It is no secret to those who have shared a bed with me that my sleeping habits are more than a little “noisy”. By noisy, I mean I snore, talk in my sleep, shout, cry, whimper and generally spend a chunk of the night being more than a bit active with my legs too. I warn people before but even so, it isn’t the most restful of nights when I share the bed. I’m lucky that Tom is a heavy sleeper; he slept through an industrial level fire alarm that went off outside his old room and I can crash about in the morning when I get ready for work without him waking up. On the downside though, it does mean alarms are essentially a waste of time and the morning is punctuated with a variety of ring tones in the hope that at least one of them will wake him up.
That being said, I’ve never slept better than since Tom and I have been together and I don’t sleep very well when he is away – thankfully that doesn’t happen too often. I’ve often wondered what happens when I sleep, what I say, what I do and whether it is especially interesting or incriminating. So far, no one has been able to give me an answer and checking myself into a sleep clinic seems a little extreme. The next best thing happens to be in the form of an app – SleepBot to be precise.
I first heard about it through my colleague who said that both him and his fiancée have downloaded it and use it nightly. It isn’t the most romantic thing to have in the bedroom I’ll admit but I was curious. I downloaded the app and had a play about with it to see what it could do. The slightly geeky part of me got a bit excited: it records sound and movement via the phone recording function and accelerometer and then tracks when you begin to wake naturally and sets the alarm for within a pre-set time frame. I’ve set mine to between 6am and 6.30am, when my alarm naturally goes off and I start to stir.
There are graphs to see how you do overnight and then you can listen to the recordings and see what nonsense you witter away during the night. Over time, it builds a pattern of sleeping and waking periods along with recording how much sleep you get and how often you wake during the night. Partly I’m curious to see whether I wake up as much as I think I do, but also to see just how noisy (and wriggly) I really am. The app also works how much of a sleep debt you are in over time – something I think I have but really have no clue if this is right or wrong.
So, tonight I will plug the phone in, rest it on the edge of the mattress and hope it records and monitors the nightly opera. It could be a load of rubbish and all I get is static but I also see it as a bit of a fun experiment…and who doesn’t like one of those?