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Measuring and Calculating Your Sleep Habits

By Stephen R. Farris

After a long, hard day at work, followed by a rigorous workout, we are happy to get back home, take a shower and hop into our cozy bed to get a good night's sleep. The last thing we want is to be disturbed during our time of slumber.

But it happens from time to time, those restless, sleepless nights. There could be a number of things causing us not to get a perfect night's rest. It could be something we ate, feeling stressed after work or working out, or our brain simply refuses to shut off and take a break. 

There's also the possibility of it being medical related, such as sleep apnea or back pain due to sleeping incorrectly. In our high-tech world there are lots of devices that help measure our activities, and some that keep up with our inactivity as well, such as sleep.

These devices are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of getting a sleep study done, but do they truly help us?

Those same devices that count our steps, heart rate, calories we burn, can now give us measurements related to our sleep habits at night. According to studies, right now all they can produce is data, such as how long we slept, woke up and if our sleep was deep or light. But unlike a full sleep study that's about all those devices and apps can give us, in which that's not all bad, but it still leaves us needing to know a little bit more.

Are the Measurements 100 percent Accurate?

Yes, no, maybe. It all depends on what type of device you use and the application used to measure and calculate the data. It's kind of like car manufacturers and some of the different features between them. This makes it difficult for doctors to truly determine if the calculations are 100 percent accurate. All manufacturers do not live by the same standards and they usually have different approaches to data collection and measures.

Generally Speaking

Home and mobile devices are mainstream these days and don't look to fade away anytime soon. Kind of like the better mousetrap analogy. However, if you want to learn more about your sleeping habits or lack of, then the old fashion, more reliable sleep study -- and if I haven't mentioned, is conducted at a hospital of sleep study lab/facility, measuring brain waves, heart rate and breathing -- is probably the route you should take when searching for a more reliable answer.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fairview Park, Ohio.

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