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How can a smartwatch help us get better sleep? Experts weigh in

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Nov 08, 2023 9:38 pm

It goes without saying that a restful night's sleep is essential for overall health. However, a lot of people have trouble establishing a sound sleep schedule, resulting in fatigue, difficulty focusing, and stress.

Filipinos, of course, are no exception. According to a sleep tracker survey by consumer research company Milieu Insight, Pinoys have the most difficulty sleeping soundly among the countries surveyed.

56% of local respondents reported having sleep issues, while 53% have trouble falling asleep. 41% frequently wakeup from nightmares, while 41% have inconsistent sleep and wake cycles.

While solving this dilemma may not be as easy as it sounds for some, there are ways to get around it. One example is by gearing up with the right health-related devices. This is why Samsung built the Galax Watch6 with cutting-edge technoology that would aid those who wish to take care of their overall well-being—including being mindful of their sleeping habits.

Promoting sleep as part of the wellness journey

The Galaxy Watch6 and Watch6 Classic have improved sleep monitoring features that provide a detailed Sleep Score, helping users to fully understand their sleeping habits by keeping track of things like total sleep time, sleep cycle, and awake time.

The Galaxy Watch6 series also features the Sleep Consistency function, which displays how constant the user's sleep and wake periods are, as well as a Sleep Animal Symbol that represents the user's preferred sleep style. The Sleep Coaching feature, meanwhile, helps users develop better sleeping habits by providing personalized instructions, advice, and reminders that are accessible on both their wrist and paired smartphone.

In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Dr. Aika Buenavista, a lifestyle medicine specialist and and KonsultaMD occupational health physician, said that the device is "very helpful" as it allows medical practitioners to test if their recommendations and interventions are working on a patient through quantification.

Galaxy Watch6 showing a user's sleep time

"If we have a watch that quantifies 'yung, for example, oxygenation, kung nag-snore ba siya, 'yung heart rate niya, ano 'yung amount of deep sleep and light sleep, and you come back after a week, it will definitely help the doctor, kasi dun niya malalaman 'Should I increase the dose? Should I decrease it? Are my interventions working or not' or if my patient is getting well," she told L!fe.

"We need something that quantifies if there is improvement or not. kasi kung wala kang pang-measure, paano mo malalaman kung successful yung intervention," she added.

Moreover, Dr. Aika lauded the device for its efficiency and user-friendly features that helps users monitor themselves in creating a restful environment. This can be done by activating Sleep Mode on the watch, which automatically adjusts the settings of other devices paired with it.

With this functionality, the user's phone can mute notifications, dim screens, and even activate the watch's invisible LED infrared sensor to deliver important health insights without extra light distractions.

"Whatever will help the patient to get well, doon kami," she said.

Galaxy Watch6 shows a user's sleep score.

Quantity over quality sleep

When it comes to fixing your sleeping habits amid erratic schedules, Dr. Aika suggested prioritizing the quantity of your sleep over its quality.

"For me, I would focus more on quantity kasi I want you to finish the sleep cycle so that you have recovery," she told L!fe.

"In terms of quality, that is the second goal. When it comes to sleep kasi, it takes time. Sleeping is a behavior as well as a habit, and when it comes to habit, it takes time," she continued.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dex Macalintal, also from KonsultaMD, shared some points in monitoring and maintaining heart health as part of achieving overall wellness. This goes perfectly with the Blood Pressure and ECG measuring function of the Galaxy Watch6 through the Samsung Health Monitor app.

"The built-in PPG sensor periodically measures heart rate and heart rhythm while you wear your Galaxy Watch6, and will alert you if your heart rate is too high or too low. It will also send you a notification if it detects an irregular heart rhythm, along with a prompt to take an ECG to examine your heart rhythm in more detail."

On mental health

Mental health is equally as important as physical health. And for that, Dr. Lovely Ana Aguas, a psychologist from Mental Health PH, told L!fe how to get in touch with one’s emotions and how mental health goes hand-in-hand with being physically healthy through the help of Galaxy Watch6. 

"Dati it's a challenge for me to watch out for system overload kasi paano nila mame-measure 'yung heart rate nila, paano nila mame-measure 'yung blood pressure nila tsaka 'yung breathing rate nila," she said. "Now through the watch, 'di na nila kailangan mag-pulse, oxygen pa sila or pumunta sa clinic para ma-figure out 'yung vital signs. They just need to wear the watch and would know when they need to get a time-out."

Galaxy Watch6 shows measurements of your daily activities.

As a mental health advocate, Dr. Lovely said that sleep is one of the essential things that a human must do as it regenerates our body and brain cells.

"Kapag di tayo well-rested, kahit wala tayong pinagdadaanan sa buhay even, nakakasama ng pakiramdam and nakakasama ng outlook at ugali minsan," she noted.

"So we want to make sure we can monitor our sleep, activities, and vital signs every single day for us to see to have a general idea kung ano na nangyayari sa general well-being natin."