What is Sleep Tracking?
The sleep tracker market is expected to grow by 18.2% between 2023 and 2032 and the popularity of activity tracking devices has skyrocketed in recent years. There are many types of sleep trackers available on the market, with the most common being wearable devices and phone apps.
These devices and apps track sleep using a variety of metrics, including heart rate, breathing and movement patterns. However, according to research, it’s unclear whether sleep tracking is helpful for improving sleep quality. Some studies have even looked into the association between sleep tracking and orthosomnia, or the obsession with attaining perfect sleep.
We were curious about the rate of sleep tracker usage in America, as well as consumer sleep tracking habits and views of sleep tracker effectiveness, so we sent out a survey and got 1,002 responses on the topic.
Most People Made a Lifestyle Change as a Result of Sleep Tracker Usage
Our survey found that 60% of sleep tracker users indicated they made some sort of lifestyle change since they began using a sleep tracker. The most common examples of these changes included going to bed earlier, limiting screen time before bed, avoiding caffeine, changing eating habits before bedtime, exercising more, implementing a bedtime routine and limiting alcohol intake.
Overall, 43.81% of wearable and app sleep tracker users somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement “my sleep has improved since using my sleep tracker.” 19.03% of respondents somewhat or strongly disagreed, leaving 37.16% expressing neutrality towards this statement.
Levels of agreement with this statement did not differ much between wearable and app users, with 44.14% of app sleep tracker users said their sleep improved and 43.63% of wearable sleep tracker users said their sleep improved.
Almost Two Thirds of Sleep Tracker Users Check Their Sleep Data Once a Day
A slightly larger percentage of app users (67%) reported checking their sleep tracker data at least once a day than wearable users (62%). Only 17 out of 331 sleep tracker users reported checking their sleep data more than once a day.
Most People Don’t Feel Stressed When Reviewing Their Sleep Data
Less than one quarter (24%) of respondents said that they somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement “I feel stressed or overwhelmed when checking my sleep tracker data”. That said, a significantly larger number of people (53%) reported feeling anxious when their sleep tracker said they had a night of poor quality sleep.
Interestingly, those who indicated that they worried about their sleep most of the time or always were more likely to feel stressed or overwhelmed about their sleep tracker data. The groups that had the highest level of agreement with the statement “I feel stressed or overwhelmed when checking my sleep tracker data” were also more likely to agree that they worry about their sleep “most of the time” or “always.”
Women That Use Sleep Trackers Were Less Likely to See Improvements to Their Sleep Than Men
Some research has suggested that the prevalence of insomnia is greater in women than men. So, we looked at differences in survey responses between male and female respondents. Female respondents in our survey were more likely to worry about their sleep quality and less likely to see improvements in their sleep from their sleep tracker usage than men. More female respondents were worried about the quality of their sleep, with 23% stating they do so “most of the time” or “always,” compared to 15% of male respondents. Female respondents were also more likely to respond that their sleep tracker did not improve their sleep.
We surveyed 1,002 Americans over the age of 18 on their sleep tracking habits to investigate how many people use sleep trackers and how those that track their sleep view the effectiveness of sleep tracking. The survey was conducted through Connect in March of 2023.