There are many consumer products out there now which allow you to get a handle on your sleep patterns but none of them medical grade. The is one product called the The Night Shift which is medical grade in terms of the data it generates (I have access if you are keen for more than the standard Fit bit info).
However there are more sophisticated items coming onto the market all the time. I recently invested in an Oura ring, apparently Prince Harry has one! I was tired (literally) of the light on my watch kicking in during my slumber so I opted for something less obtrusive.
The data it has been providing me is more interesting than I first expected. Now I have a few weeks on file I am starting to see some trends.
It would appear my deep sleep is insufficient!!!
There is REM sleep to consider which is a shallow sleep. There is N-REM sleep which is deeper but not as deep as DEEP sleep if that makes sense!??
Once you have some trends you start to see where the opportunities lie.
5 Tips on improving your DEEP SLEEP
2. Stick to a similar bedtime - even at the weekends (look out for a future blog on social jet lag - it's a thing!) Having a routine or getting up and going to bed at a similar time each day helps your body's natural rhythm groove itself into an solid pattern. Hormones and many other bodily functions will rely on it as a reference point.
3. Find the right temperature - ideally somewhere between 17-19 degrees is the ideal bedroom temp. You may find yourself sticking a leg out from under the duvet - this is your brain cooling you down just a tad by exposing skin.
4. No big meals too close to bedtime - some say it's best to stay away from workouts and heavy meals at least 3 hours before bed - this is obviously very individual but these things can disturb sleep and prevent the deep slumber you are after.
5. De-stress - you will know what it's like to have work going around and around in your head. Easier said that done to switch this off but writing things down that are on your mind can help 'off load' them until the morning. Stretching, meditation (on a shakti mat is ideal) - all things that calm the mind and body before hitting the pillow will set you up for a better chance of deep sleep.
As you can see from this image on the left, sleep time was less than 7 hours despite being in bed for 7.44 it ended up being 6.49!!! Below recommended minimum.
Add to that the mere 25 mins of deep sleep and the sleep score of 75 was on the threshold of being poor. So time in bed does not equate to time asleep. You need to give yourself a longer sleep ''opportunity' to get the best possible duration of actual sleep by the morning.
9.30pm - 5.30am may look like you are going to be asleep for 8 hours but that is just the sleep opportunity.
Work on getting a longer opportunity and you will increase your chance of deeper and more restful sleep along with the use of the 5 tips above.
Good luck and if you are struggling feel free to get in touch and we can work through where you are at right now and what can be done to improve your sleep score.