Thursday, October 24, 2019

Inktober 2019 Day 24

What Gets Measured, Gets Managed.
(Or You Can At Least Worry About it Much More Efficiently)

Inktober 2019 Day 24
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. Maybe.

Peter Drucker made the above statement in regard to business management, but that perspective often comes up in the contemporary health and wellness community.

Trying to improve sleep or health in general without recourse to pharmaceuticals is most often slow and requires diligence and  persistence.  It is hard to perceive  progress.  One gets accustomed gradually to the new normal, whether it is better or worse than the old normal.

Self quantification devices, like my personal favorite, the Ōura Ring, can be quite helpful in this regard. I have data about my sleep going back for more than a year. And it tells me that, at least by the yardsticks the ring captures, my sleep has improved more than I might have thought. 

But self quantification is, as they say, a double edged sword for the obsessives among us. There can be a strange sort of performance anxiety about sleep.  

The ring is quite motivating when it comes to overall time in bed- there is no deluding oneself  in hindsight that a bedtime wasn’t really so late.  But the less immediately controllable aspects: how much deep sleep, REM sleep, how many wake ups, can make it harder to parse cause and effect. 

I can only say that if I “do everything right” in regard to my health in general and go to bed on time...for a long period of nights....yes, my sleep will improve overall.

And it’s best not to dwell too much on the day to day glitches.
(And put the ring in airplane mode, particularly if you are sleeping with it pressed to your head)

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