During the slow, rerun, unemployment days of Christmas and early January, I found myself generally going to bed reasonably early and only setting my TV-as-alarm-clock every now and then. The nights when I didn’t set my alarm, I slept according to the pattern I’m slowly coming to accept is my “norm” — which, left to my own devices, with no alarm clock or phone calls intruding on my sleep, is about nine hours. (Seems like a such a waste a time. Ah, how I envy those people who only need a couple of hours of sleep a night. Alas, that is not my lot in life — I can function temporarily on little sleep but takes less and less time to catch up with me these days, a sure sign of advancing age.)
Now the television season is starting up again (let’s forget the whole “too much TV may mean earlier death” thing), I start a new (short-term) contract job tomorrow, and I find myself considering whether or not to go to sleep at a reasonable time. (It’s a twist on the Sunday night insomnia that I usually suffer from.) It’s insanity, I tell you. A sane person would think “Yes, a good night’s sleep would be a great start to the new job.” Still, I suppose I’ve never claimed to be sane.
A slight tangent: Tonight, I listened to a free teleseminar given by JJ Virgin, a high profile nutrion coach. The ultimate goal of these types of seminars is obviously to entice you into signing up for a course or program. It’s a fairly standard type of marketing these days, accompanied by the stereotypical “sales letters”. Her programs are very expensive and not something I could sign up for even if I wanted to, but the teleseminar was quite interesting and moderately educational. In particular, she had some excellent points about getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night. It reminded me that I feel better physically and mentally when I get the amount of sleep my body clearly requires. Much as I like it, I don’t want to live on 5-Hour Energy.
Anyway, while looking through her site during the less interesting parts of the call, I came across mention of a product called the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach. It consists of a bedside display unit (see image to the left) and a sensor headband that you wear when you go to sleep. It tracks and monitors your sleep patterns and helps you to determine the lifestyle issues that are affecting your sleep. Given my perpetual sleep issues (even my so-called “uniterrupted sleep” is interrupted — by the cat, by my neighbours, by weird dreams, by aches and pains, etc.), it looks like a tool that would help me figure out just how many times I actually wake up during the night. It’s actually not as expensive as I’d expected: it’s only $249 US. Alas, that’s still out of my price range at the moment, but it’s good to know that there is something out there that can help people with sleep issues without timeconsuming visits to their family doctor and/or a sleep clinic.