NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new study from the NYU School of Medicine is looking at popular phone apps and fitness devices that track sleep as a way of helping those who are finding restful slumber elusive.

A good night’s sleep used to be a challenge for Sarah Collier, but since the 42-year-old has been monitoring her sleep with her Fitbit six years ago, she’s had more restful nights.

“I have to be much more routine based,” Collier told CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez. “Take the dog for a walk, and try to be in bed by 9:30, and then with the idea of being asleep by 10. And then waking up by 6:30.”

Collier is not alone in finding her habits match her results when it comes to getting rest. A study reported earlier this year found 75 percent of New York City high school students did not get the recommended amount of sleep.

Besides fatigue, another effect of missing sleep is weight gain due to the disruption of two key hormones.

“The study found that sleep tracking is a constellation of other healthy habits,” said Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a postdoctoral researcher at NYU School of Medicine. “People who reported sleep tracking also reported really good nutrition and regular exercise habits.”

Dr. Rebecca Robbins is the author of the study which also shows men are more likely than women to track their sleep.

The most popular apps for sleep tracking in the study were Fitbit, Lose It! and Apple’s Health.

“People really liking the ability to collect data about their behaviors from a day to day to basis and then improve those behaviors,” said Robbins.

Tracking her sleep has led Collier to make some big changes.


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