I’m working hard on implementing the history feature for the Lucid Dreaming App, as it will make the app a lot more useful for lucid dream induction. Here are a few screenshots from from my development phone. This is real data and real user events that I entered over the past few days. (The labels are slightly different because I’m using a data field that I only added on the 13th ). Here’s what the history does right now
- The lines are total sleep durations for 6 separate nights, plotted on the same 24 hours window.
- Each line starts when I went to sleep that day
- Each line ends when I woke up and turned off sleep tracking
- Steeper lines indicate more sleep, gained faster
- Axis on the right indicate total sleep duration in minutes
- Symbols on the bottom indicate when I interacted with the app.
How is it useful?
Here’s what I expect the history to reveal over time:
- How sleep cycles align (or don’t align)
- How sleep episodes get longer/shorter as the night progresses
- How dreams cluster around certain times (for example 6AM)
- How picking the time to go to sleep affects natural awakening time
- How time in bed correlates (or doesn’t ) with total sleep duration
Here’s what I see by analyzing the data ( more data = better understanding of the patterns)
Consider the graph above. Red line is the past Sunday, April 17th. Blue line is another Sunday, April 10th. Notice how the slope of the lines is very similar, and there’s even the same kind of plateau at ~250 minutes of sleep reached. I know that I dream long and rather intensely towards the early morning. Could this be it? Or is it just the buses on the street that start to make noise and awaken me slightly? More research is needed!
Analysis of insomnia
Here’s an interesting comparison. I released the app on April 13th (purple line) and almost fried my brain with the pre-beta testing, packaging and polishing the product. Oh, and caffeine, lots and lots of caffeine! That’s how those folks at Microsoft did it, right? The price becomes evident by the purple line above. I hit the bed at 1.51 AM and spent almost 2 hours tossing and turning, thinking of the app and solving problems in my mind. Yes, I dream of the lucid dreaming app too 😛 At the end of the night I have less than 2 hours of restful sleep.
Now check the mustard line. It is the same day, April 13th. Exhausted from the lack of sleep, I hit the bed at 9:53PM and spend over 11 hours in bed, still not getting even 5 hours of restful sleep! On April 14th the insomnia returns, as I think of the app and how to improve it. Only 2.5 hours of restful sleep 🙁
While I was dimly aware of how my sleeping habits change, data like this makes me take my sleep a lot more seriously. I see how “just one more thing” to do before bedtime may trigger insomnia. I reduced my caffeine intake too, especially late in the day, and was able to recover, as illustrated by the first graph of this post.
Here’s the summary statistics of the 6 days for which I had data. As you can see, it is practically the same as the statistics you see for the daily graph, except it has sum and averages over the days in question.
- The good news are that I’m getting better at interacting with the device – I recorded 34 user events, including 13 dreams and 3 lucid dreams.
- On the down side, I had 84 intermittent awakenings, averaging 13 times per night. This really eats at the quality of my sleep, as the app looks for 5 consecutive sleep minutes to declare me as “asleep”.
- The quality of sleep is rising from 26% during insomnia to 61% over the past weekend