SATURDAY, April 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- If you're thinking about getting a device to help you sleep better, an expert offers some advice.
Sleep-tracking devices range from those that record how much you sleep to those that monitor your sleep stages, but it can be difficult to know if they'll provide good results and useful information.
"Because these devices record wake and sleep based on movement, if you are generally someone who doesn’t move around very much during sleep and moves around a lot during wake time, then you're more likely to get an accurate recording of your sleep amounts wearing one of these devices," said Dr. Philip Alapat. He is an assistant professor of sleep medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Other sleep devices that have been shown to benefit patients include:
White-noise machines to provide consistent sound that blocks background noise.
Alarms that gradually increase light in the room to help you wake up naturally.
Weighted blankets, which have been reported to help alleviate abnormal sensations in the limbs for people with restless legs syndrome.
Alapat also outlined measures you can take to improve your chances of a good night's sleep: reduce light in the room while getting ready for bed; turn off the television and computer, and put your phone away; maintain a calm, cool and quiet environment to help you relax.
"Those of us who do have trouble falling asleep need things to help us relax more before bedtime," Alapat said in a Baylor news release. "It can be hard to shut the brain off. Anything that can help you disconnect from work and other responsibilities keeping your brain occupied can help you with your sleep quality."
If you still have trouble sleeping, see a sleep medicine expert, Alapat recommended. They may provide a home sleep test to determine if you have difficulty breathing while sleeping, or you may require an in-lab sleep study where sleep experts measure your brain waves using EEG recordings.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a guide to healthy sleep.
SOURCE: Baylor College of Medicine, news release, March 29, 2022