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02/26/2010

Analyzing My Sleep

Last week, my cousin introduced me to the Sleep Cycle iPhone app. From their website:
The Sleep Cycle alarm clock is a bio-alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you when you are in the lightest sleep phase.
While not perfect, it's more data than the only data I've ever had before on my sleeping patterns. Here's how I slept during the first week of usage:


02-19-10: I only slept 5 hours due to an early flight


02-20-10: Great night sleep


02-21-10: In a small cramped bed


02-23-10: Woke up at 6am to use the bathroom


02-24-10: Woke up at 4:30am to use the bathroom


02-25-10: Woke up at 4:30am AGAIN to use the bathroom



And here's what a good night sleep should look like:



It's amazing how having data easily available, can quickly change behavior. My biggest lesson learned, so far, is to not drink a lot of water before bed, because getting up to use the bathroom throws off my natural wake up process.

I've read a few times about how we are entering into an era of democratized data streams that will help us make "the best" decision. For example, the Honda Civic Hybrid's dashboard tracks your MPG in real time, and lets you compete against other drivers. The real time MPG data helped me realize that easing into lights is much more fuel efficient than breaking hard. Minor things, but multiplied out over millions of people...

I'll continue to experiment with Sleep Cycle, and report back, over the next month to see if minor tweaks can lead to maximum sleep benefits.


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