National Sleep Awareness Week

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My week of sleep

Sleep is something we do almost every night – but many of us don’t do it that well.

In fact, more than a third of Britons regularly experience problems sleeping. Often, we put a bout of insomnia down to the heat, or the lumpy bed, or the …

Over seven nights in March 2015, we challenged 11 bloggers – and Ciaran from our team – to monitor their shut-eye with a Fitbit activity tracker. And then report back on what kept them up or helped them nod off.

Here’s how the week went for Ciaran.


What did I expect my week of sleep to show?

I rarely have trouble falling asleep, I never sleep straight through, I am easily disturbed, and I wake up earlier than needed. The Fitbit would show I wake up three or four times and have up to 10 bouts of restlessness each night.

These are the things that I took as fact about my sleep habits before this week.

Looking at my results, it turns out I was a bit off with my expectations.

While many of my habits hold up as true, I was wrong about how often my sleep is disturbed. And this meant I probably got an hour or so more sleep every night of that week.

Now, hopefully that will carry on through next week!

Monday 2 March: My first night of sleep monitoring. The evening was pretty standard – I went home after work, played some music, cooked and watched telly before reading in bed for 30 minutes. No problems falling asleep, but I did wake up a few of times and was restless in the middle of the night. This is what I’d describe as worse than average.

Fitbit says: Awake 5x / Restless 14x

Tuesday 3 March: A more settled night’s sleep. After work, I went home and added a trip to the gym to my standard evening. I found the exercise relaxing and it made me more tired late on.

Fitbit says: Awake 2x / Restless 6x

Wednesday 4 March: A decent sleep. I’d decided to turn off my main lights and use lamps in all the rooms, and I switched off my backlit devices a couple of hours earlier than usual. I played Scrabble with my wife and then read for an hour.

Fitbit says: Awake 1x / Restless 5x

Thursday 6 March: Not a great night. I went out for tea and had a couple of drinks with my meal. The alcohol might be the cause of my restlessness.

Fitbit says: Awake 4x / Restless 8x

Friday 6 March: What a sleep! My wife and I went to the theatre, which meant I didn’t use a phone, computer or television all evening.

Fitbit says: Awake 0x / Restless 4x

Saturday 7 March: Two log-like sleeps on the trot. After walking in the Peak District during the day, we visited family and then went out for tea. So once again, I exercised and avoided telly and backlit devices for much of the day.

Fitbit says: Awake 0x / Restless 2x

Sunday 8 March: By coincidence, I’d ordered a new bed a month ago. It arrived earlier in the week, but I hadn’t got round to putting it up till Sunday. This was my first night in the bed – and it was a dream! Not quite up to the last two nights, but better than what I call normal.

Fitbit says: Awake 1x / Restless 2x


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