October, 2009

Oct 09

Sleeping with the Zeo, Night 1

Zeo Sleep Report

I just got my new Zeo sleep monitor system. I was excited to order it for a couple of reasons — the main one is that I sleep horribly — have my whole life. I tend to wake up several times a night and then I toss & turn a lot. It’s some mix of mild apnea and some insomnia — it’s something I’ve always lived with, but am feeling stressed enough about that I’m more actively working to make it better now.

The second reason I’m excited about it is because I’m really interested in the rise of personal sensors. I think we’re at the very beginning of a long boom of “normal” people using sensors they buy retail to track a whole variety of characteristics about themselves. I’ve been using Nike+ with my Nano to run for several years, and it absolutely changes my behavior because I’m measuring it. Devices like the Zeo and the FitBit are early in the wave.

I’ll post more about the system when I have some time — it’s a full system at this point — sensor, info collector (the alarm clock), cloud storage (where you upload your data), and web interface to information, coaching, etc. (plus daily coaching e-mails based on a few factors).

[As an aside, I think all these things are fully integrated systems now mostly because it’s early days — over time, I think you’ll see platforms that let, say, your Nike+ and your Zeo show you consolidated & correlated information & coaching.]

For now, though, just wanted to share a graph of last night’s sleep (above). Turns out I got a good amount of deep sleep & REM sleep, which are both important — but it wasn’t very efficient sleep, as I spent much of the night in light sleep (and wake, which I think is underrepresented on the graph).

Stay tuned for more…

Oct 09

After the Prophet, by Lesley Hazelton

It took me a few times to get into this book, but I’m really glad that I stuck with it — very rewarding. It’s basically the story of Islam from Muhammed through Ali & Hussein, and goes into good detail on the events that led to the Sunni/Shia split.

I don’t think I have a really great understanding of things after reading the book, but at least I’m more familiar than I’ve been with the basic concepts & points of view. I hadn’t ever seen a ~200 page account of that time period, and think it’s a really great length for getting a better-than-surface-level understanding, at least as a starting point. Definitely recommended for anyone interested in Islam, of course, but also in understanding some of the foundational issues in geopolitics today.