My job, combines my passion for pointing out what’s wrong, with my endurance for sitting in front of a machine. Needless to say, I wake up quite early to work more hours than I should. Now, it’s not unnecessary work, there’s always something wrong 😉 But the problem lies in that I wake up 3am or 4 am, without the use of an alarm. Not a healthy habit, really. So, I started eyeing these fitness trackers. (Mislabeled, I suppose.) They track your movement and…ta da…you’re sleeping pattern. Perfect!
First, I was fascinated with the FitBits. Mostly because I saw a pink one that matched my phone case, to be honest. But I could never justify spending $100 or more on a problem that could easily remedy itself if I just, I don’t know, stayed in bed longer ??? Well, I guess, I didn’t know WAS the problem. Either way, I put buying it off, and just researched it more. (That’s my version of “purchase procrastination”. Then I saw Brian wearing one, a different brand, and he advised me he had been testing different models and brands for a study at WSU. He went on and on, and advised me that if I was just using it to track my sleep, I can easily get a phone app.
My first objection on a sleep tracking phone app was that no matter how sensitive the movement tracker is on my phone, it would never suffice. My bed, after all these years, feels and looks immaculate and untouched for the simple fact that it does not recognize me. I am too little and too light, therefore, having a phone laying beside me does nothing. I can toss and turn all night, and it would never move. Regardless, I browsed the app store trying to give it a shot. The second obsession became, most of the apps (from what a remember, less than a dozen) are free and came with BAD reviews i.e. crashed phones, did not work, and a bazillion ads and the ones that cost still had bad reviews, just not as many. I’m sure because, like myself, people just realized it wasn’t worth shelling out money for something sure to fail. I “purchase procrastinated” on that as well.
Then Thanksgiving came, and we had an early dinner at Ching and Brian’s. Got home about 4pm-ish and turkey’coma’d until 7pm-ish and decided to go to Kohl’s to grab some pillows. (The search for a good night’s rest is never ending.) Now, imagine me standing there holding two pillows, in line, with families holding an entire aisle of stuff. It was shopper envy. So, I stood, waited, spanning the surrouding for something interesting, and BOOM! Jawbone UP Reg. $129.99 Sale $59.99 and me holding a 15% coupon (image in my phone.) Awesomeness!
So, now I’ve been walking around with this handy dandy companion, yet to be named. It really does need to be named though, because it feels like I can talk to it, almost. Well, actually, sometimes I do.
So far, it does as I expected. Track my movement. When I sync it to my phone I get a report of hours slept and I get a chart of “sound sleep” vs “light sleep”. The chart also includes the times I “woke up”. Now, if you’re really into data, which I am, you can set a time of when you want to be asleep, and when you want to be awake. So, now, the chart tells you what time you fell asleep (before or after your set time) and when you woke up (before or after your set time). Now I have a pattern to look at. Also, waking hours are charted based on how many steps you took and the sunrise and sunset are marked as well as the times, to I can easily say that when it gets dark out, I move less. Now, everyone knows more movement, (we’ll venture into exercise when I have more time,) promotes better sleep so this is a good chart too.
Here’s the extra part. So I set my sleeping time to be up to 40 mins prior to 10pm, so I could try to wake up later. Which means, if my device thinks I might as well sleep up to 40 mins from 10pm, say it knows I already laid down, or I’m moving less, it’ll give me a continuous vibration. Or, if it’s 10pm, and it knows I’m still active, I get the continuous vibration. Fair. Now, I set my wake up for up to 40 mins prios to 5am. So, if I’m already tossing and turning and I might as well get up, my wrist buzzes, or if I need to get up, my wrist buzzes. Awesome. The Jawbone UP is also water resistant. I showered with it on a couple of times (I forgot I was wearing it, another plus) and it still functions properly. The not so good extra part is when I don’t want to listen to it. I bought it during a holiday, which means no work. I got up Friday morning, ate breakfast and lounged, and the idle reminder, buzzed me to say, “I know you’re not asleep, so start moving.” I shake it, hoping that registers something somehow. No, it really doesn’t. When I laid down to take a nap, same thing, so I put it in “Power Nap” mode, which I forgot I had limited to 45 minutes. User error, much? I tossed it that time. Also, I have found since I got back to work that I have resorted to shushing it, audibly. Obviously, if shaking my wrist doesn’t register as “activity” neither does typing. And since I can basically sit for prolonged periods without needing to get up, I constantly get buzzed. I’ve had a couple colleagues ask if I was talking to them. Must get a grip.
Now, for what it’s worth, still have not gotten any results for my search of rest, although, I have not set forth a good plan to get that. I’ve been too busy at work to even try and risk an off-balance scenario. But it has definitely been a very informative and fun experiment. The app also lets you log what you eat, and though I’m not so thorough about it, I have learned that I probably don’t get my daily dose of fiber. So much to try to pretend I never learned.
This is a very long detailed overview, but hopefully I can get back to my weekly Zumba soon and get some really good use of this.
*Any names suggestions, comment below.