Authors of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine suggests that for some people, sleep trackers might be more trouble than they’re worth. NBC News reports:
They cite the case of a 39-year-old man who discovered he had fewer fights with his girlfriend after getting a full 8 hours of sleep, as measured by the sleep-tracking device she gave him. He became so fixated on getting a good night’s sleep that he would lie awake worried about it.
The researchers call this “orthosomnia,” which, for those of you who aren’t sleep experts, is an actual thing, meaning “correct sleep.” Curiously, the behavior isn’t even confined to the sleep obsessed.
“We chose this term (orthosomnia) because the perfectionist quest to achieve perfect sleep is similar to the unhealthy preoccupation with healthy eating, termed orthorexia,” the authors say in the journal report.
Although most sleep experts find the trends in consumer sleep tracking devices to be somewhat helpful for people interested in learning more about their sleep patterns and finding ways to improve their sleep, “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,” says lead author Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron, a clinical psychologist with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
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