The sleep geek
There are one or two ways that you can get good and geeky with your sleep. My interest in this area of life came from feeling I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I often go to bed at 1 o’clock or even 2 o’clock in the morning. I’ve often just started doing something on the computer and lost track of time. There are occasions, when I have a look at what I’ve completed after midnight and I think I would have been better off in bed snoring. So the first geeky thing I did was to use, for a couple weeks, a Fitbit. This device is mainly for recording the number of steps you take during the day. It’s to encourage you to get some decent exercise, but will also record your sleep patterns. You can tap it a few times when you get into bed and are ready for sleep and you end recording when you get up. It has accelerometers in the device which will record your movement and tell you if you are getting a good night sleep.
Sound and Motion Recording
In some ways, there’s not an awful lot you can do about improving your sleep. Although being aware that you’re not giving your brain enough time to properly rest is a good start. So I do try and tell myself to get into the sack at a reasonable time and get a regular eight hours of sleep each night. Yesterday I came across another application which will track your sleep. This is an application called SleepBot and it is quite simple to use. When you are ready to head off into the land of Nod, you press the button in the middle of the screen – start sleep. There are some buttons you can use to tell it to track motion and to record sound. In order to get it to record motion, you have to put the iPhone on your bed and that doesn’t really work for me. I suppose it would be possible for me to put underneath the pillow and maybe I will give that a try.
So on my first night of trying this I went for the option of recording sound. This is so I could get a recording of me farting and snoring during the night. What you get is a graph and I can see a few peaks representing sounds made during the night. Most of the sounds are in what they called the silent range. That is probably the rustling of bedclothes or something like that. There are a couple of recordings of me getting up in the middle of the night and a recording of my wife getting out of bed to go to work. None of this is very interesting and it seems I do snore, although that could be my wife… You can give your sleep log a rating. So you could give it five stars if you did indeed sleep like a log. There is also a space for you to write some notes. I suppose you could use this area to go into some detail if you felt you had more to say. Or you could just write something about your dreams.
Automating the Process
There are other applications that do something similar. It just goes to show how technology leads us to being good and geeky in every area of life. I will use this application for a week to see if it is worth continuing for a longer period. It would be quite nice to have some sort of automation. I could put the phone on an NFC sticker, to automatically turn this sleep application, SleepBot on and I’d not have to think about it. Now we would be getting really geeky.