Recently, I subscribed to a sleep program that would run for 8 weeks. This program aims to monitor my sleeping habits on a weekly basis and suggests ways to improve my sleep. I will blog about my sleeping progress within these 8 weeks and list down a few tips for sleeping better that I learned along the way.
As you’ve probably already know, I’ve been suffering from sleeping disorders since way before. I have also been working on a shifting schedule for the longest time, that didn’t help my situation at all.
Last year, my doctor told me to quit working on graveyard shifts because it’s badly affecting my health. However, I put this off for about a year or so because I’ve been suffering from a rollercoaster of emotions, where I ended up in a huge decision that I’m very glad I made at the end. After a year of “saving myself,” I finally had the time to push through with this program since now that I’ve also changed to a very normal and steady working shift.
Tools and apps I’m using to monitor my sleep are:
- Withings Activité Pop and Nokia Health Mate Mobile App
- Samsung Health’s Sleep – data inputs are manually done
Withings Activité Pop. I wont go into details about Withings Activité Pop and it’s functionality, because you can always Google and other websites can give an even more indept review of it, but in a nut shell, Withings Activité Pop is a fitness watch, that doesn’t look much different than an analog watch, and can monitor your daily steps and sleep times. It used to be owned by a company called Withings, but later on was acquired by Nokia, hence the app that comes with it is now named Nokia Health Mate. (Updated: It’s been bought back by Withings from Nokia, again. LOL)
Samsung Heath app, on the other hand, is the default health/fitness app you find installed within your Samsung mobile phones as you bought it from stores. Taking aside the fact that I’m type of person that likes to use “default” things, I think that Samsung Heath is a great app itself – you can even take note of your daily water and caffeine intake in it.
So for my first week using this program, here’s the result:
Week 1: May 7-13, 2018
Initially, I started this program last May 2 (Wednesday). But since it’s in the middle of the week, I thought I’d just disregard the first few days and start officially at May 7, which is a Monday, and ends the week at May 13, Sunday.
My sleep goal is 8 hours a day, and my Average sleep time is around 6 hrs 28 mins on weekdays and 9 hr 58 mins on weekends.
Although The Withings Active Pop is not exactly all that accurate, because it sometimes records me already sleeping when I’m still awake, or records me still sleeping when I’m already taking a bath in the morning, but at least on average it’s around the same times.
For my first week, my sleep score is 3/7 – I have only fullfilled my 8-hour sleep goal thrice the past week.
Moving on to the tips, while doing this program, these are the initial tips for sleeping better that I was told to follow:
- This is according to my doctor: you should not sleep at least within 2 hours after you ate, and also not to eat too much. This is because your stomach will have a hard time digesting the food you ate. Our stomach will then release extra acids to help with the digestion and this will eventually result to hyperacity and uncomfortable sleep.
- Do not consume caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea or energy drinks 4-6 hours before you sleep.
- Avoid taking warm baths before you sleep, because taking warm baths will wake your body up. Take it at least an hour before you sleep.
- Try to have a sleeping ritual — such as reading a book and/or drinking camomile tea to relax your body before you sleep. Having one so will let your body know that you are preparing to get to bed.
- And the most important part is to have a fixed time of going to bed.
Following the above, I’ve also added a few reminders on my phone and laptop such as:
- 6 pm – Eat dinner
- 8 pm – Prepare to sleep
- 9 pm – Go to sleep
- 5 am – Wake up (My alarm clock)
- 5:15am – Wake up!!! (If I don’t wake up at the first alarm.)
- 5:30 am – WAKE UP!!!! (Hahaha! Just in case. I’ll be really late if I wake up beyond this time.)
Although these reminders are here, I don’t really follow them all that much. I should though.
So in general, I think that I still have a lot of room to improve on, this is still my first week after all. I’ll aim to at least increase my score for the following week.