Carrying on from yesterday’s post, I’m writing a bit about how I’m doing with the Fitbit Flex, a wristband pedometer and sleep monitor. Today it’s more about the sleep monitoring that the Flex does.
As with the pedometer side, the sleep monitoring can be a useful tool, but it’s not something to rely on absolutely.
The sleep monitoring is activated manually (which is usually OK, but could be a pain in the ass on occasion) and also needs to be manually deactivated – which is more of a pig, because if you forget, it screws the figures. It would be nice to have some automatic deactivation in there, although I suspect that the variables for it are pretty wobbly.
Based – I assume – on movement during the night, the Flex can report on “Sleep”, “Disturbed Sleep” and “Awake”. “Sleep” is – again, I assume – when the sleeper is motionless, as REM sleep paralyses the body. (which is why most people don’t sleepwalk, or do anything else physical that they’re dreaming about) “Disturbed Sleep” is when the sleeper is moving about. I’ve no idea how it discerns “Awake” though – it pegs my awake-in-bed time as ‘disturbed sleep’- so I assume that “Awake” means “Registered as sleeping, but actually walking around”. As such, the categories are a bit rough, but at least provide an illustration of sleep quality – or lack thereof.
One thing I do find affects me though is actually looking at the results. (Which is a bit meta and ‘chaos theory’, but bear with me) It’s one thing to feel like you’ve had a bad night, but it’s another one entirely to know it with the readings from the Flex. And yes, I could ‘leave it’ til later, but damn it, I’m interested. However, it does make me feel more tired, more justified in being tired, with that knowledge of “Oh yeah, but I had a crap night”. Seeing the information makes me aware of that crap night, and does affect how I feel during the day. (Similar to how reading a horoscope first thing can sometimes subconsciously direct you towards doing the things ‘predicted’)
It is interesting though. It’s proven that I usually actually get by on 3.5-4 hours sleep per night most of the time, and that it’s really only when I’m on sub-three-hours that I feel shockingly bad. I have good nights (rare), bad nights (common) and very bad nights (thankfully not quite as common as I’d thought)
I’ll keep on using the Flex for this – as I’ve said, it’s a useful indicator, if nothing else. Whether I continue to be aware of the timings or not, bearing in mind how much that knowledge affects me, remains to be seen.