In a nutshell, the Sleeptracker® Monitor is about small day-to-day non-invasive improvements for Ms. and Mr. Everyone using the principles of CBM (Cognitive Behavioral Modification) that add-up over time to improved sleep in the comfort of one’s home. Polysomnography (PSG) is about wearing a battery of sensors and monitors for diagnosing potentially life-threatening sleep disorders such as severe apnea in one or more sessions in a sleep lab. Both PSG and the Sleeptracker® Monitor are complementary and “compatible.” Big data and AI are what drive the innovation in the Sleeptracker® Monitor.
The Sleeptracker system is focused on Cognitive Behavioral Modification and understanding what simple practical matters impact our daily sleep. The idea is to improve sleep for Ms. and Mr. Everyone with small adaptations suggested by AI working with big data sets. With millions of users and millions of nights of sleep to draw from, the Sleeptracker AI engine helps to give us immediately actionable personal insights as to what impacts a night of sleep. The AI engine observes short, medium, and long-term personal daily sleep patterns and compares the Sleeptracker user to hundreds of thousands of people “just like me” to provide actionable personal insights. Through this process, the Sleeptracker user can experience and quantify for themselves the effects of making measured changes to their sleep routine. The data show key impacts to our sleep quality are directly tied to daily exercise, proximity of meals to bed-time, alcohol consumption and stress. These behaviors which directly affect sleep are handled privately, confidentially and securely for the purpose of understanding and further improving using the principles of CBM. Throughout the night, and completely non-invasively, the Sleeptracker® Monitor continuously monitors breathing rate, heart rate, motion, wake-up and out-of-bed events. In time, monitoring will expand to include air quality, ambient noise and temperature of the sleeping environment to provide greater insight into environmental impacts to one’s sleep. For example, sleeping with a partner, pets on the bed and the impact of children on sleep are important factors which the Sleeptracker AI-engine takes into account. With CBM, the AI-powered coaching agent suggests simple actionable tips that help improve sleep for Ms. and Mr. Everyone, a little at a time.
By contrast, Polysomnography (PSG) is focused in today’s medical world in identifying candidates for CPAP machines. That’s very important and probably the most actionable matter that is derived from PSG study as sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition. One must remember, the Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle (HUP) shows the measuring apparatus of an experiment impacts the outcome of the experiment. Anyone who has participated in a polysomnography study knows how invasive PSG can be to sleep. In fact, often the PSG requires patients be monitored multiple nights to obtain a clear understanding of their tendency to apnea due to the invasive nature of the equipment and restlessness from not sleeping in one’s home environment. Most agree that an important part of sleep hygiene is a consistent schedule and conducive sleep environment. Diagnosing apnea and the prescription of CPAP machines is a multibillion-dollar business and of course is indispensable to those diagnosed. The Sleeptracker® Monitor is meant to be a complimentary product to PSG and not meant to diagnose, but to provide insight into sleep patterns and the measured changes one can make to improve one’s sleep routine.
Correlation of the Sleeptracker® Monitor to Polysomnography is accomplished through a fully operational onsite PSG lab staffed by a licensed sleep specialist. While the focus is on CBM rather than diagnosing apnea, this ongoing calibration ensures the Sleeptracker® Monitor delivers greater than 90% accuracy compared to invasive sleep monitoring. Accuracy is focused on time to fall asleep, sleep efficiency, wake-up events, respiration rates, heart rates and REM sleep.
We’d be happy to have you try the Fullpower sleep lab for a complete free and confidential sleep study if you’d like. Here is an article by Fortune magazine that is two years old and describes our sleep lab and how we use it: //fortune.com/2015/06/29/sleep-data/
In conclusion, as the data sets grow with Fullpower’s advanced AI methodologies, we learn more and more about our sleep and how the quality of our sleep compares to “people just like me” in a non-invasive sleep environment. Using CBM, we make small modifications that help significantly improve our sleep and health over time. For severe sleep disorders, PSG and a trained MD are key for prescribing a CPAP machine and treating the sleep disorders. For everything else, the Sleeptracker® Monitor offers valuable insight and actionable coaching into one’s sleep routine for a better night’s sleep.
What does the data tell us?
The fantastic team of Fullpower Scientists, using the AI-powered Sleeptracker® platform to analyze several millions of nights of sleep from millions of individuals worldwide, dating all the way back to 2011 find that:
– 23% of sleepers are Owls (perform best in the evening)
– 28% Larks (perform best in the morning)
– 49% are pretty much able to perform in the morning, or the evening either way
Morning vs Evening Person: Lark vs Owl
Yes, it’s genetic. If you are not a morning person and can’t fall asleep before late at night or if you love getting up at 6am and feel sleepy by 9pm, it’s not your fault, you may be genetically a night Owl or a morning Lark. No matter where you stand in both of those extremes, it may simply be genetic.
Humans adapt. We’ve evolved from Paleolithic ages by adapting to changes. Yet we are genetically programmed to perform the best in some particular circumstances. The latest research shows a genetic link to being a night Owl or a morning Lark.
A team led by Daniel Katzenberg at Stanford University looked at 410 randomly selected adults to assess their tendencies as morning Larks or night Owls. Among other things they took blood samples and looked at the gene named “Clock.” They concluded that the Larks bio clock was up to one hour ahead on the average to the one of the Owls. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9779516
It seems that the world population is made out of one quarter of Night Owls and one quarter of Morning Larks. The remaining half of the population seems to perform equally well at sunrise or sunset. The challenge is that our modern society tends to force everyone to a schedule inherited from the early days of the industrial revolution. This in turn means that there is about 25% of the population that may not perform optimally on a recommended “modern schedule.” You can think of it as lefties being forced to be right handed. Although as humans we can adapt to being ambidextrous, it’s not comfortable. If Kelly Slater were forced to be goofy footed, would he still be the greatest surfer? //www.surfertoday.com/surfing/7527-the-best-goofy-footers-of-all-time
Owl or Lark? How to Identify your Chronotype
In 1976, the International Journal of Chronobiology published a paper by researchers Jim Horne and Olov Östberg. There is a questionnaire with 19 questions, available on the Internet and published. Here is a link to the original. //www.cet.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Horne-1976-IJC.pdf
Can you change an Owl into a Lark?
Especially if you are night Owl, society and social life and work schedules may impose stress. Of course, it is always possible to adapt. But it is not advised to change sleeper type. Be a proud Owl or Lark. Don’t force unnatural adaptation. Lefties should be happy lefties and Kelly Slater should not be forced to compete goofy-footed.
Border Terrier, ready any time for anything: Maximizes Sleep Opportunities
Yes, Fido can teach us humans a lot about sleep. For dogs and humans our scientific approach to analyzing sleep cycles shows us that dogs and humans have similar sleep cycles but that dogs are much more opportunistic in finding opportunities to nap than humans.
We co-evolved with Fido for at least 25,000 years and given the reality of genetics and epigenetics our sleep cycles are similar. Yet our sleep patterns are slightly different. Ballistocardiographs have shown correlation between the study or micro-motions of the human wrist with sleep cycles in humans. That is also true for dogs. When we watch our dogs sleep we observe similar phenomena: Fido twitches her legs as she runs/dreams, snores, growls and smiles through her naps. Fido is really great fun to watch and shows those micro “wrist movements” characteristic of REM sleep and other phases of sleep in humans. Further analysis of brain waves shows similar patterns too.
Of course dog sleeping patterns are a little different than humans. The main differences are in Fido’s sleeping habits. In general Fido is a better sleeper than most humans and a very smart opportunistic sleeper.
Research shows that “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” is the simplest way for humans to improve sleep, and our best friends can help guide us to better quality sleep. Of course, first we must understand sleep, and there is no better way to understand sleep than to quantify sleep with a solution such as the Sleeptracker.com Monitor. The Sleeptracker monitor gives you a comprehensive daily “Sleep-Score”, analysis and personalized coaching insights to improve sleep quality without changing any of your bedding or habits, completely non-invasively, in the privacy of your home. For us humans it’s essential to quantify first in order to form a good understanding of where we stand and what our goals can be.
And now with a good quantified view of our sleep, watching Fido carefully can complement our quantification with practical cognitive behavioral therapy practical advice.
First question: How much sleep does a dog get (and how much sleep does a dog need?)
Dogs are opportunistic in their sleep patterns. They get all the sleep that they can get when they can get it. They are always ready for any canine future. This is what we can learn from Fido: If there is an opportunity to nap, even for 10 minutes, Fido will. Intuitively dogs feel this. Fido is ready to go for a walk any time, well rested, full of energy. At 5 pm or 3 am, Fido has the same enthusiasm for a walk. On the other hand, we humans are generally not ready to go for a brisk walk at 3 am an get back to bed. That’s because we are all chronically sleep deprived, perhaps partly because we are all missing the opportunities that we may have to “recharge”during the day. Practically, to get some regenerative sleep, we need as little as 10 minutes and 45 minutes is about a complete sleep cycle and wonderful. But we always have “something better to do”. Facebook never sleeps! (But better sleep habits can make us “better at Facebook”!)
Depending on your dog’s size she may need more or less sleep. In general smaller breeds like Border Terriers need less sleep than larger breeds like St. Bernards that may need as much as 18 hours of sleep a day. This article is based on my practical work for the last 5 years with several Border Terriers as well as published research. Border Terriers are athletic and very smart working dogs, bred for their abilities and seem to have a functional and instinctive approach to most of what they do. They are working dogs and they are ready to work hard. And they sleep about 12 hours a day in the aggregate on the average, with limitless energy for hunting rats or taking endless walks/runs on the beach any time of the day or night.
Second Question: How much sleep do human’s need?
Practically as much as sleep as humans can get. We are busy with family, work, hobbies, exercise, Facebook and our sleep budgets are shrinking.
From a CBT perspective we need to learn from Fido:
Be as opportunistic to nap as possible.
From a sleep quality standpoint we need to:
Improve our Sleep Score using advanced non-invasive quantified-self tools such as the Sleeptracker.com Monitor.
By making simple little CBT changes such as eating less before bed and avoiding carbohydrates, drinking that last glass of water 30 minutes earlier, burning that extra stored energy by working out with more intensity (Long leisurely walks are great for the soul but don’t do much for the body) etc…
Yes, one last thing: High Intensity Exercise Can Help Sleep Quality and recovery.
Take a look at Fido, go for a one hour leisurely walk. Great smells great experience, meet other canines and humans. But once Fido gets home, Fido is ready to play ball and run and sprint and do ludic intervals. Then Fido crash into deep sleep. That’s CBT right there. I need not say more!
PS For our Cat loving friends, sleep cycles and patterns are fairly similar. Cats tend to sleep even more than dogs and when cats play and hunt it tends to really be HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). They are now focused and ready to go at it for as long as it takes and then, deep restful sleep!
Introduction: As my colleague Mark Christensen and I were sailing across oceans double-handed (just two of us on a fast high tech sailboat), chasing and beating records, we discovered that we were both so busy that neither of us slept much more than 30 minutes at a time for weeks on end. And it worked. I mean we were performing. Why did it work? We decided to use the scientific method and to build sleep monitors and a software system that would monitor both our sleep and wake performance.
Wired Magazine on Sleep and Sailing
What we learned defied common wisdom. Mark and I were back in an evolutionary environment with no constraints but that of Mother Nature and our whole beings were adapting and shedding all sorts of misconceptions. Just like intermittent fasting makes us healthier, there is magic to understanding sleep budgeting and optimization. Here I share some of our findings based on over 100,000 nautical miles sailed across oceans around the world.
I hope that you find this first installment useful and look forward to your feedback.
Your Sleeptracker® statistics and what is “normal”
Preface: We are all different. However, we can learn a lot from the Sleeptracker® community, comparing our own sleep to “people like me” to help us gain a better understanding of our sleep. So these “normal” values and ranges simply reflect Sleeptracker® stats for 90% of the population, 90% of the time. If you are an elite athlete or have a chronic condition you may find yourself out of range for some of the stats. It’s important to understand where you are and make small improvements over time. Be patient with yourself.
Total Sleep is not the time spent in bed, but the time when you were actually asleep. A restful night’s sleep for most people ranges from 6 to 9 hours. Statistically, females on average tend to sleep a little more than males. Everyone is different. What counts is how rested you feel and making small improvements. For example, if you find initially you sleep for 6 hours on average, try to set your goal for 6 hours 15 minutes. Iterate until you feel more rested.
Time to Sleep is the time elapsed between starting a sleep recording and actually falling asleep. If you fall asleep in less then 3 minutes you are probably sleep deprived. If it takes you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep (once you’ve decided to fall asleep, not if you are simply reading a great book), it would be good to look at factors which can impact time to sleep such as when and what you ate and drank before bed, caffeine consumption, and how much exercise you’ve had and when that occurred. It helps to finish eating and drinking a couple of hours before bed, stretch your muscles, and keep your bedroom cool and quiet.
Light Sleep, REM Sleep and Deep Sleep: Sleep occurs in waves, with a crest called REM (rapid eye movement) when we dream, and a trough called deep sleep when we are in maximum recovery mode, together with several intermediate stages. All stages of the “sleep wave” are necessary, and sleep typically comes in multiple waves. Depending on the individual, each wave of sleep lasts 45 to 90 minutes and we experience between four to six waves of sleep (complete cycles) per night. The highest percentage of deep sleep is experienced during the earlier waves.
Awake time displays how long your “awake events” are during the night. Often, we don’t even remember some of these awake events if they are short. However, if you are awake for more than 12 minutes, it may be a good idea to get up and do something relaxing. Pascal, Newton, Mozart, Debussy, Einstein, Nadia Boulanger and many other geniuses would actually sleep in “two shifts”: they called it “First Sleep” and “Second Sleep” and claim they did their best work in the middle of the night. That’s hard to do in a modern world with standardized work hours.
Wakeup displays the number of awake events you experienced during your sleep. If they are short, you may not remember them. Up to 3 to 5 awake events is quite normal and with young children or pets, some of us experience several awake events each night.
Sleep Score (range 1 -100): Sleeptracker® makes it easy to rate your sleep from day one, with your “Sleep Score”. For example, there are people with a sleep score of 50 out of 100 initially, who after a few months of using Sleeptracker® improved their sleep score to 75, and continue to improve. The ideal sleeper will look for a sleep score of 90+ over time. But many healthy individuals function well at 75 or above.
Sleep Efficiency is the percentage of time spent sleeping. For example, spending 8 hours in bed and 6 of those hours asleep is a sleep efficiency of 75%. Some people start at 50%, and after a few months reach a sleep efficiency of 75% and continue improving incrementally. With an 85% sleep efficiency or higher, you are doing well.
Percentage of Sleep Goal: This is a great tool to incrementally increase your total sleep time. Set your initial sleep goal at a realistic time for you, then increase your goal by 10% until you beat it, then iterate. Unrealistic goals are demotivating. Small incremental wins are empowering.
Average Breathing Rate is the number of breaths you take per minute. Sleeptracker® measures your breathing rate continuously throughout the night and produces an easy to understand line graph. For healthy individuals between age 16 and 65, resting respiratory rate between 10-22 breaths per minute is considered normal. After about 67 years of age, it’s common for respiration rate to increase by up to 20%. Snoring and sleep apnea affect breathing rate, as well as illness, pain or fever.
Average Heart Rate is the number of beats your heart takes in a minute. Sleeptracker® measures your heart rate continuously throughout the night and produces an easy to understand line graph. A heart rate between 40 and 85 is considered healthy. Snoring and sleep apnea affect heart rate, as well as alcohol, caffeine and sugar consumption, illness, pain or fever. Sleep is your recovery mechanism, and you will notice the more restful your sleep, the lower your heart rate when you wake up. Throughout the night as sleep rebuilds your body, your heart rate decreases in small steady increments.
What is sleep and why do we, and mammals, sleep?
Sleep is the recovery mechanism for all of us. It’s when we rebuild our bodies, our muscles, cleanse our organs, and rewire our brain. Sleep is necessary. The Sleeptracker® monitor helps us understand and improve our sleep. Here is an example: Sleeptracker® will automatically measure your heart rate through the night, and you can see that as your cardiovascular system repairs and rebuilds during sleep, by the morning your resting heart rate is often significantly lower for a healthy individual.
How do I sleep?
Sleeptracker® makes it easy to rate my sleep from day one, with your “Sleep Score”. For example, there are people with a sleep score of 50 out of 100 initially who after a few months of using Sleeptracker® improved their sleep score to 75, and continue to improve after that. The ideal sleeper will look for a sleep score of 90+ over time. But many healthy individuals function well at 75 or above.
What does how I sleep mean?
Practically, how we sleep in the long-term has an important impact on how we perform at work or at the gym, on our mood, and on our overall health.
What are sleep cycles, and how do they affect my sleep?
Sleep occurs in waves, with a crest called REM (rapid eye movement) when we dream, and a trough called deep sleep when we are in maximum recovery mode, together with several intermediate stages. All those stages of the “sleep wave” are necessary, and sleep typically comes in multiple waves. Depending on the individual, each wave of sleep lasts 45 to 90 minutes and we experience between four to six waves of sleep (complete cycles) per night. The highest percentage of deep sleep is experienced during the earlier waves.
What does it mean to improve my sleep?
The consequences of improving sleep are profound and measurable over time, even as we age. Improving sleep means improving overall health, work and physical performance, mood, and even relationships. There are only upsides to improving your sleep.
How can I personally improve my sleep?
You can improve your sleep by making small incremental changes. The power of Sleeptracker® is that we can quantify the effect of these little changes, and the Sleeptracker® AI-powered engine will deliver personalized insights based on your own sleep performance, as well as based on the sleep performance of “people like you” who are part of the Sleeptracker® community.
Can I really improve my sleep that much with Sleeptracker®?
In a nutshell, yes! Let us consider the amount of time that we, as humans, sleep. We sleep for a third of our life. At the same time, we live in a sleep-deprived world. Due to the demands of our modern world, it’s not feasible to increase the amount of time we spend in bed attempting to sleep. Instead, we need to better understand our habits to improve the efficiency, performance, and overall quality of our sleep. Now consider a night where you spend 8 hours in bed, but only sleep for six of those hours; your sleep efficiency is 75%. If we increase that efficiency by only 13 percent, your six hours of sleep becomes seven hours. This increase gains you a full hour of sleep. Sleeptracker® can help you improve the quality of your sleep so you can sleep more, and sleep better.
What happens in the first 30 days when I use Sleeptracker®?
From the first day you start monitoring your sleep, Sleeptracker® will be helpful. Yet, the first step to understanding how to sleep better is understanding how you sleep. In the first 30 days of use, Sleeptracker® gets to know you, gives you personalized insights to help you improve your own sleep over time, and understands how you are sleeping compared to “people like you”.
What does periodization of sleep mean?
By carefully analyzing several million nights of sleep of Mr. and Ms. Everyone, Sleeptracker® has come to the conclusion that sleep performance comes in waves, just like athletic performance. There will be times in life when our sleep performance decreases. For example, if we catch the flu, tear a muscle or have other aches and pains, or if we have busy times at work. It’s important to accept and understand this fact of life, and with the help of Sleeptracker® start improving our sleep score again, patiently a little bit at a time. Many things in life seem to go in waves and in cycles. While Sleeptracker® helps you improve your sleep over time, it is important to realize that improvement does not occur on a consistent continuous slope. Improvement in any realm doesn’t occur at a constant rate, but overall improvement is periodized, and consistency and daily practice make a big difference. That’s true with Sleeptracker® too.
Why is it important to store my sleep information over time as I age gracefully?
Identifying correlations and trends in long-term sleep data helps us understand how our bodies, health, and habits change over time. As we age, our sleep habits change. Sudden changes in our sleep as reported by Sleeptracker® can be indicators of how something in our well-being may have changed and provides a good reminder to continue improving our sleep performance. That’s true with any health condition and at any age. We can always make small incremental improvements to sleep. Sleeptracker® is a key to better understanding our health, and to building a healthier future.
What vital signs does Sleeptracker® monitor?
Sleeptracker® continually monitors respiration and breathing patterns, as well as fluctuations in heart rate, and qualitative and quantitative body motions.
Should I take power naps during the day?
Yes! Taking power naps is a great idea. This is completely natural, particularly if your sleep wasn’t ideally restful. In Spanish, “siesta” comes from “seis” which means “six”, and in general you will notice 6 hours after waking up you will feel a bit sleepy. If you have an opportunity, try a 20-30 minute power nap to recharge; no more than 30 minutes or you risk waking up groggy.