Catching Cats

2011-01-04 17.32.45

I don’t sleep enough to give my mind and body their full measure of rest. I know this because only 5% of men in my age bracket sleep less than I do.

I was given a Fitbit for father’s day; it is a little pocket spy that counts every step and stair, and through the night monitors movement. The sleep monitoring is the part that interested me most, a chance to prove whether the perception of my restless tossing and turning is real, and when (if at all) it happens.

It happens. Periodically through the night and then in the small hours: three in the morning, a little flurry of movement, enough to break the depths of slumber, sometimes enough to wake me up entirely. I know. I don’t know what to do with the knowledge.

The gadget has changed my night time rituals. I am now a slave to the data. The day’s record of steps, stairs, calories, active minutes are squeezed to the last moment, pored over in the study.

At times I have fallen asleep over the stats, only to stumble down the stairs and into bed, fumbling with the wrist strap and hoping I have hit the sleep button.

That’s when the drowsiness flees. A startled cat that had been still and now is gone in three bounds. I lure it back with books and solitaire, realise when the tablet falls from nerveless fingers it is here, purring and ready. I rescue my spectacles, check the alarm again, knowing I will wake half an hour before it rings, and try to hold on to the furry somnolence.



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2 thoughts on “Catching Cats

  1. I became obsessed with the sleep part of my fitbit when I first got it as well. Then I discovered that it’s not as accurate as the sleep app on my phone; it doesn’t record restlessness wherein I am lying still but awake.

    After I started skating, I realised it doesn’t record that accurately either; I think it believes I am driving. I will get more activity recognition by strolling through town for five hours than playing roller derby for five hours.

    I still wear it every day, despite these issues. Because data.


  2. I didn’t know the Fitbits monitored sleep. Very intriguing. And I wholly endorse the metaphor of a skittish or elusive cat for sleep. I think parenthood, in many ways (not to mention pregnancy for women), might forever alter our sleeping habits and preferences. I think my children trained me to wake up constantly, and even though they usually wake only 0-1 times nowadays, I still have some really restless sleeps. Sigh. I guess, in the words of “Weird” Al, “I’ll be mellow when I’m dead” (or “I’ll get adequate sleep once I’m dead”). “Because data” is so spot-on and wry, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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