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Health can’t be achieved overnight

Sleep is often overlooked when discussing health. We often focus on daytime activities like diet and exercise when trying to improve our health; however sleep has a major impact on our overall well being. Getting the recommended 7-9 hours can…

  • improve mood
  • improve concentration
  • improve reaction time
  • improve memory
  • improve immune system
  • reduce chances of accidents, particularly car accidents
  • reduce risk for obesity
  • reduce risk of diabetes
  • reduce risk for heart disease

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, what should you do? Track it!

There are many wearable fitness trackers and mobile apps that track sleep. Find one that is in your price range and start recording your data. Research has shown that simply tracking sleep levels can improve sleep habits. If you want to go a step further and self-monitor your progress, you can reap even more benefits. In addition, many sleep trackers and apps will provide feedback for enhancing sleep such as reducing caffeine intake or avoiding exercising right before going to bed. Incorporating these helpful tips can vastly improve your sleep over time.

The key to sleep tracking, or any health tracking for that matter, is to view the data over several days or weeks, try to find trends, and then make small adjustments to improve your numbers. Try to avoid seeing each night, or day, as a success or failure, but rather aim for gradual improvement. Essentially, achieving any health goal is a process, and can’t be achieved overnight (no pun intended).

Read more about which sleep trackers are best here.

Reference: mybasis.com

Image Source: wikipedia.org

 

  • Seoyeon kim

    We can certainly see the benefits of sleep from our experiences. It’s interesting that getting enough sleep can also reduce risk of diabetes and heart diseases. But, we all have times that we cannot get enough sleep, and sometimes such times last for days or weeks. And, a lot of people try to sleep for hours and hours after they spent little time on sleeping for days. I wonder if such kind of binge sleeping (?) can be better than having regular short-time sleep (e.g., 4 hours a day for weeks).

  • jesspikowski

    I actually use a fitness tracker and I really enjoy using the sleep tracking portion of the app. While getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is important, it is also important that this is good, uninterrupted sleep. My fitness tracker will show me my balance of light sleep vs. deep sleep and whether or not I was awake in the middle of the night. It will also show me how long it took to fall asleep. By looking at this and thinking about what I did differently that day, I can make adjustments to improve my sleep.

    I really like Seoyeon's point about "binge sleeping". I often find myself trying to "catch up on sleep" after a long week and I wonder if there are any health benefits (or health risks) from doing that.

  • jess202015

    I think I've heard that binge sleeping doesn't actually help because once you have accumulated a "sleep debt," it takes more than a couple of long sleeps to get back to normal. I have a fitness tracker and used to track my sleep on it, but I actually found that knowing when/how much interrupted sleep I got didn't actually help me sleep better or change any habits. It was fun to look at, but I could never really determine why I was tossing and turning for x number of minutes a night.