While I understand that this may be a very helpful tool for many people for valid reasons, I tried it and decided that it was not for me.
What I observed:
- Instead of waking up and checking in with myself; my mood, energy level, connecting a little longer with my dreams...the first thing I did every morning was to check my sleep performance. I missed that dialogue with myself where I "digest" the fruits of the night.
- Sometimes, when I felt that my sleep was truly deep and repairing, the application would indicate a low sleep quality percentage, which would leave me confused and think that I had an "average" night. It made me performance driven, and moving or waking up during the night was accompanied by a slight anxiety!
- We rely on our phone for so many things already; lists, reminders, health monitoring, distraction, counting steps, meditating, dating etc...I wondered if I really needed a smartphone to monitor my sleep when I could simply just feel and observe my body.
- I woke up "better" when the timing was the same every day, rather than when it varied according to my sleep cycle.
What parts of our life should be monitored, evaluated and assisted by technology?
Can we stay insightful and self-reliant when we are drowned in data?
I carefully crafted my evening and morning rituals around the thought, that repetition at a consistent time builds habits (http://charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit).
I have been using a simple health tracker in my bullet journal recently, to see my lifestyle patterns and for goal keeping. It includes my energy level and sleep quality with just three increments; low, good, and great.
It takes years to understand our body and build positive habits around health and wellbeing. I believe that keeping our mind-body and spirit connection is a lifetime journey, and on that path, one of the best tools available is the practice of mindfulness. That, you can take anywhere with you, its inherent to you.
One thing this experience reminded me, is that I always liked to sleep with my phone away from the bedroom and turned off. We all need our "time out".
To a certain extent, the last things you do before sleep - even in a symbolic way, may matter more.
Co-Founder of Kocoon spa