I have never been a sound sleeper. I normally wake up at least once or twice a night. It wasn’t until I was in college and had a roommate that I realized that it was unusual to wake up multiple times during the night. I went to a sleep doctor and they gave me some good techniques for what they call “sleep hygiene”. (Disclaimer: Sleep hygiene has nothing to do with hygiene. It’s all about darkness and TVs and air flow and stuff.)
In order to see if any of this stuff helped, I got myself a sleep monitor. It consists of a headband with sensors and a Bluetooth connection to an app on my cellphone. The sensors in the headband use muscle contractions or electrical impulses or possibly alchemy to detect and record how long and how deeply you sleep. It then produces a bar graph showing how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up, and how long you spent in each level of sleep (light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep), and uses this to generate a sleep quality number between 0 and 100.
I have been using this gizmo for about a year and a half. It doesn’t really help me sleep better, but it does take my night’s sleep and turn it into a number. I find this very comforting. (No, that is not a typo. I find that I am much happier when I can translate analog human experiences like sleep and exercise and happiness into numbers. It makes me feel 78 or more.)
But this morning, after waking up from a 52 night’s sleep (9 minutes to fall asleep, but only 5 hours before I woke up), I noticed something I hadn’t before. Each entry in the sleep log is dated from the time you put the headband on, so you can go back and review old data.
Or, sometimes, future data.
There are three entries in the log, dated August 6, 2013, September 11, 2013, and December 16, 2013. For all of you portent fans out there, let me give you a quick glimpse into my future:
Tuesday, Aug. 6th: It’s going to be a late night for me on the 5th. I won’t be getting to bed until after 1AM, and it will be nearly 2AM before I fall asleep. Sometime around 4:30 I will be awakened by nightmares before drifting back to sleep for a couple hours and waking up an hour or so before my alarm. (Score: 53)
Wednesday, Sept. 11th: I will hit the sack around 11:30, my usual bedtime, but I will be tossing and turning until almost 1AM. Sleep for a while, then up again at 4AM, 5:40AM, and 7AM before finally giving up and returning to the real world just before 8. (Score: 59)
Monday, Dec. 16th: Apparently, I will go to bed about 7PM, where I will lie there for half an hour wondering why I sent myself to bed without supper. At around 11:00, I will wake up, and spend maybe 15 minutes awake before deciding that I need to dream for 30 straight minutes. Once that’s out of the way, it’s smooth sailing until 1AM, when I wake up again, apparently to wander around for 45 minutes wondering if I’m having another stroke. Then it’s back to sleep before getting up at 2:30 in the morning, possibly to have supper. (Score: 52)
Clearly these are messages I’ve sent myself from the future. I can tell, because they are cryptic and nonsensical, like all messages from the future. I have about two months before the first prophecy comes true. That should be plenty of time to prevent these dire predictions from coming to pass. Unless of course, they are meant as instructions for me to ensure the fate of <insert something that is fated to involve how much sleep I get> before it’s too late.
Great, another thing to worry about. This makes me really 37!