It all started when I got an activity tracker as a free gift. You know, those digital bracelets that keep tabs on your steps, sleep, etc.? So I downloaded the free app and put on the bracelet. Worked like a charm. I walked down the hall and quickly checked my wrist. Cool! Back to my office and smiled as I saw the count increase. This thing was awesome!!
I took it home that night and was super excited to have it track my sleep. Now I’d finally see what was really going on and how I could achieve perfectly restful nights and deep rejuvenating sleep. I pressed some buttons, went to sleep and in what seemed like a few short minutes, it was morning. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my phone and checked the results. Well, either I did something wrong or I slept for a total of 38 seconds.
Dejected but not defeated, I vowed to re-read the Google-translated instructions one more time and try again. Night number two . . . I pressed some different buttons, went to sleep and found myself waking up throughout the night, worrying about the results and how much deep sleep I was not getting because I had this stupid thing strapped to my wrist. Morning came and now I finally had some hard data. The report said lots of light sleep – no duh! – with only 2.5 hours of deep sleep. We’ll that sounded bad, but I figured it was only the first night and after a couple of days I would be rockin’ the deep sleep.
After 5 days the story was not good – the highest level all week was only 3.1 hours of deep sleep! Okay, so what did that mean? Would I ever sleep well? Now I was so worried about not sleep well, that I wasn’t sleeping at all. I decided to do some research on how to increase my deep sleep. I consulted a slew of websites that said they had the magic answer to my deep sleep problem: paint your room a soothing shade of green (!?!); eat a banana before bed – I’m allergic, no help there; take a hot bath two hours before bed – Ha! I’m lucky if I’ve finished helping with homework and have eaten dinner by then; this is a great one – hide your clock so the glow won’t disturb you – that sounds like a recipe for oversleeping.
After a thorough search I found that no one had any foolproof idea how to get a good night’s sleep. At least I’m not alone – millions of people around the world are searching for the same answer. Most people only really get 3-4 hours of deep sleep per night – less and less as they get older. I guess that’s just going to have to be okay. My best idea moving forward? Track steps during the day and then take the stupid thing off before bed. Stop worrying about it so much – I get little enough sleep as it is.