The secret to a great night's sleep

Is your sleep tracking app keeping you awake at night?

One tip from Silentnight sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, for getting a good night's sleep is to minimise tech in the bedroom, so we weren't surprised when new research out today found that sleep tracking apps and devices may be fuelling insomnia in some people. Experts at the Sleep Health Foundation found that those who don't understand that normal sleep involves lots of brief awakenings may be especially at risk. 

Sleep App

Image: Flickr

Smartphone apps and wearable devices that allow you to track and analyse your sleep patterns are hugely popular. But pouring over the data they generate may make some of us so anxious that we don't get 'enough' sleep, and this can lead to real (or further) sleep troubles, the Sleep Health Foundation warns.

Apps that use your phone's in-built accelerometer can measure how much you move during sleep and estimate your sleep time and quality. Sleep trackers in the form of wrist watch technologies have also taken off.

But insomniacs who find themselves compulsively checking their sleep stats and worrying about not getting 'enough' sleep may need to avoid sleep tracker technology altogether or only check the data less frequently says Sleep Health Foundation researcher Dr Siobhan Banks. 

"Pouring over data on your sleep can be fun and may even shed some light on how you sleep, but there can be a downside," Banks says. 

While the accuracy of these apps and devices may vary, even accurate sleep data has potential to cause anxiety for people who have unrealistic expectations of how they should sleep, she says.

Are you having trouble sleeping? Find Dr Nerina's top tips on how to get a good night's sleep at her toolkit




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