​Study: Your Sleep Tracker May Harm Your Sleep

Bad news for those of you out there who swear by sleep trackers to get some shut-eye: A new study shows you might not be sleeping as well as you think. In fact, it’s possible your trusty sleep tracker is actually bad for your health.

Researchers at Rush University in Chicago have found that people get so anxious and worked up about following their sleep tracker’s instructions perfectly that they end up unable to sleep all night. Case in point: One 39-year-old man who participated in the study found after he started tracking his sleep patterns that he had fewer fights with his girlfriend when he got eight hours of sleep per night. However, he soon found himself so fixated on the data from the tracker that he would lie in bed for hours worrying about whether he was getting enough sleep.Lead study author Kelly Glazer Baron, a psychologist at Rush University Medical School, told NBC that, “too many people become fixated on the hours of good sleep they get according to the tracker, which causes a lot of stress and, in some cases, leads to insomnia.”

She and her colleagues call this obsession orthosomnia or “correct sleep,” as it’s similar to orthorexia (an extreme obsession with wellness). Glazer Baron also pointed out that while the trackers can provide some helpful information, most aren’t medical-grade, so accuracy varies from brand to brand.One thing’s certain though: Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 50 to 70 million American adults have some kind of sleep disorder. If you’re one of them, there are a few simple lifestyle adjustments you can make that will have you drifting off to dreamland in no time. First, check the thermostat — studies show that keeping your bedroom cool at night promotes more restful sleep. Try setting yours between 60 to 67 degrees for optimal sleep. Second, stop scrolling through Twitter in bed. (I know, I know, but the blue light emitted from your phone, iPad, or laptop interferes with your melatonin production.) Lastly, quit drinking caffeine at least six hours before you plan on going to bed, as it can linger in your system, making you restless and disrupting your sleep.

Source: Study: Your Sleep Tracker May Harm Your Sleep

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