We are following sleep hours in the 5% challenge this week, so I thought to focus on this topic in my blog.
Do you have some tips how to track sleep easily?
What I do now:
1. I have a wirstwatch with stopwatch function next to my bed. When I go to sleep, I start it, and when I wake up, I stop.
I do some short naps during the day, I measure it on the stopwatch, with this latter I'm not so consistent, and I don't track it lately.
2. Every morning, I get an e-mail which asks me how many hours I have slept that night. I type in the hours, and send.
Then from time to time, I go to askmeevery.com, and check my answers.
Here you are the last couple of days:
Askmeevery.com is free to use. I've met the developers/founders at a Quantified Self conference in Amsterdam last year, and was impressed.
The benefits I have discovered:
- I'm much more aware when I sleep less then 7 hours in a row.
I see clearly a relationship between being hungry, and sleeping enough. Sometimes, when I very hungry several times a day, but I know I have eaten enough, I check mentally, how much I have slept the night before. At least 50% of the cases I discover that I've slept less then 7hours.
- Lack of exercise
or exercise close to going to bed affects my sleep quality. I sleep best on those weeks when I exercises regularly (but not 2h before going to bed). It might be that's not even the movement that helps, but the fact that my stress level is lower, as the endorphines process my worries away.
does matter for me. We have a central heating system in the house, which goes off at around midnight, and turns back on sometime in the morning. I used to wake up very early in the morning, 1-2h before I needed. Somewhere I've read that the optimal temperature for sleeping is between 17-20 °C (62-68 °F). Now, I pay attention to the temperature. I even bought a thermostat that could switch on and off at given times, but it broke. So now I just turn down the heating manually when going to bed.
I have a small booklet next to my bed, and before going to bed, I record things to do for the next day. When going to sleep, I often remember important thinsg, or I have good thought about problems/issues from the day. I think this is due to the Alpha-waves. So, when falling asleep, I often get creative, and instead of getting bored and falling asleep, my mind starts to spin about the problem, and I try to repeat the thought so I don't forget it... so now, I just jot down the ideas, and todo items. Sometimes, I do it in the Notes app of my phone.
- CO2 levels
I bought recently a Withings Body Scale, it also measures the CO2 levels (also tracks temperatures). I don't know how accurate it is, but at least it shows a number.
Unfortunately, the CO2 level is too high in our after a couple of hours going to bed. I decided to occasionally open the doors, and when I wake up to go to the toilet at night, I open the windows for a couple of minutes.
This chart show the temperature (above), and CO2 levels (below) during the day, until midnight:
This one shows from midnight, to the morning:
In brief, blue levels are good, orange are higher than optimal (something above 1 000ppm is less then optimal, intoxication is above 30 000 ppm). It's not dangerous at all, but it's not the optimal zone.
I like to track my dreams. There are periods when I'm better with this, now I'm less consistent. However, the more I track my dreams, the better I remember them. I'm not sure it has an effect on my sleep, but it's fun, and raises my awareness for a good sleep.
So, how do you track sleep?
What works, what doesn't?
What did you learn?
I'd be very happy to hear all tips, feedback, suggestions.