An American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) survey highlights a growing trend among Americans who are increasingly using sleep-tracking devices to monitor and improve their sleep habits, influencing behavioral changes in the majority of users.

The survey found that more than one-third of Americans (35%) have used an electronic sleep-tracking device. A majority of those who have tried one found the sleep tracker was helpful (77%), and many have changed behavior because of what they learned (68%).  

“As sleep trackers continue to grow in popularity, we have seen more people pay attention to their sleep quality, sleep routine, and sleep duration,” says sleep medicine physician Seema Khosla, MD, a spokesperson for the AASM, in a release. “It is important to use the information in the context of how you feel. If your sleep is not restorative and your sleep tracker shows low oxygen levels at night, it is best to have this evaluated further by your primary care or sleep clinician.”  

Although taking the initiative to improve sleep quality by paying closer attention to your habits is beneficial, the survey also found that monitoring sleep can increase anxiety for some. Whether you track your sleep or not, here are a few tips for fostering healthy sleep habits: 

  • Give your screens a curfew: Put your phone away and shut down electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. 
  • Create a soothing sleep environment: Keep your bedroom lights dim; keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature; and use a comfortable pillow, mattress, and bedding that promote restful sleep. 
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine: Try reading, taking a bath, or meditating to unwind before going to bed. 

“Sleep trackers can help to keep us accountable. They can encourage us to maintain a consistent bedtime and rise time and remind us that we should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night,” Khosla adds in the release. “They also remind us about the importance of regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Having access to all this information can be overwhelming, so if your tracker is causing you to lose sleep, it is OK to put it away.” 

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