Exploring the intersection of technology and restful sleep, we’ve gathered tips from founders and engineers on how to harness wearable devices for better sleep quality. From reviewing nightly sleep disruptions to ensuring accurate wearable placement, discover the nine strategies that can transform your nightly slumber.

  • Review Nightly Sleep Disruptions
  • Analyze Sleep-Stage Data
  • Set Sleep Tracking Reminders
  • Establish Consistent Bedtime Routine
  • Combine Wearable with CPAP Insights
  • Calibrate Device for Personal Accuracy
  • Integrate Wearables with Smart Tools
  • Adopt Experimental Approach to Sleep Data
  • Ensure Accurate Wearable Placement

Review Nightly Sleep Disruptions

The use of wearable devices to track sleep is extremely prevalent, and we, as sleep specialists, are constantly asked about the meaning of the data displayed. I do not track my sleep using a wearable, as I merely use how I feel when I wake in the morning after obtaining seven hours of sleep, and how I feel during the day, to judge my sleep quality.

Yet, for patients, I advise them to review how many disruptions during the night the tracker is showing. There is some inconsistency in this qualitative information provided, but we do look at the number of times per night the tracker is showing as an ‘arousal’ or ‘sleep disruption,’ as this is tracked based on movement and is a good reflection of how soundly a person may be sleeping.

I have, in fact, seen new patients in the clinic who do not have any overt symptoms of a sleep disorder, except for the person reporting they generally feel they could be sleeping better and feel better rested, but the only abnormality they can identify is their sleep tracker is showing a lot of disruption that they are not aware of. The majority of these patients end up having underlying sleep apnea; keep in mind, up to 25% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea do not snore.

Ruchir PatelRuchir Patel
Founder and Medical Director, The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona

Analyze Sleep-Stage Data

Paying close attention to the sleep-stage data provided by wearable devices has been a game-changer. This detailed insight helps in understanding the amount of REM and deep sleep achieved each night.

By adjusting bedtime habits and environment based on this data, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in sleep quality. It’s a clear example of how leveraging technology for health insights can lead to actionable changes, ensuring a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

Will LiWill Li
Hardware Engineer, MOKO Technology

Set Sleep Tracking Reminders

To optimize the use of wearable devices for sleep tracking, consider setting reminders for yourself as a helpful tip. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to prioritize our sleep. By setting a reminder on your wearable device, you can ensure that you are consistently tracking your sleep and making it a priority.

Personally, using a wearable device for sleep tracking has greatly improved my sleep quality. I used to struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. However, by using a wearable device, I was able to track my sleep patterns and identify any potential disruptions or habits that were impacting my sleep negatively. With this information, I was able to make necessary changes, such as cutting out caffeine before bedtime or adjusting my sleeping environment for optimal comfort.

As a result, I now wake up feeling more refreshed and energized, leading to increased productivity throughout the day. Additionally, tracking my sleep has also allowed me to see patterns in my sleep that I was not aware of before. This has helped me understand my body’s natural rhythms and adapt my daily routine accordingly for better overall sleep quality.

One important thing to keep in mind when using wearable devices for sleep tracking is to also listen to your body. While the data provided by these devices can be helpful, it is important to not solely rely on them. It is important to pay attention to how you feel and make adjustments accordingly. For example, if your device shows that you had a restless night of sleep but you wake up feeling well-rested, it may be best to trust how your body is feeling rather than the data.

Justin CarpenterJustin Carpenter
Founder & CEO, Modern Maids

Establish Consistent Bedtime Routine

One effective tip is to use the sleep-tracking function to establish a consistent bedtime routine. By analyzing patterns over time, it’s easier to identify what behaviors lead to better sleep quality. Personally, this approach has significantly improved my sleep by highlighting the impact of late-night screen time on my restfulness. Adjusting my habits based on these insights has not only enhanced my sleep quality but also my overall well-being.

Robin LuoRobin Luo
Founder, ICRFQ

Combine Wearable with CPAP Insights

Integrating a wearable device with the use of a CPAP machine for sleep apnea treatment can offer profound insights into your sleep health, and I’ve found this combination particularly beneficial. Wearables can track a wide array of data points, including heart rate, sleep stages, and even oxygen saturation levels in some cases. This has allowed me to see not just how long I sleep, but how well I sleep, especially with the CPAP machine in play.

Monitoring heart rate, for example, has been eye-opening. Before using the CPAP machine, my wearable showed significant fluctuations in my heart rate throughout the night, indicative of disrupted sleep patterns and the strain sleep apnea was placing on my body. After starting CPAP therapy, these fluctuations decreased markedly, signaling a more restful and less interrupted sleep.

Another benefit is the ability to share detailed sleep reports with my doctor. Wearable devices can store months’ worth of sleep data, providing a comprehensive overview of sleep patterns, heart rate trends, and potential improvements or concerns since starting CPAP therapy. This detailed data can help your healthcare provider make informed decisions about your treatment plan and adjust your CPAP settings if necessary, ensuring you get the most effective treatment.

Additionally, seeing the tangible improvements in sleep quality and heart rate stability can be incredibly motivating. It’s one thing to feel better, but another to see the data that backs up those feelings. For those managing sleep apnea, the combination of a CPAP machine and a wearable device not only enhances treatment outcomes but also empowers you with knowledge about your own health, leading to a more engaged and proactive approach to managing sleep apnea.

Matt GorenMatt Goren
Head of Marketing, Tom’s Key Company

Calibrate Device for Personal Accuracy

Ensuring the wearable device is calibrated correctly to my personal profile was a pivotal step. This accuracy in tracking sleep phases and heart-rate variability allowed for tailored insights into my sleep health. Adjusting my sleep environment and habits based on these precise readings has led to more restorative sleep cycles and a noticeable reduction in waking up tired. It’s remarkable how fine-tuning technology to individual needs can dramatically enhance sleep quality and overall well-being.

Josh StepplingJosh Steppling
Broker Associate, Treasure Coast Real Estate

Integrate Wearables with Smart Tools

One essential strategy for optimizing the use of wearable devices in sleep tracking is to combine them with other tools. Integrating your wearable’s data with a dedicated sleep app or smart-home devices can offer a more comprehensive understanding of your sleep patterns and the factors affecting them.

For example, you can use smart lights to mimic the natural progression of daylight, aiding your body’s circadian rhythm. Pairing this data-driven approach with environmental controls has significantly improved not just the quantity but also the quality of my sleep.

Notably, it has helped in reducing the time taken to fall asleep and has made my sleep cycles more consistent, leading to better overall rest and alertness throughout the day.

Alex TaylorAlex Taylor
Head of Marketing, SEO Specialists, CrownTV

Adopt Experimental Approach to Sleep Data

As an academic who currently publishes research on using wearable technology for insurance purposes, I have a strong interest in this area. I’ve been using an Oura ring for seven years now, and I’ve found that the benefits are greatest when you take an experimental approach and test different things. For example, I recently discovered that eating close to bedtime has a massive impact on how long it takes my heart rate to return to normal and hence on my overall sleep quality.

This insight led me to adjust my eating habits, particularly by ensuring that I finish my last meal at least three hours before going to bed. This small change has significantly improved my sleep quality, as reflected in the data tracked by my Oura ring. Not only has my heart rate variability (HRV) improved, indicating better rest and recovery, but I also wake up feeling more refreshed and alert.

My tip for effectively using wearable devices in sleep tracking is, therefore, to adopt a curious and experimental mindset. Don’t just passively monitor the data; instead, try to actively use it to test how changes in your lifestyle, like adjusting your diet, exercise routines, or sleep environment, impact your sleep metrics. This approach turns sleep tracking from a passive observation into a powerful tool for personal health optimization, allowing you to make informed decisions that enhance your sleep quality and your overall well-being.

Dr. Mark Farrell (Fia)Dr. Mark Farrell (Fia)
Founder, CEO, Associate Professor & Actuary, ProActuary Jobs

Ensure Accurate Wearable Placement

One tip for effectively using wearable devices in sleep tracking is to ensure proper placement and fit to accurately capture data throughout the night. Personally, using a wearable device with advanced sleep-tracking features has improved my quality of sleep by providing insights into my sleep patterns, allowing me to identify factors that disrupt my sleep and make informed adjustments to my bedtime routine for better rest.

Madison TMadison T
Ecommerce Manager, My Supplement Store

Related Articles