Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Is a fitness band supposed to scare you?

I spent my first day monitoring steps and sleep using my new Jawbone Up3 fitness band. At first, I was pumped exploring the app and setting goals. Then I was ready for bed and eagerly directed the device to "start sleep."

By 3am I was up. I wonder if the band was capturing my awoken state. I tossed and turned until 5am and thought, "well this sucker won't measure anything I don't already know." It wasn't as though wearing it would cure my insomnia, but I was hopefully to learn about the quality of sleep I got while actually sleeping.

When the fitband alarm gently woke me up I couldn't wait for the following report...

Firstly, it's wrong! 

During a period of so called light sleeping 330-515am I was wide awake, so my accomplished goal of sleeping 8 hours is inaccurate. Then, I noticed how much of a light sleeper I really am. REM and deep sleep combined accounted for only 2 hours and 12 minutes of the night while I was awake for another two! 

With that, this report actually freaked me out!

Sleep is such a valuable asset in life and yet we often believe we're okay without it. Truthfully, we're not. According to research, not only is our long term health and immune system compromised without sleep, but we are often walking through our day relying on sweets or caffeine for energy boosts, irritable, moody, napping or secretly hoping for a nap, falling asleep in meetings, lectures or warm rooms, and simply dragging ourselves through the day. None of the above supports a healthy body or mindset. This experience is bad for even our self-esteem. 

If you're feeling any of the above, think about your sleep habits, and work to improve them. But whatever you do, don't let a fitness band freak you out like it did me. Measuring sleep routines is only half the battle. Now, on to making sure I get more out of sleepy nights ahead!

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