Jeremy Heckt's Blog

Chasing Sleep

I have recently been frustrated with my lack of sleep, as evidence by my writing this post at 2:03am on a Saturday. I decided to finally look at my historical sleep data (I wear a fitness watch).

I immediately noticed that my sleep duration dropped sharply around October and never recovered.

Chart of my sleep duration

Why is that? Something happened. I looked at my other charts to see if any of them lined up, and the one that lined up almost perfectly was my daily "intensity minutes" -- which is essentially a measure of how many minutes per day I am more than mildly active.

Chart of my daily intensity minutes

It appears that weeks where I sleep less show me having less average daily intensity minutes. So the question the became "why did I stop moving so much, what triggered that in October".

Thankfully I have been tracking my daily goals for a year now. When I looked back at October to see what was amiss I noticed that there were multiple days where I had to stay inside due to the wildfire smoke! It was pretty bad for a few days then.

Not only does the smoke interrupt my outdoor ad other physical activities, when the wildfire smoke gets bad I cannot leave my bedroom window open or run my AC effectively so my bedroom gets really hot, impacting my sleep. For some reason I did not recover effectively.

I am curious if this month triggered my deep funk or was a part of it? August was the brutal work month last year which lead to the downgrading of my ability to do my daily goals.

So it seems I need to do a few things:

1) Increase my intensity minutes back to my pre-October 2022 levels. 2) Ensure my bedroom has adequate airflow and does not get too hot.

I learned another lesson today: the importance of writing things down to review at a later date.