Monday, July 28, 2014

Sleep Stuff

Sleep. I love it! I feel pretty lucky that I have very few issues with sleeping. Yes, I have the occasional night when I have trouble getting to sleep, or wake up in the night, but those times are pretty few and far between.

There are a lot of articles out there telling us all the importance of sleep. We need our "beauty" sleep, we need to be well rested to function. I remember reading one not long ago saying that inconsistent bedtimes can lead to weight gain.

For the most part, the hubs and I are a pretty "early to bed early to rise" couple. It's not uncommon for us to start shutting things down around 9:00 or 10:00, much to the chagrin of our teenage children (#2, Mr. Social who wants to stay out late with friends but then also needs a ride home). I remember pushing the curfew myself when I was that age, but I was never really a night owl. My friends knew that after 10:00, Jen got a little loopy!

My wear my Fitbit One to bed, clipped onto my nightshirt (not in the little wristband as it is actually supposed to be worn). It tracks my sleep. I don't know how accurate it really is, but as of this year, I have been recording my "to bed" "awakened" and "hours asleep" with the rest of my numbers. It has been interesting to watch the trends. To compare how I felt my night was, with what the Fitbit feedback reflected.

I mentioned we did get #3 set up with a Fitbit (Tracking the Family. He was the last one to get one). He has the One, and I did want him to have that model because I was interested in having him use the sleep tracker. He complains constantly that it took him hours to get to sleep, that he didn't sleep at all. I thought it would be interesting to see what the Fitbit said about that. It's still very new, so we don't have a lot of data yet.  He's actually on a little vacation right now. I received a text from him this morning with a picture of his Fitbit, with 45 steps on it. He said he woke up with that. Now if you read the Fitbit forums, you'll probably come across tales of "phantom" steps ... sometimes that happens. But for my son, apparently there WAS a little sleepwalking going on (he does do that) as both a cousin and Aunt verified that he had walked around a little bit in the night.

Wearing the Fitbit to bed can track simple things like how often/when you got up during the night, as well as your restlessness while you lay in bed. I have posted about the Fitbit sleep tracking before. There are several other devices that track sleep too ... apps for your phone, or beddit (that one looks interesting).

I'm a very light sleeper ... maybe it's the "mommy" in me, always keeping an ear out for the kids. We're at a great stage right now though, where all my kids are really good about going to bed and staying asleep. I don't miss the baby days of night-time feedings and kids in the bed with us!

While many things affecting our sleep are out of our control, our actions can contribute to bad sleeping habits.  Caffeine or over eating too close to bedtime ... the late exercise, watching tv or electronics really doesn't seem to impact ME negatively (generally I'm falling asleep with my iphone kindle app in hand). I DO keep our bedroom cool, as I have trouble sleeping if it's hot. We keep the room pretty dark, although I do wish our window blinds were a bit better at blocking out any outdoor light. I thought this article (Can't Sleep? Your Guide To A Better Night's Rest) had some good ideas. 


  1. You know I think it is so important we can honor our own body's sleep style, but it is hard when you have a regular work schedule. I have quite a bit of flexibility right now which is really nice. I wonder if we can change the amount of sleep our body operates best on. I am going to stop commenting I woke up at 3:30 am to take classes, and I am exhausted now :).

  2. Sleep really is important! I learned it the hard way years ago when I didn't get enough and eventually it lead to epstein barr, which I still suffer from from time to time. The only plus thing now is, I can almost fall asleep anytime anywhere:) But because of it, I have to make sure I take the time needed to get the sleep my body needs.
    Great post!


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