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WITH SLEEPTRACKER by Louise Mutter

It looks like a watch, but SLEEPTRACKER actually helps you wake up feeling rested and refereshed.

he SLEEPTRACKER monitors your various sleep cycles and finds your most optimal waking T moments—the almost-awake moments—and gently

Image provided by Waverley Japan.

wakes you when you’re most alert.

eep beep beep, snooze, beep beep beep, snooze—it’s a constant battle every morning with the alarm clock. It can be a workday, an early morning training run, it can even be after eight to nine hours of sleep and it’s still a struggle to get out of bed feeling energised and ready to face the day. Often I’ll need a hot shower, two to three cups of coffee, minimal conversation, and an hour to really get moving and out the door. My roommate (a gadget extraordinaire), who was sick of walking on eggshells around me in the morning, convinced me to try this gadget that looks like a watch and is called the SLEEPTRACKER, hoping it would make the morning more bearable for both of us. Here’s how it works. You wear a machine that monitors signals from your body with  internal sensors that detect subtle physical signals and recognise your most alert moments during sleep.

to look at the clock, but then you usually drift back to sleep quickly, and sometimes you don’t even remember having vaguely woken up. The SLEEPTRACKER monitors your various sleep cycles and finds your most optimal waking moments—the almost-awake moments—and gently wakes you when you’re most alert. Sound a little far fetched? I’m not one for quick fixes, but curiosity did get the best of me, along with the possibility of waking up more refreshed and not so groggy. So I tried it for a week and was amazed at the results. I typically set my alarm for 7am during the week and on the weekends often just sleep in until I wake up. Per the SLEEPTRACKER, I am supposed to tell the machine what the last possible time is for me to wake up (in this case 7am) and then set a window of time beforehand (20 minutes is recommended). From this 20-minute alarm band it picks the optimal almost-awake time to sound its alarm and wake you up. The directions are pretty self-explanatory and it’s very user-friendly. For those who are interested, or anyone who suspects they may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, the SLEEPTRACKER will track the number of almost-awake moments you have and can give you an overall idea of the quality of your sleep. Now, to try going off to bed...I have a pretty uneventful bedtime routine. I know what keeps me up at night: coffee after 5pm and running or exercising after 7pm, and I avoid them like the plague. I do enjoy watching TV at night before I go to sleep and am often on the computer checking email or surfing the internet. Sometimes I’ll even

Everyone has a unique sleep cycles, but the average sleep cycle has five stages and ranges from 90 to 110 minutes. During stage one, you sleep lightly, stage two, your sleep gets progressively deeper, at stage three and four (also called Delta Sleep) you sleep the heaviest, followed by stage five, which is also know as REM (rapid eye movement). During REM, various changes in the body occur: accelerated respiration, increased brain activity, rapid eye movement, and muscle relaxation; people dream during this stage. These cycles vary in length throughout the night as you sleep; each night there are multiple times of almost-awake moments. Almost-awake moments are times when you may move around or sit up

read, but for the most part I know when my body is tired and don’t see the point in fighting it. The first night I was in bed by 11pm and I think I read for about half an hour before turning off the lights. I remember waking up around 3am to go to the bathroom, and then it was about 6:57am when I finally awoke. I’m not sure how refreshed I felt, but since I didn’t have the option of hitting snooze, I laid there for a few minutes and then eventually got up. A creature of habit, the morning routine didn’t change—washing my face, putting in my contacts, having that first coffee, not saying much—but I guess I wasn’t unpleasant to be around. The next couple of nights were pretty much the

B

ften I’ll need a hot shower, two to three cups of coffee, minimal conversation, and an hour to reO ally get moving and out the door.

same: same bedtime and waking up about the same time. By morning three, it was easier to get up and get moving. I didn’t have the inclination to roll over and retreat under the covers when the alarm chose the best moment to wake me. Morning four would be interesting, as I would have to get up with my dad for a training run, which meant being out the door by 6am and ready to run 16 miles. If that doesn’t make anyone a tad grumpy I don’t know what else would! My dad, on the other hand, was visiting from the States and therefore still jet-lagged, which is why he wanted to get such an early start. Plus, he was eager to see as much of Tokyo as possible, and that meant getting a move on that day, with a run that followed part of the Tokyo Marathon’s course. We’d been chipping away at it since he arrived, and decided to spend our long run heading over the Rainbow Bridge and towards Odaiba. Training day came and went and again wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated. I set my alarm to wake me around 5:30am in order to give it that extra window, and was gently woken at 5:23am. Of course, knowing I had to get up I did, at the time not really caring if it was an ‘almost-awake moment’ or not. I just got up. Was I more enthusiastic even though it was completely dark outside? Was I energised simply because I knew I got the right amount of sleep per the SLEEPTRACKER? Do I credit a fairly decent run with a good time and pace to the SLEEPTRACKER? It’s hard to say, but I got through it without feeling groggy and tired as I awoke, and that’s all that matters when you’re covering 16 miles before most people are even awake! Looking back at those seven days of SLEEPTRACKER, I do appreciate sleep more and recognise that there may be more ideal times to be woken than others. This gadget takes the guessing out of knowing when they are. Did I feel better? Yes, and like I said, getting up did start to become easier throughout the week. But don’t take my word for it. Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, and TIME Magazine all swear by it. The SLEEPTRACKER is available in Japan and you can find out more information about it at www. sleeptracker.jp. Though the website is all in Japanese, anyone interested in ordering or learning more and who would prefer to do so in English is welcome to contact Chris Phelan, the Business Development Manager of Weatherly Japan, at 03-4520-5430. Here’s to a better night’s rest and happy sleeping! Being A Broad December 2009

health & wellness

WAKING UP REFRESHED

11

BAB December 2009  

Our December issue bids farewell to '09 with Tokyo Physio's Annette Chase on our cover, great gift suggestions for any time of year, a look...

BAB December 2009  

Our December issue bids farewell to '09 with Tokyo Physio's Annette Chase on our cover, great gift suggestions for any time of year, a look...

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