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05th Jan 2020

Your sleep tracker could be giving you a sleeping disorder

Jade Hayden

Well that’s no good, is it?

There are a couple of things people like to do if they’re having trouble sleeping.

One is to create a better sleep environment for themselves by doing things like making the room super dark, not drinking caffeine after a certain time, and reducing the amount they smoke and drink.

Another is to buy a device that will track your sleep so you can map out exactly how much you’re getting and when you tend to wake, etc.

As it turns out though, your sleep tracker could actually be making it more difficult for you to sleep and even giving you a sleep-based disorder.

Researchers have pointed to a sleep disorder called ‘Orthosomnia’ to refer to people who obsess over their sleeping patterns using sleep trackers and other similar devices.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that an increasing number of people are self-diagnosing sleep disorders they don’t even have after using the trackers.

The report reads:

“There are a growing number of patients who are seeking treatment for self-diagnosed sleep disturbances such as insufficient sleep duration and insomnia due to periods of light or restless sleep observed on their sleep tracker data.”

These self-diagnoses led to patients becoming increasingly worried and anxious about their sleeping patterns, meaning that they were then getting less sleep.

A vicious cycle, if we ever saw one.

Sleep trackers have become far more popular in recent years with the rise of the Fitbit and the Apple Watch.

While the devices are super handy and can give you a great insight into what’s happening to your body while you sleep, it’s important to remember that your tracker is not a health professional.

If you’re worried that how much sleep you’re getting is affecting your health, you should consult your GP.