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Study Explores How Sleep Technology Impacts Sleep Habits and Health

Sleep apps aren’t a new thing—they’ve been around almost as long as the smartphone itself. But as technology evolves, much more has become available that closely monitors and aids in sleep habits. Many who have experienced trouble sleeping have come to rely on sleep technology to help them learn more about their problems and ultimately get a better night’s rest. To get an idea of how sleep technology has impacted people and the investment many have made to improve sleep, PlushBeds surveyed more than 1,000 individuals and posed numerous questions about their habits, the sleep tech they use, and more.

Notably, respondents who used sleep technology were 22% more likely to be satisfied with their sleep and almost 50% more likely to have great quality sleep than those opting out of sleep tech.

Overall, 46.7% of respondents in the PlushBeds study said they use some form of sleep technology, such as apps, wearables, or other devices. Among the many sleep apps available, the most popular among respondents was Sleep Cycle, with 50.6% using the app. Over 78% said the app helped them get great quality sleep, and 86.9% said they woke up refreshed after using it. The biggest benefit of the Sleep Cycle app among respondents who used it was that they woke up refreshed.

SleepScore came in second for popularity, with 43.7% of respondents saying they used it. More than 76% said they had better sleep quality as a result, and 85.9% said they woke up refreshed. The biggest benefit of using SleepScore among respondents was that it lowered their anxiety.

The least popular sleep app among those utilized by respondents of the study was Relax Melodies, with 16.6% saying they used it. Of those, 61.5% of people who used it said they got great sleep as a result, and 84.6% said they woke up refreshed. The biggest benefit of using that app, according to respondents, was that it increased knowledge of sleep patterns.

By far the most popular wearable sleep technology among respondents was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Apple Watch. Nearly 58% of respondents said they used the watch, with 78.1% saying they got great sleep because of it and 85.2% saying they woke up refreshed. The biggest benefit of using the Apple Watch to aid in slumber was that it was deemed to make it easier to fall asleep.

Other popular wearables used by respondents include the Fitbit (47.1%), Biostrap band (38.6%), Apollo Neuro (26.4%), Polar watch (23.5%), and the Sleepon ring (20%).

When it comes to physical sleep technology and devices, the Dodow sleep machine was the most popular, with 49.7% saying they used it. Of that percentage, 81.1% said they achieved great quality sleep as a result, and 85.8% said they woke up refreshed. The biggest benefit cited for the Dodow was that it increased the ease of falling asleep.

One of the most surprising aspects of the study was the fact that the biggest percentage of respondents who rely on sleep tech were 25 years old and younger (59.9%). Among people in that age range, 69.7% reported getting great sleep, while 21.1% said they got average sleep, and 9.2% reported poor sleep.

The lowest percentage of respondents who rely on sleep tech were between the ages of 36 and 50 years old (38.8%), though 51% of respondents in that age range said they got great sleep. The most popular sleep tech among all age ranges was the Apple Watch, with 60.4% of people 25 years old and younger using it. The Fitbit was least popular among that age range, with just 48.4% saying they opted for it.

When it comes to the reasons why people use sleep technology, trouble sleeping was the biggest reason among respondents (39%), followed by trouble staying asleep (38.8%), monitoring sleep patterns (14.9%), and feeling control over sleep (6.4%).

Financially, respondents seemed to have no problem investing in sleep tech when necessary, with those who reported having great sleep quality spending an average of $724.87 on their technology. Nearly 7 in 10 respondents who spent more than $300 on sleep technology reported having great sleep as a result. Additionally, more than 3 in 10 respondents said they spent an average of $50 on a monthly sleep subscription.

It goes without saying that daily habits impact sleep quality and the ability to fall and stay asleep, and it’s widely known that there are certain things you shouldn’t do if you want to have better sleep health. Things like avoiding blue light and not drinking caffeine too close to bedtime are simple things people can do to get better sleep, but what habits were respondents abiding by most commonly during the day?

Drinking coffee was the biggest daily habit among respondents (65%), followed by excessive computer use (54.2%), running/walking (49.2%), drinking tea (43.1%), and excessive phone use (38.1%). Respondents who had active daytime habits, like exercise, were over 24% more likely to have a higher quality sleep than those who used phones or computers excessively.

Nighttime habits were interesting among respondents in the PlushBeds study, with drinking milk before bed being the most common (39.3%). A consistent bedtime was the second most common nighttime habit (33.6%), followed by drinking tea before bed (29.4%) and no screen time prior to hitting the pillow (25.4%).

Overall, it seems that sleep technology has had a big impact on people’s sleep habits and the quality of their night’s rest. It goes without saying that good sleep is crucially important to overall health, and it certainly seems that people are willing to make an investment in apps and technology to help them get better sleep each night. The future of sleep technology remains to be seen, but if the advancement of devices, wearables, and apps are any indication, sleep tech will only improve and be more beneficial to those who need it as time goes on.
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