There’s a reason nearly half of those featured on The Wind Down wear an Oura ring to bed every night: By collecting data on how much time you spend in various sleep stages, sleep trackers can help you better gauge your sleep quality—and your overall health.
“After buying an Oura ring so I could monitor my sleep more precisely, I saw a direct correlation between the nights I got the least deep sleep and higher sugar readings on my continuous glucose monitor (CGM),” precision medicine doctor Florence Comite, M.D., notes in her routine.
They can also help you identify the amount of time you need in each sleep stage in order to feel your best, and plan your evenings accordingly. “My goal is to fall asleep in less than 5-10 minutes and spend 25-40 percent of the night in deep sleep and 15-25 percent in REM sleep. Since I wear a sleep tracker, I know I usually get my best deep sleep prior to 1 a.m. and the best REM sleep from 3-6 a.m… so if I go to bed too late, it will cut into my deep sleep, and if I get up too early, I lose REM sleep,” writes functional medicine doctor Jill Carnahan, MD.
Of course, not everyone is going to enjoy tracking their sleep down to the minute. For some people, these readings can be more anxiety-inducing than helpful. In that case, experts note that it’s still worthwhile to track your sleep the old-fashioned way: by writing about how you feel when you wake up in the morning.