I sleep, it’s what I DO; and I do a lot of it. But every so often I have a night that just sucks; I can’t fall asleep, once I am asleep I don’t get my usually crappy quality sleep, and I wake up feeling even worse than normal. I recently discovered an iphone app that piqued my curiosity, it claims to track how well you are sleeping, and has an alarm function to wake you when you are sleeping lightly, in order to avoid rousing you from a deep sleep which causes most people to wake up groggy and feel “off” for the rest of the day. I was skeptical that this app could do what it claims, so I’ve been testing it out for the last 7 nights now…and I find the data I got pretty interesting.
This was the first night I used the app. It shows a fairly regular pattern of transitions from light sleep to deep sleep and back again. On this morning I woke feeling my normal amount of rested (which is not very rested). As you can see the alarm did go off at 9:26am, even though I had it set for 9:45am, that is because it determined that 9:26am was when I was sleeping light and would wake up easily. As you can also see that didn’t work out as planned, since I pushed snooze 5 times and didn’t get up until 9:47am…but that’s ok, I have learned after many years of waking up feeling awful that I need to plan a cushion of time into my mornings to allow for snoozing, or laying in bed waiting for pain pills to kick in before I get up, or taking longer than anticipated to get dressed due to pain, etc. I did not download the app for the alarm function, I downloaded it because I wanted to see what it said about how I am sleeping.
This was last night. You can see the much higher percentage of time spent in light sleep, as well as waking up twice during the night. I do not remember waking up, and can only assume that the app was detecting lots of excess movement and interpreting that as me being awake (although I could have woken up and just not remember it; my hubby says that I occasionally sit straight up in bed, open my eyes, look around, and then lay back down…I have NO memories of doing this lol. I used to have night terrors as a child, and have a theory that this sitting up in bed is a very minor, adult version). This morning I woke up feeling like I ran a marathon in my sleep, and I might have since all of my pillows and blankets were on the floor! This may also have contributed to the light sleeping and the feeling awful when I woke up, because it is an extremely cold morning here with the temperature when I woke up being 43 at 10am! My pain levels are through the roof, and I am writing this as I lay in bed and wait for my pain medication to kick in. I am exhausted and feel like I just need to go right back to sleep.
So it appears that the app may in fact be doing an acceptable job of tracking my sleep…I will continue to collect data and compare it to how I feel in the mornings.