You don’t need to be an expert to know that good sleep is vital for your well-being. It keeps you alert, regulates your mood, and ensures your body stays in peak condition. But it’s not something you can remedy with one night’s sleep. You need to develop a healthy sleeping habit to reap these benefits. And sometimes, we need tools to make that happen. Samsung invited us a few weeks ago to Anya Resort in Tagaytay City to learn how to get this habit to stick with the help of the Samsung Galaxy Watch6.
It’s the first event I’ve been to where sleep was the main agenda. And I can’t say I wasn’t excited about it. It also gave me the chance to try out the brand’s latest smartwatch. We’re going to talk a bit about the Samsung Galaxy Watch6. But I’m also going to share some of the more useful tips we’ve learned during this sleepover event.
Why you need sleep
Good health isn’t just about eating right and exercising. You need good sleep, too. Getting a consistent good night’s rest boosts your immune system, helps conserve your energy, and even improves your brain performance. Without sleep, you’re putting your body at risk of many diseases and disorders, including heart disease, stroke, obesity, and dementia.
Dr. Maiken Nedergaard and her colleagues from the University of Rochester found that sleep isn’t just “downtime” for the brain. It helps prepare your brain to learn, remember, and create. Our brains have a drainage system that removes toxins while we sleep.
“When we sleep, the brain totally changes function,” she explains to the NIH’s News in Health. “It becomes almost like a kidney, removing waste from the system.”
Her team discovered in mice that the drainage system removes some of the proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease. These are removed from the brain twice as fast during sleep.
Dr. Kenneth Wright, Jr., a sleep researcher from the University of Colorado, said everything from blood vessels to the immune system use sleep as a time for repair.
“There are certain repair processes that occur in the body mostly, or most effectively, during sleep,” he shares. “If you don’t get enough sleep, those processes are going to be disturbed.”
How to get better sleep
If getting a good night’s rest is something you struggle with, you’re not alone.
According to a sleep track survey published by Southeast Asia consumer research company Milieu Insight, Filipinos have the most difficulty sleeping soundly among the countries surveyed, with 56% of the respondents reporting sleep issues. Filipinos most frequently experience trouble falling asleep (53%), frequent nighttime awakenings (41%), and inconsistent sleep and wake cycles (41%).
There are things you can do to ensure these issues don’t ruin your rest. Dr. Aika Buenavista from KonsultaMD shared some practical tips for better rest during Samsung’s Best Night Ever event. They’re simple and practical enough that you can easily follow them.
Dim lights two hours before bedtime. One way to prime your system for sleep is to create the mood for it. If you can use lamps or a dimmer for your lights, do that. It starts to prime your body for sleep. Put on some calming music to help slow things down for the night, too.
Have a warm bath. A warm bath or shower before bed can help you fall asleep faster. The idea is that hot water helps change your body’s core temperature so you go to bed with a lower temperature. Having your core body temperature fall signals to the pineal gland to produce melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and helps you fall asleep. According to researchers from the University of Texas, try to bathe at least 90 minutes before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
Wear comfy sleeping clothes and do some gentle stretches. You want to be comfortable before heading to bed, so it’s important to sleep in comfortable attire. Make sure to do some gentle stretches to help remove the tension and stress you’ve built up during the day.
Quantity over quality (at time). For adults (those over 18), Dr. Buenavista recommended getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. That depends on how much your body needs. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable that you can’t stick to a set bedtime. But what she recommended was at least get that seven hours of sleep on those irregular days. Of course, a bedtime is best kept. But getting the recommended length of sleep can help when it isn’t possible to head to bed during your bedtime.
Put those electronics away. You’ve probably heard this countless times, but it’s best to put those devices away before going to bed. Try to stay off of them an hour or so before bed. Being on devices like your phone before bed can be alerting and stimulating, so having them on hand can energize your brain and delay your sleep.
I can’t say I follow these to a T, but they serve as a guidepost for when I sleep at night. And yes, I try to follow a bedtime now.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 has kept me honest in this respect and helped me get some fun out of the experience, too.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 and your sleep
Samsung improved the sleep monitoring features on the Galaxy Watch6 to give you more detailed information on your night’s sleep. When you wear your smartwatch to bed, it can keep track of your sleep habits and offer information like your total sleep time, sleep cycle, and awake time. And when you get up the next day, you get a Sleep Score corresponding to how your night’s sleep went.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 can also track how consistent your sleep and wake periods are. Going to bed and waking up at the same time is important for achieving better sleep at night. With the watch’s Sleep Consistency tab, you can see how often you hit this target.
Samsung even “game-ifies” the experience through what they call Sleep Animals. These animal avatars symbolize your sleeping habits through eight different animals. The Galaxy Watch6 uses your sleep data to determine what animal you resemble. (If you have a Galaxy Watch4 or newer, you get this feature, too.) I spent a week religiously wearing the Galaxy Watch6 to bed and got the Nervous Penguin as my Sleep Animal. It supposedly depicts light sleepers who get a good enough sleep but tend to wake up too often at night.
These Sleep Animals aren’t just a fun, shareable trivia about your sleep habits. They allow this Samsung watch to be your sleep coach. It’ll recommend tips that ensure you achieve that goal of getting a better night’s rest.
The company doesn’t explicitly claim scientific backing for these animals. But, according to Slash Gear, the recommendations offered for the different animals are made based on recommendations by the Washington-based non-profit National Sleep Foundation. If you follow the advice, Samsung says it’s possible to improve your sleep within a month.
I’m just a week in with wearing the watch to bed. But I’m already more conscious about how I prepare for bed and my different habits around it. The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 is also relatively comfortable to wear in bed. Granted, I am the type of person who tracks her sleep, so I’m used to having a watch on. But this might be an adjustment for some of you.
I like seeing the different information on how my night’s rest went. It gets me thinking about what I can do during the day to ensure I get the optimal experience at night. I’m far from perfecting my nighttime routine, but it’s good to get advice on where I should start.
If you’re looking for an aide to help improve your sleep, the Galaxy Watch6 might be worth checking out.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 retails for USD 299.99 for the 40mm model and USD 329.99 for the 44mm variant.
Send this to someone you think needs help with their sleep!