Friends I have two things to confess:
- I’m an insomniac
- I love gadgets
I don’t want to get into a long discussion about my sleep habits and the myriad methods I’ve tried but let’s just say that I’ve been an insomniac since I was a tween. Also? I love gadgets. You wouldn’t think that gadgets can help you sleep. What they CAN do is keep you company in the wee hours of the night when the whole house is slumbering peacefully. You can imagine my delight, when I discovered that iHome (of which I’m an affiliate) has an app to track my sleep. To be sure, I’ve had a sleep study done but none of those results made any sense to me. All I saw were squiggly lines with the option of more sleeping pills.
Ick. No thanks.
There’s an app called iHome Sleep that tracks your sleep (and your awakes) and provides you with raw data. I’ve been using Sleep for approx 3 weeks and the results have been telling. I’ve found that I average near 8 hours of sleep a night. That doesn’t sound like an insomniac, does it? Well no, but the 8 hours aren’t in a row. That’s because the app shows me when I’m awake, which if you know anything about me, you know I’m almost always on social media at 3am; cuz that’s when I’m awake.
How does the app know how much sleep I get? You keep your phone near your head and somehow the magic app tracks when you roll over and toss and turn and all kinds of other things you do when you’re awake. Maybe it tracks your breathing too. I don’t know how it works; I’m just glad it does.
The other thing I’ve learned about my sleeping habits is that even though I am getting approximately 8 hours of sleep, I’m not getting good sleep. I’m getting approximately 80-100% on average. Duh.
No wonder I’m tired! Here’s a sample of my sleep patterns:
What you can see is that my sleep quality is all over the place: some days great and other days really crummy. There’s no real pattern to my crummy sleeping so that’s what’s so difficult to figure out how to fix.
You can track so many different aspects of your sleep with the Sleep app that it’s really worth investigating. The other neat bit about the app is that if you have trouble falling asleep you can program cute little white noise to help you fall asleep. When I was in Aruba I listened to gentle waves on the beach. The noise helps shut your brain off and quietly slips away after a few minutes. The only hassle with this app is that the phone must stay on your bed and you have to be careful not to knock if off the bed.
Which I’ve done. Several times.
The best part of the app is that in the morning, it wakes you to a lovely gentle alarm, asks you how you slept (respond with a smiley face or a frowny face) and then checks your heart rate. Then I‘ve got all the information I need to tackle my day; which includes how much coffee I’ll need to ingest.