Sleep Better, Perform Better

Jodi Helmer
by Jodi Helmer
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Sleep Better, Perform Better

There are countless options for tracking sleep — from fitness trackers that monitor sleep-wake times to apps that crunch reams of data on noise pollution, body temperature and even time spent in REM. But they have one big flaw: They are based on a single night’s sleep. However, one night of sleep can’t tell the whole story.

“It’s not enough information to make good decisions about your sleep patterns,” explains Andrew Moore, project manager for Under Armour Connected Fitness.

To help track sleep patterns — not just metrics from the night before — the team at Under Armour Record reviewed reams of research and partnered with top sleep experts to create the 14-Day Sleep Score that’s available now in the UA Record app.

“The holy grail of what people are looking for in a sleep tracker.”

As its name suggests, the 14-Day Sleep Score crunches data from two full weeks of sleep based on five metrics: sleep duration, bedtime, wake time, number of wakeups during the night and overall time awake at night. The result is  “the holy grail of what people are looking for in a sleep tracker,” says Moore.

What was the impetus for creating the Sleep Score? Data, of course.

“We looked at the data on our platforms and saw a big gap between workouts and recovery,” explains Moore. “People know how to work out really hard but don’t know how to use sleep as a means of recovery — and that’s the key to peak performance.”

Research shows that sleep deprivation leads to poor performance, heightened levels of perceived exertion and pain, impaired cardiovascular performance and disrupted glucose metabolism, which affects energy levels. In short, poor sleep leads to poor performance.

Despite those consequences, we’re still not prioritizing rest. The Better Sleep Council found that 48% of Americans do not get enough sleep, with adults 35–54 feeling more sleep-deprived than any other age group.

“We’re so good at functioning in a poor sleep state that we have no idea how sleep-deprived we are until we start making changes and start seeing the effects,” says Jeff Knight, an exercise physiologist for Under Armour Connected Fitness. “When you sleep better, you feel better.”


The Sleep Score uses 14 nights of data to calculate a sleep score between 0–100; the higher the score, the better the sleep. Knight estimates that the average person will have a sleep score in the 80s.

Other sleep trackers provide data based on absolutes, assuming that all users — regardless of age, gender, weight and activity levels — have the same sleep needs. The Sleep Score is based on the notion that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the best sleep ever.

“One bad night won’t destroy you, and one great night won’t repay your sleep debt,” says Moore. “It’s a cumulative score based on your specific sleep needs.”

The at-a-glance metric does more than score the quality of your sleep. The app:

  • allows you to set sleep goals, including ideal times to go to bed and wake up, plus duration of sleep.
  • collects data about your current sleep patterns through the Under Armour Band.
  • combines the information to provide cognitive coaching to help you hit your sleep goals.

Doesn’t that sound dreamy?

“By looking at a weekly sleep cycle, we can get an understanding of what’s going on and make recommendations to improve your sleep,” Knight says. “In order to perform your best, you cannot overlook sleep.”


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About the Author

Jodi Helmer
Jodi Helmer

Jodi Helmer writes about health and wellness for publications like WebMD, AARP, Shape, Woman’s Day, Arthritis Today and Costco Connection among others. She often comes up with the best story ideas while hiking with her rescue dogs. You can read Jodi’s work or follow her on Twitter @helmerjodi.


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