What does your circadian rhythm say?

It’s always been clear that sleep is a big deal and more and more research is coming out to show the massive effect sleep can have in our lives. Especially at critical times of our development.

I have been tracking (quantifying) my sleeping solidly for about 3-5 years and its surprising to see the effect of the things like different alcohol drink, cheese, coffee, milk and chocolate. I also been to many events, with the last one being Cafe Sci: Myth and Science of Sleep. I generally track my dreams now, which is quite different from previously when I use to track them with a lot more detail.

Tracking sleep can seem a but of nonsense; I mean leaving your phone on your bed while you sleep or using a wristband device to collect data can seem poor for data collection. However with some calibration and a few months data, it becomes clear through the patterns whats good quality and bad quality sleep; oppose to the length of sleep. The key being the cycles of sleep… Light sleep into REM into deep sleep into light sleep and over again.

Sleep as Android data

Here is me sleeping in a hotel for 5hrs 49mins after drinking cocktails in London during the week of Mozfest. You can see the alcohol puts me into deep sleep quickly but it takes a while for my body to get back into its normal sleep pattern. I also had a done a lot of walking that day.


This clearly shows although I had 7hrs 21mins of sleep when I woke up, I felt like crap. To be fair I had red wine, and was on cold meds to get rid of my long lingering cold. Once again I was in a hotel, this time in Sarajevo. No coffee this time.


This is from todays sleep, even with a few scoops of ice cream and coffee, I slept extremely well and woke up feeling pretty fresh and ready to take on the world.

I use Sleep as Android with my Pebble watch. I do sync everything to Google Fit, Google Drive and Dropbox to make a personal back up for myself.

Ultimately I would clearly say I have learned so much by looking at the patterns, especially over a longer period of time.

Stop the slut shaming crap…

The Morning After.

A friend of mine read the post I was sent from Tony. They commented on the post and I will power phrase it as this…

The casual hook-up crap in that post is really awful… Hookups aren’t people you feel nothing for. they can be intense, lovely experiences that make you feel alive and fulfilled. You can learn a lot about what you want, what you like and who you are through them. that post was just nasty “slut shaming” crap.

And they are right… lets read the key parts in full

We sleep around — a lot.

Some less than others, but most individuals have multiple partners every year. Don’t get me wrong, I like sex just as much as the next guy, but sleeping around ends up leaving us feeling empty.

It starts out feeling exciting and gratifying, but ends up making us feel even more alone. Worse yet, it makes finding someone to love infinitely more difficult. You’re wasting your time with people who mean nothing to you and, to top it all off, you are likely to turn sex into a sport.

When that becomes the case, good luck trying to make love. Good luck enjoying sex when sex is no longer a special or unique experience, but just another trivial evening.

Bollox, yes there are some people whom see it as a sport or game with achievements but having casual sex does not mean you are wasting your time, not capable of making love or even having a long term relationship.

This reminds me of the talk about non-monogamy in Manchester when somebody suggested that people in a poly relationship might as well forget about falling in love because there love couldn’t be as deep. Once again Bollox!

We need to get over this crap, this is the type of thing which breeds ignorance and terrible sex educational black spots. This is why I have a new found respect for the Japanese and their age laws around sex. At least they are dealing with it, instead of the head in the sand approach or simply con-damming it.

Sleeping on the weekends

I’ve been doing lots of research into dreams and sleeping and I just wanted to share this nugget of information.

Why is it So Hard to Wake Up in the Morning?

Your clock is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a part of the brain that controls the body’s biological rhythms. But, says Jean Matheson, a sleep-disorders specialist at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, these preset natural rhythms often don’t align with daily realities—work or school start times cannot be adjusted to fit a person’s sleep schedule. People who have trouble crawling out of bed probably have an inner clock set to late wake-up and sleep times, a condition known as phase delay.

It is possible to adjust your phase-delayed body clock, Matheson says, but at a price: No sleeping in on the weekends. “When people sleep late on weekends, they revert to their natural phase-delayed rhythm,” she explains. This makes it harder to wake up early on weekdays. You can train yourself to wake up earlier, Matheson says, by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day (and heeding its call).

When I was younger, I use to be able to cycle my body clock on the weekend. So I would sleep in late on the weekends but wake up early on weekdays. Now I’m older, I’ve finally come to the realisation that I can’t do it no longer.

Burning the midnight hour

Doc Searls writes about intelligence on his blog. But he talks about sleep too…

Smart people SLEEP LATE yells the headline of this opinion piece in the Winnipeg Free Press. It begins,

Sleep is a fundamental component of animal biology. New evidence confirms that, in humans, its timing reflects intelligence. People with higher IQs (intelligence quotients) tend to be more active nocturnally, going to bed later, whereas those with lower IQs usually retire to bed sooner after nightfall.

After that Doc Searls launches into a discussion about what is IQ and how silly the whole notion of a IQ really is… But what got me was the idea of sleeping late and waking up late.

Since #mybrushwithdeath, back in May/June I’ve been changing my lifestyle around. One of those changes is to do with my time I go to bed. Before I would generally go to bed about 2-3am and wake up about 10am on a week day and on a weekend sometimes go to bed about 9am and wake up about 2pm. Yeah quite shocking… But now I’m going to bed about 12am and getting up about 9am everyday (even weekends).

However things are starting slip, not purposely. Although I’m sticking to the new routine, I’m finding once again that I’m much more productive late evening and at night. I don’t know why, I just am.

I got a feeling I’m fighting nature/biology on this one.

The benefits to sleeping late

Manchester at Night

This one comes from Wired magazine via Imran Ali again. 3 Smart Things About Sleeping Late. I have to agree with every single one of the points. It still kills me getting up early in the morning but whats worst is when i'm in the creative zone at 1:30am and then have to start heading to bed, knowing theres a bunch of things I could get done if I stayed up a little longer.

1 // You may need more sleep than you think.
Research by Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders Center found that people who slept eight hours and then claimed they were “well rested” actually performed better and were more alert if they slept another two hours. That figures. Until the invention of the lightbulb (damn you, Edison!), the average person slumbered 10 hours a night.

2 // Night owls are more creative.
Artists, writers, and coders typically fire on all cylinders by crashing near dawn and awakening at the crack of noon. In one study, “evening people” almost universally slam-dunked a standardized creativity test. Their early-bird brethren struggled for passing scores.

3 // Rising early is stressful.
The stress hormone cortisol peaks in your blood around 7 am. So if you get up then, you may experience tension. Grab some extra Zs! You'll wake up feeling less like Bert, more like Ernie.

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