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Quantifiable Sleeplessness


Have you heard of the app called Sleep Cycle?

It’s pretty brilliant and fascinating.  You put your phone in your bed with you, and it monitors your movements and breathing patterns during the night, concluding how deeply you sleep.  In the morning, you have a graph of the hours of the night, how deeply you slept, how long it took to fall asleep, whether you tossed and turned, and many other angles to analyze, I’m sure.

Jon Acuff tweeted: I don’t track my sleep at night with a device. Sometimes I feel like a failure during the day, why would I want to fail at night too?

I get it.  I do.  But if I’m remotely falling apart during the day, I love the benefit of at least one thing I can point to as a cause.  Just before I drown in my own irrationality, I can force one hand above water with my phone waving wildly.  Wait!  I’m not losing my mind!  Let me show you my sleep graph, and this will explain so much about what is happening right now!

My favorite feature is the Smart Alarm Clock. Thirty minutes before I have to be up, it watches for patterns of restlessness or signs that I might be sleeping a little lighter.  It plays this whisper of a tone that’s like a little fairy under my pillow, waking me without really disturbing me at all.

You guys, it wakes me gently.  I mean, I’d marry for less than that.

(Just kidding.  Don’t write me letters about the sanctity of marriage.)

Anyway, I have become quite the student of my own sleep patterns, and I always check my graphs in the morning.  If I can stay somewhere in the mid- to deep-sleep range, I’ll call it a good night.

Look at this one.


Look at that giant spike just after one o’clock.

I can tell you exactly what happened.  It sounded a little something like this:  “Mommy.  Mommy.  Mom.  Mommy.  Mom.  Mommy.  I need [something I cant remember] or [something I can get on my own].”

I showed this to the boys.  “Hey, guys, look what happens when you call me during the night.”

“Oh, Mommy.  Wow.  Oh… just, wow.”  Their eyes widen at the graphic nature of the disruption.  I mean, you just can’t ignore it right there in black and white.

“Right?  I will come if you need me, but if you think maybe you don’t need me, then just don’t call me.”

I’m thinking of giving out prizes when we make it through the night with no spikes in Mommy’s graph.

Whatever it takes, people.  Whatever it takes.

Tricia Lott Williford

Comments are closed

  1. We might have our children trained to leave us alone at night a little too well…

    A couple Saturdays ago, my husband woke to find a note from our son on the kitchen table. “I barfed at 1:54 a.m.” And then found said barf drying into the carpet in my son’s room. Thankfully, it was all cleaned up by the time I awoke. My husband explained to my son that sickness and blood are always cause to wake one of us up!

    • Kelley, this is too funny!

  2. I have this too. My only complaint is that it really drains the battery. Do you plug your phone in at night?

    • Yes, I plug it in.

  3. I laughed out loud on this one! Loved it!

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