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Sleep-tracking tech may not be fit for purpose yet, accoding to leading neurologist

Do sleep trackers really do their jobs? (Source: FitBit Community)
Do sleep trackers really do their jobs? (Source: FitBit Community)
Dr. Guy Leschziner, a prominent neurologist and consultant in London's sleep-medicine arena, has recently indicated his belief that sleep-tracking apps and similar technology may backfire on the user. This is apparently due to a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to sleep metrics employed by these apps.

Speaking at the recent Cheltenham festivial of science, Dr. Guy Leschziner, a prominent consultant with a leading post at the Guy’s Hospital Sleep Disorders Centre in London, expressed a negative view of sleep trackers. Some of these products are hardware-based; however, the more common examples are apps that have become popular features on devices such as FitBits, Apple Watches and other smartwatches.

Dr. Leschziner claimed that, "We’ve seen a lot of people who have developed significant insomnia as a result of either sleep trackers or reading certain things about how devastating sleep deprivation is for you". He went on to note that failing to meet the inbuilt expectations of a given tracker, despite being naturally disposed to needing less sleep, could have adverse effects on the user. These could extend to anxiety, or the relatively newly-characterized condition of orthosomnia, in which an affected individual develops negative psychological effects due to not attaining the "perfect" amount of sleep.

The consultant was also less than positive about the emerging trend towards blue-light reduction, such as that found in some new mobile devices, intimating that one's genetics had a much stronger influence on the effects of this variable on on melatonin levels. On the other hand, blue light exposure could have other effects on health; in addition, the data gathered by sleep trackers could be useful while consulting a sleep specialist, if necessary.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 06 > Sleep-tracking tech may not be fit for purpose yet, accoding to leading neurologist
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-06- 9 (Update: 2019-06-15)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.