Photo: Flickr/The Alieness
If you’re like most people, you don’t think that much about the quality of your sleep.But some folks are now taking the task of tracking their sleep into their own hands. And they’re getting a little obsessive about it.
The blogger at gwern.net used a Zeo to keep track of the quality of shut-eye, and posted an obsessively detailed account on his blog.
The Zeo is an alarm clock rolled into an EEG sensor headband. It can tell if you’re sleeping or not and rate the quality of sleep.
After the blogger got a Zeo for Christmas, the blogger wanted to test out 11 things, including the benefits of using melatonin, lucid dreaming, and any effects of vitamin D on sleep.
On a good day, the blogger was happy with the quality of data:
You can see an impressively regular sleep cycle, cycling between REM and light sleep. What’s disturbing is the relative lack of deep sleep – down 4–5% (and there wasn’t a lot to begin with). I suspect that the lack of deep sleep indicates I wasn’t sleeping very well, but not badly enough to wake up, and this is probably due either to light from the Zeo itself or my lack of regular blankets and use of a sleeping bag. But the awakenings around 4–6 AM and on other days has made me suspicious that one of the cats is bothering me around here and I’m just forgetting it as I fall asleep.
The blogger added:
On the 15th of February, I had a very early flight to San Francisco. That night and every night from then on, I was using melatonin, so we’ll just include all the nights for which any sensible data was gathered. Oddly enough, the data and ZQs seem bad (as one would expect from sleeping on a couch), but I wake up feeling fairly refreshed.
As more people start to track their sleep patterns and health, will we see more of these experiments come online? Or do you think putting all this data out on the blogosphere is just too much information?
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