You’ve tried lathering yourself in lavender oil, sipping on chamomile tea and minimising screen time post 8pm. Still, the zzz’s remain elusive. Sound familiar?
Before you turn to a sleep tracking app to suss all that tossing and turning, there’s a new term you should know about:
According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep, it’s a disorder that occurs when people become overly concerned with how much shut-eye they’re getting and convince themselves that they have a problem.
“The use of wearable sleep tracking devices is rapidly expanding and provides an opportunity to engage individuals in the monitoring of their sleep patterns,” the authors explained.
“However, there are a growing number of patients who are seeking treatment for self-diagnosed sleep disturbances such as insufficient sleep duration and insomnia due to periods of light or restless sleep observed on their sleep tracker data.”
Worrying about the numbers on the tracker can actually be counter-productive, as this causes the production of cortisol and adrenaline in the body (aka. the hormones that are responsible for keeping you alert.) So, instead of being helpful, sleep trackers have been found to induce “sleep-related anxiety or perfectionism.”
In short: next time you find yourself counting sheep, take off the tech.