Jawbone UP24 Knows Me Better Than I Know Myself

Exactly one week ago, I purchased a Jawbone UP24. For the uninitiated, the Jawbone UP24 is a bracelet that tracks your every movement and your sleep habits. It will also track what I eat and drink, my weight, and my mood, if I choose to let it and I input that information. It syncs with my iPhone and shows me in real time where I'm at for the day, based on goals I set. I can also create a "team" of my friends who also use Jawbone and we can keep each other motivated.

Honest to God, getting active and sleeping well have never been so much fun.

The step tracking is awesome. On Monday, I walked 10,729 steps, exceeding my goal by 729 steps.

By far, however, the sleep tracking is the best feature of the Jawbone UP24. It tracks what time I go to bed, how long it takes me to fall asleep, how much light sleep and deep sleep I get, and how many times I wake up during the night. Again, I've set a goal and I can see how close I come to my achieving my goal each morning.

In each category Jawbone tracks, it also measures trends which gives me incredible insights into my habits and how I'm feeling.

For example, yesterday, I woke up with a horrible migraine. I could look at the tracking and see that I'd had a horrible night of sleep on Monday night, even though I went to bed at about 9pm and had a very active day on Monday. I'd woken up six or seven times during the night and most of the night was spent in light sleep.

I've only had the Jawbone for a week and this is just the first major migraine I've had with it, but I love that I can see if there are any trends related to the migraines I've suffered since I was 6 years old that maybe my doctor hasn't thought of.

This could be huge.

Every few days, Jawbone UP24 challenges me with "Today I will" challenges. I can choose to accept the challenge or not. Yesterday's challenge was to get to bed by 9:25 p.m. Why 9:25? Jawbone decided that based on how long it takes me to get to sleep and the time I usually get up in the morning, I needed to go to bed at that time in order to be at my best in the morning.

I chose to accept the 9:25 p.m. bedtime challenge (NOTE: Mom, if only there had been Jawbone technology when I was a kid, we'd have avoided many arguments about me wanting to stay up late and getting up all night long, pissing you off.). All day, I wondered how I'd manage to get to bed so early. I was coming home from a conference, had laundry to do, Christmas cards, bills to pay, and work to do for my job. I stressed about how I'd fit it all in.

Finally around 6:00 last night I decided to let go of my anxiety and that getting to bed on time was more important than getting all those things done. So I did some writing, had dinner, organized myself for getting back to the office today, and was in bed by 9:10 p.m. Yay me!

Fast forward to this morning, although I was in bed for 9 hours and 14 minutes, I only slept a total of 5 hours and 32 minutes. That was split pretty evenly between light sleep and deep sleep. The rest of the time? Well, it took me almost 90 minutes to fall asleep and then I woke up six times. Seriously. Six times. That meant I was awake for 3 hours and 42 minutes.

Even though I obviously got a crappy night of sleep (that's a medical term, y'all), I actually felt pretty darn good and energized this morning. I learned that having a set bed time that is early enough for my body to properly wind down is important and leaves me feeling better rested than going to bed late, even if I ultimately get exactly the same amount of sleep.

Because of my early bedtime victory yesterday, Jawbone suggested I do it again tonight. Before remembering it was Blogapalooza, I accepted the challenge. My friend Amy accepted her Jawbone challenge to go to bed by 10:35 tonight, but she wanted to get to sleep earlier, so we traded. To her credit, she was in bed by 7:30. I'll be in bed by 10:35 without question, but I've spent the last 90 minutes yawning uncontrollably.

The biggest thing I learned today is that after only one week together, Jawbone knows me far better than I know myself.

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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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