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How To Sleep Better

When you want to improve or fine-tune your sleep, the first step to take is sleep tracking – it can help you identify the factors that may impact negatively on your sleep.

Next up, of course, is to take concrete action to improve your sleep (and consequently, your fitness results).

Step 1: Track Your Sleep

Depending on the device you use to track your sleep, there are different metrics you can track. Many sports and fitness watches with sleep tracking offer insights into the amount and quality of your sleep, in one way or another.

Here are examples of sleep metrics you can keep track of:

Amount of Sleep

Sleep time is the time between falling asleep and waking up. For example, you might go to bed at 9:51 p.m. and fall asleep at 10 p.m. If you wake up at 6 a.m., your sleep time will be 8 hours.

However, a longer sleep time doesn’t automatically mean better sleep quality. That’s why it’s useful to track the time you’re actually sleeping (sleep time minus interruptions).

If your sleep time was 8 hours (the time between falling asleep and waking up), but you tossed and turned for 59 minutes during the night, your actual sleep time was 7 hours and 1 minute.

However, interruptions as such aren’t a sign that you slept poorly because most of us experience several short and long interruptions during a normal night’s sleep.

Quality of Sleep

Sleep continuity is a metric that reflects the quality of your sleep. If you get a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep, you will likely feel more rested the next day than after a night with fragmented sleep.

There are no absolute numbers as to what constitutes an objectively good sleep continuity metric. Rather than comparing your sleep to everyone else’s, it’s best to track your sleep for a few weeks and find out what your baseline is – then compare your highest and lowest values to what is normal for you.

You can also track the sleep cycles (light, deep and REM sleep) your body goes through when you sleep and see how long you spent in each sleep stage.

Step 2: Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene – that is, good sleeping practices and habits – is a step towards getting a great night’s sleep, being able to perform at your best and achieving fitness results.

Monitoring your daily activity and sleep with wearable tech offers you a holistic view of the variables that affect your sleep and fitness. This helps you fine-tune your sleep and training habits to gain the optimal results for your fitness and well-being, for example:

If you notice that you consistently sleep poorly after a late-night spin class, it may be better to get your heart pumping in the morning instead.

Take a look at these key sleep hygiene tips!

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Learn more about sleep tracking with Polar Sleep Plus Stages.

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