Sleep apps might be doing more harm than good


Apps meant to improve sleep are likely to “make problems worse,” say experts.

They reveal little about sleep quality, lack accuracy and create stress, according to researchers.

Scientists also fear people can become obsessed with default targets, such as getting eight hours a night.

Dr. Guy Leschziner, who runs a sleep clinic at Guy’s Hospital in London, pointed out people need different amounts of sleep.

He said monitors in labs use hundreds of electrodes and cameras but home devices rely only on movement.

He told Cheltenham Science Festival: “People have developed significant insomnia as a result of sleep trackers or reading things about sleep deprivation. That obsessional state about sleep makes sleep even more difficult.”

Sleep psychologist Stephanie Romiszewski added: “We are effectively making sleep problems worse through tracking.”

“To get good, consistent sleep, I don’t think you need to track it.”

Fitbit’s website says: “The Fitbit app helps you stay on track by recommending a personalized sleep schedule based on your sleep goal, recent trends and your wake-up target.

“You can also get friendly bedtime reminders that notify you when it’s time to turn in for the night.”

“Knowing how much you sleep can help you make better choices.”