Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sleep monitor

Because I was having trouble sleeping, my doctor at Kaiser enrolled me into a "Sleep Well" class. It's part of Kaiser's "Health Education" program. I attended my first class last Tuesday.

I quickly figured out that the focus of the class is on getting patients to become tuned into being disciplined about their sleep habits. We students were told to fill out a "Sleep well, live well sleep diary."

During the following week as I filled out my diary, I began to think about my sleep habits. It appeared that my problem was not sleep, it was actually about being undisciplined about my sleep. Over the years I had become so loving of messing around on my computer, that I did not go to bed unless I was barely able to keep my eyes open. Apparently as good sleep habits are no longer followed, they are replaced by bad sleeping habits.

I got used to only having about two hours of sleep each night. Of course, two hours sleep is not enough if that is all I am getting over a long period of time. I have now begun to go to bed at llpm every night. My daily total sleep has jumped to four hours!

Do sleep monitors work?
One of the women in my Sleep Well class had bought a sleep monitor and she showed it to me. This monitor was sold by a company called Jawbone [weird!] Their monitor was named "UP24".

I bought one of those Jawbone UP24 tracking devices for myself because the ads showed graphs of a user's sleep activity which were amazing! These graphs showed when the user got in bed, how long it took to fall asleep, when deep and light sleep occurred, how many times and when a user awoke.

I used a Jawbone UP24 for a period of four days. The reports were impressive! Then I began to wonder how this device was able to report all these kinds of data. After all, the UP24 was just a bracelet device on my wrist.

It turned out that all these tracking devices really do is measure movement. It is the manufacturer of that device which takes the movement data and "creates" the impressive reports.

It's very much like a device that reads the movement of a car's odometer and from that odometer data interprets everything that the engine does.

In my opinion, this is just nonsense. But because it looks good, users believe that the reports and graphs are real.


  1. Sounds like another rip-off to me, George! Amazing what people think of, and how people fall for tricks. Meanwhile, I hope you get plenty of sleep. Being near your age, and knowing how my husband sleeps, I think getting enough sleep is always a problem as we get older. We wake up in the night--wide awake--lose hours trying to get back to sleep. He is able to nap sometimes during the day; I just walk around like a zombie. Take care of you!

  2. Wow George.! You're a real night owl! I know you didn't get a lot of sleep, but two hours? I'll be 80 in July and I am usually in bed no later than 10P Read for about a half hour, usually get up once around 2A to pee and right back to sleep and awaken and out of bed by 6:30. This has been my habit for about the past 5 years, so I agree with them that disciplined sleep habits are important.

  3. if you have an iphone there is a sleep ap that would work well for you. the one i like is called sleep cycle but since i have a dumb phone i only use it when my husband misplaces his phone (in my grubby hands).