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Why should I track my sleep?

Wendy Batts
Fitness
The most important reason to track your sleep is that sleep is good for your health, so you need to be sure you're getting enough of it. Research has shown that getting the recommended 7-9 hours per night can:
  • Decrease your chance of motor vehicle accidents
  • Lessen your likelihood of obesity, since sleep deprivation can increase appetite
  • Reduce your risk of diabetes and heart problems
  • Improve your concentration, reaction time and memory
  • Boost your moods and creativity
  • Enhance your immune system to help ward off colds and infections
  • Increase regulation of appetite, energy use and weight control
Resource: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/sleep/healthy_sleep.pd
Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Sleep for many people is a struggle, and tracking your sleep can help you get more of it. The information you learn can be useful if you correlate it with the things you've done that day or eaten. For instance, you could find that drinking coffee after dinner correlates with getting too little sleep. Some wearables will track your motion during your sleep and then give you feedback on how to improve your sleep and wake up feeling rested.
David Buer
Fitness
We tend to become more conscious of improving things that we track, and sleep is an important thing to optimize. Tracking your sleep will allow you to identify whether or not you are getting enough of it and if it's quality rest. Lack of quality sleep has a detrimental effect on mood, weight loss, exercise performance, recovery, energy, productivity, immune system strength, cardiovascular function and brain health. Simply put, a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on nearly every aspect of your life. Being able to track it just arms you with a tool to identify and improve on potential issues and risks related to sleep deficiency.
Keith Roach, MD
Internal Medicine
You should track your sleep to help you know what amount feels optimal to you. Hint: it's probably not a full eight hours a night. Although the optimal amount of sleep is between seven to eight hours a night for most people, that's not a universal rule. The optimal amount of sleep varies among individuals, and women tend to need less. Also, you don’t need to track your sleep every night. People who do tend to get too focused on day-to-day variations, which are normal with sleep.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.