Can sleep make me smarter

Good night: this is how Garmin's new sleep analysis works

I have a new morning ritual. While I have my coffee, I look at how I slept like this. When did i fall asleep? How much have i dreamed Was I often awake in between? When I told a friend how exciting it was to analyze my nights, she asked if we now had cameras in the bedroom. Of course we don't. I wear my personal sleep laboratory on my wrist, in the form of the vívosmart 4 - a fitness tracker with pretty cool sleep analysis functions.

All important sleep phases are now displayed in Garmin Connect

Garmin has further developed and improved its sleep analysis. Now you get even more details and even more precise data about your sleep. In addition to the duration of sleep and the light and deep sleep phases, the REM sleep phases are now also displayed via Garmin Connect. Each sleep phase has an important function: The light sleep phase helps you relax and prepares you for deep sleep. The deep sleep phase is used to regenerate and rebuild bones, muscles and the immune system. And the REM sleep phase, in which you dream more intensely, is used to process information and store memories. Your brain is almost as active during REM sleep as it is when you are awake.

Good to know:

Every night there is a sleep phase alternating between NonREM and REM sleep phases. Each of these sequences is called a sleep cycle. A cycle usually lasts between 80 and 110 minutes, at best there should be four to five sleep cycles per night, with deep sleep decreasing and REM sleep increasing over the course of the night. Ideally, the first REM sleep phase occurs 50–100 minutes after falling asleep.

In addition to the stages of sleep, the vívosmart 4 also uses the heart rate sensor to record your movement behavior (do you sleep calmly or restlessly?) And the integrated Pulse Ox sensor measures the nocturnal oxygen saturation in the blood (i.e. how well your body absorbs oxygen). A lack of oxygen can be caused by breathing disorders in sleep apnea, for example. You can look at the values ​​in the Garmin Connect app and learn so much about your sleep and improve it if necessary.

It doesn't work without sleep

Getting regular, restful sleep is very important. For regeneration, performance, the immune system, the mood - for your overall health. It should be seven to nine hours per night for adults. You sometimes only notice how good sleep is when you sleep poorly for a while. I suffered from pretty nasty insomnia a few weeks ago. I had a lot of stress, I found it difficult to switch off and fall asleep. I was restless at night, often lay awake longer and usually woke up in the morning exhausted. So it went night after night. After a while I realized that this is not just a phase that goes by on its own. But that I have to actively change something.

Many factors affect how well you sleep. The biggest disruptive factors for a restful sleep are stress and inner restlessness, alcohol and also smartphones and laptops: The blue wavelengths prevent the production of the tired hormone melatonin. In the dark season, on the other hand, we produce too much of the hormone during the day due to the early onset of darkness, which is why we often talk about winter blues.

Actively improve sleep - and follow the effects in Garmin Connect

I pulled out all the stops. I deliberately allowed myself more rest, especially in the evening. I tested how I would feel the next day if I went to bed earlier than usual because I'm more of a morning person anyway. I did breathing exercises to relax and tried not to look at the cell phone right before I fell asleep. I sprayed lavender spray in the bedroom. I really did everything a sleep expert would advise. And it helped! Gradually, I finally slept better again.

Thanks to the vívosmart 4, I can now see this every morning in black and white in the Garmin Connect app: My sleep behavior is now very good on most nights. I sleep between seven and eight hours a night, almost never wake up, have regular sleep cycles and do not move very much. If I lie awake at night, it will be displayed to me the next morning. I have a feeling the dates are pretty accurate.

I'm going to bed an hour earlier now

I now know that it is best for me to go to bed between 10 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. (instead of the earlier 11.30 p.m.) and get up at 6.30 a.m. (instead of the earlier 7 a.m.). Then I am simply fitter and more relaxed. Of course, each of us works differently. Your rhythm may be completely different. Garmin's enhanced sleep analysis will help you find that out. You learn a lot about your sleep behavior and you will quickly be able to better assess what is good for you and what disturbs your sleep. How regular are your sleep cycles? What changes if you change something in your behavior, for example go to bed sooner or later, try a new pillow, refrain from alcohol? I've noticed that it's often the little things that have a big effect. And hope you enjoy your own sleep analysis, testing and experimenting. Sleep well!

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