Sleep Tracker Bullshit - Wearable fitness devices [honest review]
They're coming...they're COMING! Run the holidays are coming!
Now I say this will a little tongue and cheek in mind. I don't hate the holidays but, I do hate what happens to the fitness industry when they come around. The biggest craze I've seen in the past two years are wearable self quantifying fitness devices. Jawbone, fitbit, even apple watches have all gained this hype determing if one does not wear these devices, than they are not deemed as "healthy." My main beef with these products for this blog is going to be about the sleep tracking aspect of these devices.
Following my previous blogs discussing sleep and bluelight filtering glasses (which I reccommend you check out), I used one of these devices to attempt to track my sleep. I wanted to have trackable data so when I discussed my sleep patterns using blue light filtering glasses, I could have some merit to my claims. Yet sadly I was fronted with the delusions that a watch type device would track my sleep.
What many customers and individuals don't realize is that wearable fitness devices only track sleep by movement. Yep, it tricked me too. The devices contain accelerometers which use a method of tracking movement called actrigraphy (1). Companies and manufacturers use this method because it is the only other option they have, besides attaching patches and electrodes to someone's skull.
If you are like me, and tend to sleep like a log, well a log in a total-ninja-combat-battle, you sleep heavy and move a lot during the night. Here lies the fallacy of the sleep tracking portion of these devices. The more tossing and turning during sleep, the less accurate the actrigraphy results will be. Many studies have been performed proving tracking sleep through accelerometers and actrigraphy contain high margins of error (2).
If someone really wants to go deep and self quantify their sleep patterns than they'll have to invest in an EEG. The only true way to track one's sleep is through a polysomnograpgy (PSG) test monitoring brain waves through an EEG. On top of that, the only way to truly analyze for the different phases of sleep is by tracking eye movement. Unless you're a scientist, qunatifying sleep at home is pretty improbable.
I'm going to break it to you honestly boss, don't waste your money.
Now unless you want to wear one of these devices to track heart rate or steps made in a day, than I could kind of understand why you would like one. Just do not buy a wearable tracking device in the soul purpose of tracking sleep. My suggestion, buy some sleepy time tea, a nighty, ear plugs, maybe one of the cool get sleep masks, and you'll sleep fine. Sleep on my friends [;
-"Keep on Keepin' on"
John D. Schaser