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How To Track Quality Of Sleep

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Digging Into Your Data: What Garmin Sleep Reveals

Each morning you get a full, nightly readout that reveals how much sleep you got in total, along with a breakdown of the time spent in different sleep stages: Deep, Light and REM and also the duration of any periods where youre awake.

The sleep stages

Light Sleep: Eye movements and muscle activity start to slow down as the body prepares for deep sleep.

Deep Sleep: Restoration mode where eye and muscle movements stop completely, heart rate and breathing slow, and the body goes into recovery, building bone and muscle, and boosting your immune system.

REM Sleep: The dream stage where the brain is almost as active as when youre awake. REM sleep is important for forming memories, processing information and resetting.

In the app, you can add a widget to get your most recent sleep time displayed on your My Day screen. You can get the full sleep breakdown by hitting More and then tapping into your Health Stats. This is also the best place to review your sleep data in the web tools.

Your data is presented in a timeline that shows you when you fall asleep and when you wake up rather than when you get into and out of bed. If you know theres an error here, you can manually edit these times in the Garmin Connect app and on the Garmin Connect web tools.

Garmin uses sleep data for its new Body Battery feature

Get your next Garmin fix

Keeping A Sleep Diary Can Help You Pinpoint Changes That Can Improve Your Sleep

Posted October 8, 2013

    Properly tracking your sleep can yield lots of information for both you and your treatment provider. Whenever I see a patient in my practice, I always ask that the patient fills out a sleep diary for the two weeks before we meet . I also have my patients continue using the sleep diary throughout treatment to see how simple changes can result in drastic improvement in the quantity and quality of their sleep, as well as increasing daytime energy.

    There are many types of sleep diaries and a simple Internet search can even be confusing. There are even smartphone apps that have sleep diaries. However, it is extremely easy to keep a log yourself, and I have many patients who track their sleep in a journal or even on their phone. Figure out the best method of data collection for you and stick with it.

    The best sleep diaries contain basic information about both the day and the night. They should take 1-2 minutes to fill out and in no way should increase stress levels and frustration about bed. They should be brief so you can see the data and make any associations possible without sifting through paragraphs.

    The most important tip that I stress to everyone is to NOT fill out the diary in the middle of the night. Looking at the clock at night since it only serves to worsen sleep. Let go of the pressure to be exactsimply estimate the times you might be awake at night. You can usually tell the difference between being up for 20 minutes versus two hours.

    Monitor How Much Sleep You Need

    You dont just need 8 hours of sleep. How much sleep your body needs is unique to you based on how youve been sleeping and how strenuous your day is. Get insight into how much sleep your body really needs with WHOOP.


    We all need different amounts of sleep based on our physiology. Based on your profile and trends WHOOP will determine your baseline sleep need.

    Recent Strain

    When we have strenuous days our body requires more sleep to recover. See how much additional sleep you need based on your WHOOP Strain.

    Sleep Debt

    When we dont sleep well the side effects can stay with us until we can make up for lost sleep. WHOOP monitors your sleep trends and will let you know how much sleep youve missed so you can aim to course correct.

    Recent Naps

    Taking naps can help reduce how much sleep we need at night and allow for short bursts of needed recovery. WHOOP automatically tracks naps which will subtract from your total sleep need for the night.

    Sleep Tracking: Terminology Explained

    Before you can pick the right sleep monitor to watch over your night, you need to know exactly what you want from one. The tech involved here is much more advanced than the smartphone apps that use the accelerometer to track movement under your pillow and, as a result, things are much more accurate.

    HR vs. movement sensors

    Older fitness trackers used wrist movement to track sleep, but now it’s all about heart rate monitoring and companies like Fitbit and Withings are looking at your beats per minute during sleep to make assumptions not only about duration, but which sleep stage you’re in. Pretty much every sleep tracker now incorporates heart rate in their sleep data.

    Sleep stages

    Sleep Stage are tracked by most top sleep monitors, and this means logging the amounts of light, deep and REM sleep plus any awake time including tossing and turning.

    You should cycle through these sleep stages a few times per night to feel rested and the trackers below will show this in their analysis. If you’re not cycling between them or you’re missing out on some of these stages altogether it’s a smoking gun for bad sleep, and a great place to start improving.

    Sleep scores

    Looking at all this data can feel overwhelming and when you’ve looked at the data for a few weeks you’d be forgiven for wondering what it all means.

    Blood oxygen and sleep apnea

    Choosing a sleep tracking wearable with an SpO2 sensor will offer up this data, so you can ensure you’re not an unwitting statistic.

    Philips Smartsleep Deep Sleep Headband

    Sleep Trackers might Steal Away all of your Sleep, so ...

    The best sleep tracker for deeper sleep

    Reasons to avoid

    Another forehead-mounted sleep tracker, the Philips SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband is designed specifically for people who typically find themselves sleeping for less than six hours, and get poor quality sleep.

    It’s larger than the Muse S, but is entirely self-contained, with no detachable control unit. Attach the two self-adhesive sensors before settling down, and the band will monitor your sleep stages and movement. It’s specifically intended to extend REM sleep, and uses quiet audio tones when it detects that you’ve entered this stage to prolong it.

    It’s not a medical device, and isn’t intended to treat medically diagnosed insomnia, but the Deep Sleep Headband is certainly worth a shot if you’ve been struggling to get enough good quality rest lately.

    Monitor Your Sleep With Your Apple Watch And Iphone

    Sleep tracking arrived on the Apple Watch last year with the release of watchOS 7, bringing it into line with devices from the likes of Samsung and Fitbit when it comes to monitoring your wellbeing overnight,

    The Sleep app was first unveiled at WWDC 2020, and has since been rolled out on wrists around the world, but if you don’t usually wear your watch at night you’ll be missing out 

    Here, we answer the big questions about how it works and nudges you to change your overnight Apple smartwatch habits.

    How Does The Apple Watch Track Sleep

    The Apple Watch tracks sleep in the way that most smartwatches, fitness trackers and other wrist-worn wearables do. It makes use of the built-in accelerometer motion sensor, which has been present inside of the Apple Watch since the original.

    It uses that accelerometer motion sensor to identify the difference between when youre active and when youve eased down to sleep. Apple will then use its own algorithms to identify when you’re unconscious and when you wake. 

    Youll also be asked to create an ideal sleep schedule that incorporates reminders when its time to start thinking about getting into bed and even includes a wind down mode that will let you launch soothing music, dimming lights or opening a meditation app to help you sleep. When its time to drift off, it will also turn on Do Not Disturb mode to prevent your screen from waking up.

    In the morning, therell be wake up sounds to rouse you from your slumber. A glance at your wrist will give you a summary of your sleep time, the weather and your battery status, which is a subject we will get onto next.

    How The Professionals Track Sleep

    The tracking devices designed for the masses are compact and streamlined in an artful combination of form and function. That is a big contrast to how the professionals track sleep.

    In a lab setting, the experts hook the subject up to an array of wires, tubes, and electrodes all over the body. The equipment tracks dozens of signals to get the most accurate report of the subjects activity. This process is called polysomnography, or PSG. In case youre wondering, its a Latin-derived word.

    Poly means many and refers to the multitude of tests the technicians perform during the process. Somn is a Latin root of the word sleep.

    While mass-market trackers tend to be limited to only body movement, heart rate, and some other superficial measurements, the professional studies also measure brain waves, eye movement, muscle tension, oxygen levels, airflow and the volume and frequency of snoring activity.

    If youve pondered whether all those wires hooked up to someones body in a clinical type of setting would interfere with their natural patterns, youve identified the number one criticism of professional sleep monitors. Still, its considered the most accurate and thorough way to be able to track your bedtime.

    Sleep Is Automatically Detected By Fitbit

    How does sleep monitoring watch detect deep sleep? Well, the Fitbit device, as it is simply worn on the wrist, it will automatically detect sleep. You just have to wear it in bed and it will identify each sleep phase, in accordance with your movements.

    If you were still for approximately one hour, the device automatically considers that you have fallen asleep. Depending on each Fitbit, it might also track movements that are suggestive of sleep, such as turning on the other side. In the morning, when you will resume normal activities, it will track the awake state.

    It is possible that sleep is recorded by the Fitbit device, even when this is not actually happening. This is valid for the cases in which you lie down without falling asleep but you are not moving, making the device think that you are sleeping. In this situation, you can go to the history and delete the recording in question.

    Use Fitbit to set sleep goals and improve your sleep schedule

    You can trust apps such as the one that comes with Fitbit to set sleep goals and improve your sleep schedule. The app is available on both iOS and Android, and it can make a genuine difference whereas sleep hygiene is concerned. Thanks to modern technology, you can now set and follow a regular sleep schedule, so that you feel better overall.

    Sleep insights for Fitbit users

    Using Fitbit to go to bed at the right time

    Best Sleep Trackers: Fitbit Withings And Top Sleep Monitors Compared

    Good quality sleep is linked to general health, mental wellbeing and even avoiding serious long-term illnesses, so using a sleep tracker to check you’re getting enough rest can be a genuine help.

    Wellness isn’t just about doing cat yoga and drinking alt-milks, sometimes you just need a refreshing sleep.

    There are now plenty of different ways to track sleep, whether that’s through a bedside monitor, a wrist-worn wearable like a smartwatch or a device that fits under your mattress.

    All will give slightly different insights and personalized tips on how to improve your rest time, but the options from our picks below are worth exploring if you want to know exactly how you’re sleeping and make positive steps to improve it.

    We’ll be breaking down what to look for in a sleep tracker, how it manages to track your sleep accurately and the best sleep gadgets to buy we’ve tested them all so you don’t have to.

    Update: This article was updated in August 2021 to reflect the addition of the Fitbit Luxe.

    How The Apple Watch Tracks Sleep

    It’s rare that Apple lags far behind other brands, but Apple didn’t have its own sleep app until recently: you had to use a third-party app, such as Pillow. 

    As of watchOS 7, however, you can track your sleep through Apple’s built-in Sleep app. Watch OS 7 works with the Apple Watch Series 3, 4 and 5, as well as the new Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE. If you own one of the earlier versions, make sure your OS is updated. WatchOS 7 isn’t compatible with the Series 1 or 2, though. 

    Once you’ve set up sleep-tracking on your Apple Watch, the Sleep app can detect when and how you’re sleeping, based on your movement and your heart rate. You can use it to set sleep schedules and goals and request a wakeup alarm. You can also set a wind-down time, meaning the watch will go into Sleep Mode for a period in advance of you going to sleep. 

    To our own surprise, we weren’t hugely impressed by the Apple Sleep app. It’s crammed with information, but, aside from the heart rate information, not much of it is all that useful. We’ve tried many other watches that are easier to use for sleep-tracking while also providing for information. You won’t get information on sleep phases either although, as we explained, such data shouldn’t be taken too literally anyway.

    If you were using Pillow before, you can continue to do so, if you prefer. 

    Check out our Apple Watch reviews, or head to our guide on choosing the best Apple Watch, to see how Apple fares in other respects. 

    Which Tests Of Sleep

    We don’t test how accurately a wearable can track sleep stages. However, for those that do offer sleep tracking, we look at how detailed and easy to understand the sleep data is and how plausible the sleep durations seem. 

    If you do buy a wearable for sleep-tracking, make sure you pick one that’s light and comfortable enough to keep on your wrist all night. There’s no point buying one that’s big and bulky, as you’re simply not going to want to wear it. Bear in mind that fitness trackers are smaller and often more conformable to wear than smartwatches, so this might be a better bet, and use our fitness tracker reviews and smartwatch reviews to find a model that ticks the boxes.

    Wild Salmon Is Wonderful

    Sleep Tracking: How To Quantify Your Sleep Quality

    A personal favorite of mine, wild Alaskan salmon is one of those super foods that covers all your nutrient bases!

    Salmon can be cooked a variety of delicious ways, and yields some of the highest immune system boosting benefits.

    Salmon contains fish oil Omega-3s, which protect against developing heart disease and heart attack. Oils contained within such fish are quite unique in that they have Omega-3 fatty acids that are not present in any other food.

    Also consider that wild salmon contains 128% Vitamin D, 95% Vitamin B12, 94% tryptophan, 62% selenium, 53% protein, 53% omega 3s, 45% Vitamin B3, 37% phosphorus, 32% Vitamin B6, 19% choline, 14% potassium, and 8% calories.

    This is one of those super foods that you could stand to have in your diet several times per week. Beyond the incredible taste, its nutritional benefits make it well worth seeking out.

    How Do Fitness Trackers Track Your Sleep

    If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Details

    Obviously, technology is pretty cool. We can talk face-to-face with someone 2,000 miles away, read an entire book, and see satellite images of the whole planet, all via our phones. Admittedly, though, some technology is a little weird. Those same phones broadcast our location 24/7 and provide us a never-ending stream of news and political commentary.

    Now, your wristwatch can have all the functionality of your mobile phone, which, again, is cool, but can also be weird. One of the most common tools of Smartwatches is health tracking apps that provide you with insights about how far youve walked, your heart rate, and your sleep patterns. That last function is where the cool/weird dichotomy really comes into play.

    Tracking your sleep patterns can provide you a lot of useful information for your health needs, but its still a little strange to think your watch is collecting information on you while youre unconscious. How exactly does it even do that? Well, thats what were going to investigate today as we examine how sleep trackers work and which ones are worth your time.


    Pay Attention To Your Lights

    Artificial lights can interfere with your sleep pattern.

    In our most primitive form, our body responds and adjusts to the amount of light and darkness we are exposed to. This is called the circadian rhythm and makes up our bodys internal clock.

    Blue light is especially harmful in the sense that it suppresses melatonin a hormone that prepares your body for sleep.

    This means that you have to be mindful of the lights in your room. A circadian LED bulb can imitate the seasonal day/night changes in our rooms and prep our body to how its supposed to naturally function.

    Since most of our digital devices such as smartphones and laptops emit blue light, you should have a blue light filter or night mode on.

    Raw Spinach Supports Immunity

    This leafy green is a personal favorite of mine due to its versatility and great taste!

    Spinach is loaded with vitamin C which helps fight cold, flu, and reinforce the immune system.

    Its also quite high in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which supports our immune system in fighting infection and viruses.

    When enjoying this plentiful plant, do so raw. Its nutrients are best absorbed when the vegetable is raw; consider adding spinach as a fresh salad, rather than to a cooked dish, to reap the most immune system rewards.

    How Fitbit Tracks Sleep

    All Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches will track your sleep when you wear them to bed. After an hour of your body being immobile, your Fitbit will detect that you’re asleep. 

    Fitbits with heart-rate monitors, other than the Fitbit Surge and Fitbit Charge HR, are designed to track sleep stages. The Fitbit Charge 4 , Fitbit Inspire HR Fitbit Charge 3 , Fitbit Versa 2 and Fitbit Versa are amongst the Fitbits which do this. They’ll give you graphs and charts showing daily, weekly and monthly stats. Usefully, you can edit the times that have been recorded if you don’t think they’re correct. 

    Some Fitbits, such as those in the Versa range, also have a sleep-cycle alarm, which Fitbit calls Smart Wake. 

    Fitbits which don’t track heart rate still show sleep patterns in the Fitbit app.

    At time of writing, Fitbit is working on getting clearance for a tool to detect sleep apnoea . In the meantime, you can use the SpO2 feature on Fitbits which have this to check your blood oxygen levels across the night. Big fluctuations could indicate breathing disturbances such as sleep apnoea, but you should of course check with your GP if concerned. 

    See all our reviews of Fitbit smartwatches and Fitbit trackers

    How Do Galaxy Smartwatches Track Sleep

    Galaxy Watch Active2 and Watch3 both have the ability to track your sleep when you wear your watch to bed. It can track the different sleep stages, including REM sleep, and provide insight in your sleep quality on a nightly basis.

    It gives you a sleep score, based on the duration of your sleep, in addition to motion and heart rate data it measures while you’re in bed. To get started tracking your sleeping patterns, go to your apps tray and open Samsung Health. Tap on Sleep and there you can see all your sleep tracking information. When you’re ready for bed, tap Start to begin the tracking to see if you’re getting a restful night’s sleep.

    Discover more about Galaxy.

    What About The Oura Ring

    The Oura Ring is a Bluetooth-enabled, rechargeable sleep tracker made of lightweight titanium that you wear on your index, middle, or ring finger. We tested the Oura Ring over several months, including comparing it against SleepScore, Sleep Cycle, Pillow, and Sleep as Android, and have a full review of the device. While we think the SleepScore and Sleep Cycle provide sufficient sleep tracking for most people, the Oura Ring does offer additional, interesting insights, including heart rate and heart rate variability readings. However, the Oura Ring is more expensive than our app picks and isnt a very good fitness tracker, so it isnt as versatile as other wearables.

    The Oura Rings sleep tracking wasnt significantly more or less accurate compared with our top app picks . But the heart rate and HRV readings are very accurate. There has even been research showing that these data points, along with the rings oxygen-rate and skin-temperature readings, could help detect some illnesses, such as COVID-19, before symptoms begin.

    #7 Keep Your Internal Clock Set With A Consistent Sleep Schedule

    Having a regular sleep schedule helps to ensure better quality and consistent sleep.

    Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the bodys “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on weekends to avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover. Waking up at the same time each day is the very best way to set your clock, and even if you did not sleep well the night before, the extra sleep drive will help you consolidate sleep the following night. Learn more about the importance of synchronizing the clock in The Drive to Sleep and Our Internal Clock.

    What Is A Sleep Tracker

    How to Track Your Sleep Quality

    A sleep tracker is a device that monitors one or more aspects that reflect your sleep patterns, habits, stages, quality, and/or duration. This measurement is indirect, relying on more easily detectable physical signals of sleep, rather than basing it on brain activity and eye movement as they do in some formal medical tests.

    Most sleep trackers look at heart rate and respiration rate, which are closely linked to sleep stages. Additionally, tracking respiration can help show potential breathing issues, like snoring and sleep apnea. Many trackers also use a small built-in movement-detecting device called an accelerometer to assess how much you move while sleeping, thereby analyzing sleep time and quality.

    Some sleep trackers may use a microphone to pick up snoring, movement noise, and ambient noise to judge how well youre sleeping. Others contain a thermometer to provide data on how room temperature may affect your sleep.

    Wearable and non-wearable sleep trackers are available. While theyre usually similar in what sort of data they collect, they may use different methods to do so. Since a wearable device touches the body, it can monitor heart rate, respiration, and movement more directly. Many non-wearable devices rest on or under the mattress and monitor vibrations to gather data. As long as theyre well-calibrated, either device should capture valuable information.

    View Your Sleep History

    In the morning, wake up to an informative greeting, then review your nights rest and compare it to the rest of the week. To view your sleep history, open the Sleep app on your Apple Watch and scroll down to review your data. For more stats, like weekly and monthly averages, or to find out how your heart rate fluctuated throughout the night, access the app on your paired . 

    Why Trust Verywell Mind

    As a seasoned health writer and editor with a special focus on mental health and well-being, Elizabeth Yuko understands how powerful stress-relieving activities can be for many peopleas well as the fact that theyre not one-size-fits-all. With decades of first-hand experience dealing with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, shes always on the lookout for new products, techniques, and services that can help people cope with stress and other mental health challenges.

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