Have you ever woken up after a full 8 hours sleep (or even more!) and been perplexed as to how or why you still feel lethargic?
The truth is there are a number of different factors at play during your slumber, and there’s no such thing as the magical 8 hours sleep, as we’ve been led to believe. Your sleep needs are just as personal to you as your diet and exercise needs. Understanding your sleep habits and patterns is the secret to finding your recipe for a perfect night’s sleep… But how are you meant to know what’s going on when you’re supposed to be asleep?
Physicians and psychiatrists have been researching and monitoring the science of sleep for hundreds of years, and the invention of the electroencephalograph (EEG) (a device that records brain waves) in 1929 was a breakthrough in understanding our nocturnal habits.
Monitoring and recording brain waves opened up a realm of scientific ability to understand what our brain is doing during sleep and wakefulness. In 1937 Alfred Loomis, E. Newton Harvey and Garret Hobart identified five distinct stages of sleep, using EEG traces, which has since lead to the discovery of REM sleep and the cyclical nature in which our sleep works. Naturally however, this kind of technology and the ability to understand its outputs isn’t accessible to everyone.
That’s where your smartphone comes in (they don’t call them ‘smart’ for nothing!). With the surge in health tracking applications has come a new kind of sleep monitoring, using movement to measure sleep. This type of sleep research, called actigraphy is designed to help everyday people like you and I measure our sleep, without leaving our natural bedtime setting, going to a lab and getting wired up to a range of sensors.
How can this improve your sleep?
The mere act of self-monitoring can help us to improve our sleep simply by making us aware of our true sleep quality, and highlighting what habits have negative or positive consequences. With sleep tracking, we can learn the answers to questions like: How many hours do I sleep each night? How long does it take for me to fall asleep? Am I getting enough deep sleep, light sleep or REM? And with the answers to these questions, we are able to tell when our good nights turn bad, and even draw connections between the food we eat, the things we do, and how well we sleep.
How can I do it?
In light of this technology, we’ve designed Sleepsense – the smart bed for every body. With built in tracking capabilities, adjustable firmness and an optional adjustable base, Sleepsense monitors your sleep and can help you hone in on what makes you sleep best, avoid what can make you sleep worse and live happier and healthier each day!