Sleepless - according to my iPhone
July 3, 2017 5:24 AM   Subscribe

My iPhone says I got no sleep at all last night. That phone was in bed next to me and was charged and turned on the whole time. I was unconscious from about 11 to about 6.30 and I definitely don't have that "got no sleep" feeling.

I am somewhat congested, so I wonder if I'm snoring and it's picking up the sound - or the vibrations - and deciding that I'm not sleeping at all. I've considered downloading other apps which pick up on different phases of sleep to compare the results.

Lately, I've had a few nights where my phone says I'm getting 3-4 hours of sleep and I think I've been mostly unconscious for 7-8 hours, and I don't feel as crappy as I expect to feel on so little sleep.

What would explain this? If I'm not getting adequate sleep that's obviously something I want to address.
posted by bunderful to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should say that while I don't feel that I've gotten *no* sleep, I don't feel refreshed. In the past I've sometimes had phases where I am technically unconscious for most of the night but still feel exhausted - allergy meds have helped with that somewhat. Until recently the app has pretty much reflected my perception.
posted by bunderful at 5:31 AM on July 3, 2017

Put your phone somewhere else...outside the bedroom. You could be sleep-checking it and not realize it. This is a real thing.
posted by agregoli at 5:38 AM on July 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Definitely download some other apps and run them concurrently before you waste energy worrying. I have three and quite frequently one of them will report something wildly different than the other two (took ages to fall asleep, awake for a chunk of time in the middle of the night, etc).
posted by Secret Sparrow at 5:44 AM on July 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're really into the sleep tracking thing, I've also found external devices like the fitbit, etc to be considerably more accurate than my iphone.
posted by cgg at 7:38 AM on July 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

You could try a Fitbit that tracks sleep. None of the consumer sleep measuring tools are super accurate. If you really think you're having sleep problems though, you could ask your doctor to do a sleep study.
posted by gregr at 7:39 AM on July 3, 2017

Yeah. Adding that your phone is not giving accurate information.
posted by saradarlin at 7:48 AM on July 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I don't expect the app to function at the level of a scientific instrument. However it's usually reflected my perception, and the fact that it now doesn't, when I seem to be sleeping but not feeling rested, makes me want to better understand how it works and why the data I'm getting is changing.

If I wanted a scientifically accurate assessment of my sleep I'd need a sleep study. I'm not ready to do that at this time.
posted by bunderful at 8:13 AM on July 3, 2017

bunderful: "makes me want to better understand how it works and why the data I'm getting is changing"

The article is rather detailed into how quality of sleep is truly measured, what these apps actually measure, and why those measurements are not in the least bit sufficient to accurately measure the quality of your sleep. So, at the very least, the second element would meet your criteria, even if you do not care about the first and third.
posted by WCityMike at 8:15 AM on July 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

I have tried several apps and am not completely in love with any of them, and the ones that go in the bed are awfully touchy - I'm a very mobile sleeper, plus I've got a 85lb dog chasing dream bunnies all night and another human next to me. Right now I'm using Autosleep without the Watch component (which I tried a couple of nights, and again it assumes my flip-flopping is not-sleeping, and also it turns out I really really hate sleeping in my watch), and since I keep my phone facedown on the nightstand and turn it face-up to check the time if I do wake up, it's done a pretty accurate job of knowing how much I really slept.

I think the motion-sensor ones can be really hard to get along with unless you have exactly the kind of bed, mattress, and range of typical motion they're set up to expect.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:43 AM on July 3, 2017

Best answer: I use my iPad with an app and most of the time it gives me nice a nice hills and valleys record of my sleep, along with a percentage that indicates how well I slept, and usually it matches with how I think I slept - but once in a while I get nothing or some really weird reading and I just try to remember to do a hard reset to my iPad and it seems to go back to normal.

But it's definitely NOT YOU.
posted by Locochona at 1:56 PM on July 3, 2017

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