KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Checking the data on her Fitbit Surge is one of the first things Carol Fusco does every morning. “I’m eager to grab my phone to see how many hours I’ve slept,” said Fusco.

Fusco’s been tracking her sleep for about a month. Her goal is to get a solid eight hours of shut-eye, which is what doctors recommend. However, Fusco rarely hits the mark – and she’s not alone. Dr. Rosanne Barker said only a third of Americans get enough quality sleep.

“If we’re getting less than seven hours of sleep we’re unhealthy and unsafe right now. It also shortens our lives and increases the risk of very serious health problems over time,” said Dr. Barker.

Feeling tired is a reason many people turn to fitness trackers and apps.

“It helps motivate me,” said Fusco.

In fact, the devices are even being used to study sleep patterns and look for possible sleep disorders in athlete, but Dr. Barker warns the results may be misleading.

“They do tend to overestimate sleep by about an hour a night for most people, so you want to put what your Fitbit shows in context with how many hours you are in bed,” said Dr. Barker.

Your device might overestimate sleep because it may think you’re sleeping when you’re actually reading or watching TV. Although Dr. Barker said Fitbit’s data doesn’t track sleep stages very well, she said users can take the information given in the app to see if they’re restless throughout the night.

“Then the next step is to figure out why that is,” said Dr. Barker.

If you’re not sure why you can’t sleep, Dr. Barker said there are more than 100 sleep disorders. She recommends coming to the Sleep Center for a professional test, but, for people like Fusco, the issue isn’t getting quality sleep.

“It shows that I sleep really good throughout the night, which is a wonderful thing,” she said.

Fusco’s goal is to get more sleep. Thanks to her Fitbit, she’s become more aware and keeps tabs on her progress every morning and night. If you’d like to schedule a meeting with Dr. Barker, visit the Barker Sleep Institute’s website.

Here’s a list of some of the popular sleep trackers and apps on the market: