Wednesday, October 2, 2019

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Hamlet was talking about death, but thank goodness I'm referring to regular old garden-variety sleep. Catching some z's. Forty winks. Although the ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, the general consensus is that regular, quality sleep is crucial for good health. Well-rested people get sick less often, think more clearly, and may manage their weight better.

Image result for sleepHmmm...if only there were a way to use technology to micromanage something we humans have been doing naturally for thousands of years...

Oh, yeah. There's an app for that. Actually, there are plenty of apps for that. It seems somewhat ironic that the same technology that robs us of sleep can allegedly help us improve it, but that's kind of how we do things these days.

This week, as you may have gathered, I experimented with a sleep-monitoring app. I don't have a fitness tracker right now, so my app was not connected to a wearable that could directly measure my nocturnal thrashings. It also did not record snoring, make me a cup of hot milk, or influence how often I dreamed about taking a test I hadn't studied for.

Instead, my phone sat on a spot higher than the edge of the mattress (thank you, bedside stack of books), where it sent out little sonar blips during the night that were somehow able to gauge the quality and quantity of my sleep. Yes, the same technology that maps the ocean floor can also apparently map the depths of a person's slumber. Who knew?

In the morning, the app generated a short report detailing sleep duration, time to fall asleep, light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and wake time. That was all kind of interesting, but I'm not convinced it was accurate, especially when I got a message that "something" may have interfered with the app's function. Darn you, rogue pillow!

After a week, I can confidently say that a sleep tracking app is not for me at this point in my life. I don't need more reasons to mess with my phone, and, as it turns out, I am entirely capable of determining on my own whether I've had a good night or a bad night. This one is a Leave It, but you might have a different experience. Regardless, I wish you good sleep and sweet dreams!

tired dog days GIF


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