Do you know how much sleep you had last night? Do you know if you had any dreams? What about how long you dreamt? I don’t, but there are a growing number of people who do. Ian Eslick uses a monitor to track his sleep patterns. He’s part of a university research study. They measure his brain waves with a headband that he wears at night.
Ian and a small team of his university friends are all testing a monitoring device called
“Zeo.” The Zeo is designed to record every part of their sleep patterns. The students, all between the ages of 25 and 40 are obsessively monitoring not just their sleep patterns, but what they eat, calorie intake and even their mood.
They call themselves the “Quantified Self Group.” They use mobile phone apps and devices connected to their bodies, to quantify their lives. Julie Wilner, is a director at a design and technology company in London. She monitors her heart rate, activity levels, and her body temperature. She even monitors how much she sweats!
You might wonder why anyone would put so much effort into tracking and converting their life into numbers. Julie says she wants to help others to become more active and to keep track of their weight by monitoring just the right moments that can create weight loss.
She knows how many calories are being burned by her body, even when she is just sitting down. She knows exactly what she was doing when the calorie burning was at its highest. Sure, we all know a quick jog around the block will burn more calories than sitting at an office desk. But did you know that you burn more calories by typing than you would by simply scrolling your mouse through your computer monitor and reading stuff online?
Alex Carmichael has suffered from headaches her whole life. She monitors herself by detailing everything she ate, every activity she performed. And each hour during her time awake, she rates her head pain on a scale from 0.1 to 10.0. She discovered there’s a connection with eating gluten-rich foods and dairy products, and her headaches. It may sound obsessive, but Alex was able to change some of her eating habits and improve her health.
I love the idea of being able to learn more about myself by tracking, but some people prefer to just ‘go with the flow.’ What do you think? Are these people obsessive or are they on to something?
Go With The Flow: This means to relax and accept life as it is.
On To Something: This means to be close to finding the truth or the answer to a problem.