Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

my sleep & nocturnal ramblings

Here’s a bit of a review of Sleepcycle, Fitbit & Zeo as ways of monitoring your sleep activity. It has to be said at the outset that I have never suffered from a problem with falling asleep or staying asleep 🙂 My only problems are my nocturnal ramblings to take a pee due to my enlarged prostate 🙁 and folks (but not Sally!) complaining about my snoring.

I started with the SleepCycle iPhone app which gave lots of pretty graphs like these and allowed you to set an alarm which woke you when you are in the lightest sleep mode near to the alarm time. However, it became unreliable with the iPhone falling out of the bed in the night. Plus it’s very inconvenient having your phone buried under the sheets 🙂 also there is a slight risk of it overheating when it’s charging during the night.

My next trial is using the Fitbit Ultra, the sleep monitoring with this is more of a by-product of the monitoring of your energy usage in 5 minute increments throughout the day. So there is no capability of setting alarms etc. You fit the Fitbit into a cuff around your wrist and then set it’s timer going, remembering to press stop when you awake. I find it a bit tedious & inconvenient especially when sleeping with Sally 🙂 However, it is excellent at picking up my nocturnal rambles. Here is last night:-

Fitbit sleep chart
Fitbit sleep chart

Whilst messing about with my Withings dashboard (another story) I discovered the Zeo sleep monitor, which rather amazingly could be purchased from Amazon, and even better arrived just before I returned home from Les Gets. Sally refused to allow me to use it over the weekend (even though I know she will be eager to use it). So last night was its inauguration.

Zeo HeadbandAfter answering endless questions I finally got my Zeo account setup. I finally worked out how to to connect the headband. When it’s on it looks more like a headtorch than a sleep device! But I’m never one to be worried about aesthetics and it’s very comfortable 🙂

The Zeo transmits data to the iPhone app via bluetooth which is one of my pet hates as a communication means. After 30 minutes (Yep Fitbit recorded it) of fiddling I finally got it to pair with the iPhone, on my head and ready to press start! It was still in the same place on my forehead when I awoke, pressing stop then produced this rather colourful chart of my sleep:-

Zeo Sleep Chart
First night with the Zeo Headset

Pretty impressive I thought. Although it didn’t really detect my toilet break at 3.30am like the Fitbit did. So obviously I was still very sleepy (obviously why I fell down the stairs 6 weeks ago). It will be interesting to see if my deep sleep goes above 17% in future nights or if Les Gets death by cheese raclettes & fondues really does affect your sleep. The Zeo comes with pretty comprehensive guide to how to sleep better etc. and can even be programmed to silently awake you near your alarm time 🙂 All to be tried in the future! Maybe Zeo can measure sound levels and add them to the chart as well 🙂

More to follow as I get more data…

Going into the red to get out of the red!

Nope, I’m not talking about borrowing money to pay of credit card debts.

I’m talking about The Fitbit 🙂 and balancing the amount of calories you eat against the calories you burn through exercise.

The Fitbit rates your exercise levels into 4 levels, sedentary, lightly, fairly & very active. Very active is shown as red and is typically (for me) above 7 cals/min.

You can also log a daily food diary, when you eat more calories than you have burnt the calorie zone changes from green to red.

Hence to get out of the red eating zone you need to exercise more in the red zone.

Here is an example from today. (I fear the lunch time chips rather clashed with Sally’s delicious vegetable crumble).

As you can see a brisk walk around Les Gets corrected today’s gluttony 🙂

Heavy snow in Les Gets

Here is the guy clearing the entrance to my apartment in Les Gets this morning. Oh how I would love to have such a machine 🙂

snow blower in les gets
Heavy Snow in Les Gets

High winds prevented access to the Northern  slopes of Mont Chéry today, so hopefully lots of new runs there tomorrow.

Here is the scene at the mid station today:

Mont chery 4 person lift
The day after a night of snow

Finally managed to get the new Air working as well today with its illuminated keyboard, after making the mistake of transferring all the old files locked with snow leopard requiring me to reinstall Lion (over the slow internet here). Just have to get used to the QWERTZ keyboard now 🙂

The Kindle needs me :-)

Oh dear it has been officially noted that I’m been very lazy. Just received this from Amazon:-

We noticed your blog (listed below) has not updated for more than 30 days. Kindle customers expect to receive frequent updates for blogs and news feeds to which they subscribe. Because blogs should update at least once per month, we are cancelling blogs that have not updated in more than 60 days.

Please update your blog regularly. If it is a seasonal blog, please let us know the publication frequency

I should be writing about my exciting new toy The Fitbit You can see my daily stats on my wordpress.com blog

Or the bad time I had when The Russians broke into all my blogs and wreacked havoc. Only resolved when Quentin came to my rescue  writing UNIX command lines such as:-

grep -r -l eva1t * | grep -v phpbak | xargs -n 1 sed -ibak -e ‘s/..php.*eva1t.*/\n/’

& cleaning out every php file in 30 websites. For which I’m eternally grateful.

Or my experiences with my new Xmas present from Sally , the  Oregon weather station up to Wunderground (sorry it’s down at the moment as it needs a PC between it and the net).

Roc d'Enfer from Mont Chery

Hopefully my writers block will be freed up and folks will have less to complain about my tweets always been from scripts!

In the mean time I will enjoy my apartment in Les Gets & the great snow conditions!

and also a Happy New Year to all!!