How My FitBit Turned Me Into a Morning Person

I’d describe myself as a night owl. Regardless of how tired I might have been all day, 10 pm hits, I’m ready to go! It’s go time! It’s time to start all that work I procrastinated on all day! My muse is fired up, and sleep is nowhere in my vocabulary…

…but let’s be honest, I wasn’t really being that productive…

Screenshot 2015-05-22 09.16.05

I was also convinced I got my best sleep from 8am to noon- so I liked to be in bed at that time, and my ideal amount of bed-time was 9-10 hours. Yes, 9-10 hours of sleep a night. I just figured I was one of those people who needed more sleep than others. I read the sleep reports: 3 hour rhythms, woman need more than men, being a night-owl is a real thing, some people need more than others, blah, blah. How about a cheap and easy way to tell me how much sleep I need. Is it a vitamin deficiency? Is there a ghost keeping me from sleeping well? Do I have a weird brain disorder that none’s ever heard of? Or am I just such an underachiever I can’t even diagnose my minor depression that keeps me stuck in bed all day? (I’m not depressed).

Since having my FitBit, I’m not so sure about any of it, including my FitBit’s tracking ability…

Note: This is simply a self-analyzation, without the analyzation, so all you crazies who like to nit-pick and find fault with any account, take a breath. I’m not looking into the validity, or accuracy of this type of sleep tracking technology, etc. Why? Because it won’t matter to me. Regardless of how precise (or not) the information I’m receiving is, it’s what I’m using, so I’m going with it. My body fat analyzer isn’t 100%, maybe even 90%, accurate either, but it’s the tool I have and so long as it’s readings are consistent, the precision of them aren’t the main focus. What gets monitored gets managed. THAT’S the point…

So, I’m now a morning person. Checking in to my daily FitBit data showed me at around a 50% sleep efficiency. So, on a night I was in bed for 10 hours, I was getting about 5.5 hours of sleep. On a night I was in bed for 6 hours, I was getting 4.5 hours of sleep. Hmmm. I’m not super at math, but there seemed to be a no-brainer going on about my gross horridness in time management. Why stay in bed so late, when it wasn’t gaining me anything? It wasn’t as if I was actually sleeping, so I was getting up refreshed and ready to face the day. In fact, when I started setting my alarm for 7 am, my state of fogginess was significantly reduced. Hmmm…

Talk about some zen time I’m picking up with this being awake in the morning. A couple of hours of quiet in the morning before the craziness that is american culture wakes up: priceless. More meditation, more workouts, more random creativity.

Watching the squirrels play in the backyard just after the sun is up is a sight to behold. They’re hiding during the day, not that I’d have the time to smile at their mirth when I have barely enough time to get dressed before I need to be doing some scheduled thing.

That franticness of wondering if I’ll fit everything into my day is gone, and the pressing anxiety that so many things are so important is less. Not only do I have more time to get things done, I have less stress about actually doing them (I’m talking about those things that aren’t really important but we make stress us out anyway). I’ve also been taking my first morning hours outside, instead of caved up in the house. factor, I’m sure.

Getting up earlier is getting me to bed earlier, so my sleep efficiency has gone up to 60% (this still isn’t entirely consistent. I’m still staying up past midnight some nights, and getting up at 7- putting me around 3 hours of actual sleep. These days screw me up for a few sleep cycles). And I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more than 90 minutes at a time… isn’t a cycle 3 hours? Should I have turned into an Orange Soda Experiment monster?

Screenshot 2015-05-22 09.15.18

This sleep efficiency thing is curious to me. How do I fix that? A better bed? Better sheets? Maybe my boyfriend and I need separate beds 😉 He’s a night-owl, usually coming to bed somewhere between 2 and 4 am. My sleep clock tells me I’m restless from 4-5 am every morning, suggesting that maybe I should just get up at 4. That still seems insane to me, so for now, I’m skipping that idea. 7am seems okay, but 6 is too early. I was up yesterday at 5:40am to hit a 6am Tai Chi class, and it was nap time around 1, so I didn’t do that again today. Maybe a 10 pm bedtime will have me seeing 4am, but only if it adds some real benefit to my day. I’m not sure what the actually payoff for that schedule might be.

Any other FitBitters out there? What things have you found yourself doing, or not doing, due to the tracking information you’re now addicted to?

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