Almost two years ago, we did a story on body quantification: people who use biofeedback sensors to measure everything, from the number of steps they take to how and when they burn every calorie, to how they sleep. This watch measures my movements, my skin temperature, my perspiration, and even attempts to get a measure of my heartbeat, combines all those and generates a detailed image of how I sleep (or don’t). Breaking the sleeping-pill crutch was one of the first major changes I made, thanks to the data.

As the sleep-disorder expert I spoke with for this story told me, sleep is not like a bank account. What I saw was that while I definitely sleep longer after taking a pill, I don’t sleep better. For me, the extra time seems to be spent mostly in light sleep versus deep sleep or REM sleep, and I almost never wake up feeling refreshed.

Sleep experts also point out that cognitive behavioral therapy is as successful if not more so than taking pills, without any of the long term side effects.

Insomnia during sleep study
Continuous positive airway pressure (cpap) is therapy used to treat
Complex partial seizures during sleep

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