Action News Jax Investigates: Gadgets that promise to help you sleep

Like so many of you, Action News Jax’s Paige Kelton has a tough time getting a good night’s sleep.

She decided to take action and get answers.

Action News Jax Investigates gadgets that promise to help you sleep.

More than 50 million Americans have trouble falling asleep.

A growing number of gadgets promise to help you have a more restful night, but Action News Jax is looking at whether technology is helping or hindering your efforts to fall and stay asleep.

Over the course of several weeks, Action News Jax Paige Kelton, who suffers from restless sleep tested the SleepScore, which sells for $149.

It uses radio waves to monitor your movements and breathing, in the morning you get a number that rates the overall quality of your sleep.

Blue shows deep sleep, green is light and yellow is REM sleep.

An average of her results showed Kelton’s quality of sleep registered higher than she expected.

But on restless nights, her SleepScore indicated REM sleep well below optimal levels.

Dr. Brynn K. Dredla is a Neurologist specializing in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.

MORE from the Sleep Center at the Mayo Clinic

“The average adult needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep,” she says, adding “When it comes to REM sleep each human cycle through REM and non-REM, we usually cycle 4 to 6 times.

REM is about a quarter of your sleep."

Wearable technology can also give insight into your quality of sleep.

"I would have assumed sleep is sleep," says Shelby Cochrane who wears her fit bit to bed. Cochrane says tracking her results motivates her to prioritize good sleep, "Seeing the quality makes me want to get longer amounts of sleep to get better quality sleep."

Kelton asks Dr. Dredla, "What does all of this technology tell us?  Dredla answers “There are a lot of tech features they give us an idea of what our sleep pattern is, but it doesn't tell you what's causing the issue that's where sleep physician comes into play to figure out what that is."

According to sleep experts, signs you may have a more serious problem include sleepiness during the day, if it interferes with work or your quality of life or causes you anxiety.

It’s also possible that technology gets in the way.

“That's right.” Says Dr. Dredla, “You don't want the technology to keep you up, it has light so that's something that makes us more awake.  If people use technology look at it the next day, not that night."

The secret to a good night sleep, includes keeping your room cool and quiet, free of distractions.

Give yourself time to relax before you go to bed and allow time to fall asleep and don't keep your phone, by your bed.

"This is something that could improve your quality and longevity of your life and quality of your day by getting better sleep," says Cochrane.