel best when you get a certain amount of rest. Over time, you can learn precisely how much sleep you need. That way, you don’t get too little or too much rest. You’ll wake up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.
Some sleep experts warn that fitness trackers don’t measure sleep perfectly. For most people, though, the wearables offer enough information to optimize their sleeping patterns.
If you have a sleep disorder, then you may need the precision of laboratory equipment. In most cases, though, fitness trackers work well enough to help people get the right amount of sleep.