Sleep is essential for our overall health and wellbeing, yet many of us struggle to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. With the rise of wearable technology, tracking our sleep has become easier than ever before. While the focus has primarily been on tracking sleep during nighttime hours, some individuals who work night shifts or irregular schedules may need to track their daytime sleep as well. In this article, we will explore the performance of daytime sleep-tracking technologies and their effectiveness in monitoring sleep during non-traditional hours.
The demand for sleep-tracking technology has increased significantly, resulting in the release of new devices and algorithms at a rapid pace. However, the strengths and limitations of these devices are still being determined, and developing standards and best practices will require robust and rapid testing under complementary protocols. One area that has been largely overlooked in device evaluation studies is their ability to track daytime sleep episodes. This is particularly relevant for individuals who sleep at irregular or daytime hours and in shorter or multiple daily bouts. Despite the clear relevance of daytime sleep, recent guidance from sleep technology experts recommends against using consumer wearable devices for daytime sleep assessment. One of the key measures of a device’s real-world sleep-tracking performance is its potential bias in the time in bed domain. Accurate time in bed readings are critical, as inaccuracies can lead to reduced trust in the device for monitoring sleep, and greater risk for discontinuing its use altogether. This study evaluates the real-world performance of four commercial wearable devices in tracking daytime sleep episodes, with a particular focus on bias in sleep timing outcomes and the frequencies of missed and mislabeled sleep episodes. Participants consisted of healthy young adults who reported a habitual schedule of regular daytime sleep. They were provided with the devices to use at home for one week, and instructed to self-select and log their sleep episodes. The devices were worn simultaneously during all sleep episodes, along with a research-grade actigraphy watch. Alcohol intake was not allowed, but otherwise, no restrictions were placed on participants during the study week. The same four commercial sleep-tracking wearable devices were tested as in a previous study that evaluated their sleep-tracking performance during unrestricted nighttime sleep.
In conclusion, daytime sleep-tracking technology has come a long way, and is quickly evolving to provide users with more accurate and helpful information about their sleep patterns. While there may be some limitations and drawbacks to these devices, the benefits they offer in terms of improving overall health and well-being cannot be denied. As more research is conducted and newer technologies are developed, we can expect even more advancements in this field, and perhaps some exciting new features to help us all get a better night’s sleep. So if you’re struggling with sleep issues, or just curious about your sleep habits, consider investing in a daytime sleep-tracking device – it may just be the key to unlocking a more restful, rejuvenating sleep experience.