Sleep Tracking

As a person who has suffered with insomnia my entire life, pregnancy was a godsend. Suddenly I could sleep with zero effort. At least for the first six months or so. Then I reverted back to my usual inability to sleep and *sigh* life returned to “normal.” Once the baby was born my sleep disappeared completely and while it was unbelievably tough, it was also easier on me than on my husband who had never had issues with sleep before.

Now with two kids I get even less sleep. If the youngest one isn’t waking me up for a boob every twenty to forty-five minutes (okay, okay, sometimes he can go two to four hours, but not lately), the older one is waking me up because he couldn’t sleep in his bed anymore or something woke him or he’s too cold or too hot or or or or or or…. The thing is, even though it feels like I’m getting less sleep than ever in my entire life, I’m for sure getting more sleep than I did the first four months with my first child.

Either way, it was positively delightful when my husband turned to me the other day and said, “I don’t know how you do it. I only got a few hours of sleep last night and I can barely keep my eyes open or my head straight.” That was such a rush. I wanted to jump his bones so badly in that moment. It was such an “I’m seen! I’m vindicated!” kind of moment. And the thing is that I know I only get two to four hours of sleep a night. How do I know, you ask? Fitbit.

Several months ago I went to the doctor for several reasons and one of the things I mentioned while I was there was how tired I am, how I know I’m doing really well eating right and even doing okay with the exercise part, but that I’m failing abysmally in the sleep department. The doctor proceeded to tell me that there was “no way” I was only getting three to four hours of sleep, and that I should get a Fitbit to track my sleep so I could see how much sleep I was actually getting. Great idea, doc! I went shopping for a Fitbit, got a great deal on one through a sale on their website, and strapped it on eager to see how much more sleep I was actually getting. Come on Fitbit! Show me the zzzzzz’s!

It turns out that I actually get two to three hours of sleep a night, not three to four. And now that I’m actually able to see it every day and verify how little it is I’m even more irritated than before. Which is ridiculous, but there it is. So now I’m getting less sleep than I thought and I can see that there is absolutely no pattern to it. Every night is completely different, so it’s not like I can say “ah, yes, see on nights when I do x I sleep y.” There also doesn’t appear to be any correlation between the amount of steps I take a day and the amount of sleep I get. Or the amount of water I drink. Or any other damn fool thing.

And still I wear it. Because there are days, glorious days where my husband will get up at six am when the youngest wakes up and whisk him away, closing the bedroom door behind him. And on those days, those fabulous days, I am able to get two to three hours of sleep all at once, and usually deep sleep, and I come out feeling like a million bucks, I come out feeling drunk on sleep. And then I sync my Fitbit to the app and I can see the sleep. I can see all that beautiful sleep and for once in that week I’ll get a Sleep Score in the 80’s instead of in the 50’s to 60’s, which is my usual.

Plus, it’s pretty cool that I can see my text messages on it. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the feature. I love it because if I’m feeding the baby and trapped away from my phone in breastfeeding hell, I can still read the texts people send me. So I can still have something to alleviate the pain and/or boredom of the experience (pain because my youngest has taken to picking at my moles while feeding, to the point of making me bleed, it’s not pretty or fun). I only hate the feature when I get a metric shit ton of texts or someone sends me a ton of multiple texts, because then my wrist is just vibrate, vibrate, vibrate, vibrate and it can be a bit annoying.

So even though it is probably giving me wrist cancer, even though it is probably secretly a Big Brother tracker of some kind (as if my phone isn’t), and even though it’s a super silly trendy little fob that is sometimes annoying, I continue to wear my Fitbit. And I’m learning to appreciate other things about it, besides the fact that it verifies how little sleep I get. For example, I do these Workweek Challenges with my friends and family where we see who can get the most steps Monday through Friday, or Weekend Challenges for Saturday and Sunday. And it’s fun! It’s silly, and for whatever reason (a deep rooted and suppressed need to win, the competitiveness I never knew I had) I will find myself walking circles in my kitchen or up and down my hallway at the end of the day if I haven’t reached my goal or if I’m super close to my goal. I also enjoy the weekly email they send me that shows trends in my health like heart rate, step count, times in an hour I was active, etc.

Plus, I have to keep it so the next time I see my doctor I can say, “see! I TOLD you!”

Summary: probably killing me and certainly angering me with it’s proof of my insomnia but also silly fun with step challenges.

~~~That’s one hour~~~

And before you ask, no, I am not an affiliate for Fitbit. I do not receive any monetary reward if you read this article, nor if you purchase a Fitbit. Fitbit doesn’t know I exist aside from the fact that I bought one of their products. I wrote about it tonight because I had to charge it and it got me to thinking about it and the next thing I knew I was typing.

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