“So,” they said, “If you run this app on your phone,
use the app’s alarm,
then sleep with the phone under your pillow,
it will wake you up at the perfect time within about a half hour window.”
AND it would also show a chart how deep your sleep was and how many times you woke up in the night.
I was skeptical about the alarm part. Seems a little like waiting for the tooth fairy!
But that last part about how many times I awake in the night was something I was really curious about. It seems like I wake up hundred times each night. Turns out not nearly so many. AND it also shows how LONG I’m awake or nearly awake in that night.
And here’s the thing.
I didn’t read the directions quite right. So I didn’t realize I had actually SET the alarm. I had the phone on silent so it only quietly buzzed at me in the morning. And man, it was spot on! I was actually ready to get moving.
If I were a crazy heavy sleeper like my son, I could have made the alarm as loud as my phone goes… and set off right under his head? I bet THAT would do the trick!
Check it out. At press time it cost $.99 for iPhones only, I think.
I do a lot of different jobs for lots of different people. Some is paid, some is volunteer. The paid work I have to be able to bill for. Some of the paid work has parts that are not paid. And the volunteer work, well, I’d just like to know how much of my day I’m giving away.
I just learned about a great program called Grindstone from Epiforge.
When you start working on a job, you click the name in the list you’ve made up yourself. And start the timer. When you’re done. You stop the timer. At the end of the day, or the week, or any span of time, you can get a report that tracks your time by project, by task or by profile (which I currently can’t quite figure out how to use). You can get a pie chart or a regular report. It’s great! You can print out a time sheet!
And the best thing is if you walk away from your machine, it tracks how long you’ve been idle. And then asks what you were doing for that last period of time. You can set that interval for whatever best suits you. If you were doing something you need to track time for, you can manually add that time. Or you can just click the button that says Grindstone shouldn’t worry about what you were doing.
I’d been doing pretty well using a Google side bar simple timer. Clicking to start and stop and then writing down the numbers in a journal. At the end of the month I look back thru it and tally up the numbers. But Grindstone is way more accurate.
Because the timer only keeps track up to one hour, and because sometimes I get so involved I forget about the time, then I might not know if that was 1 hour and 20 minutes or 2 hours and 20 minutes. Grindstone knows the right answer. And it’s way more accurate!
Oh, and by the way, did I mention it’s FREE!
Waking up in the morning is a problem for many people. I’ve written about it often: I’ve suggested looking into sleep apnea and practicing how to get up.
People with ADHD often have trouble going to sleep. There are so many ideas popping up in my head when the room gets dark. They aren’t worries, they are just ideas that link one to the next with very tentative connections. Here’s what went through my head last night: (Don’t judge, this is a truth!) “Do I have enough fabric for the bedroom curtains? Three panels at 35″ each… or could I get away with less?” leads to “I really do need a curtain on the door.” and then to “Do those valances really match the new color of the walls?” and then “What would my mother think about that?” And then anybody can see a line of conversations about that!
None of these things are worries, they’re just thoughts. Slowing them down would be a real help.
Here are some things that I know would help at least me to sleep better.
Maybe some of them will help you, too.
- Don’t play solitaire (or any computer games) right before bed. Probably at least for a half hour. When I break this rule, I close my eyes and see a whole layout of the cards. Then I can move them around and continue playing in my head. Not relaxing!
- Don’t read page turner books before bed. This seems fairly obvious. If I’m reading a page turner, I don’t stop reading until I’m really exhausted—generally around 3 a.m. Also not useful for getting enough sleep.
- Go to bed when my husband (ok, your spouse, partner, mother) says it’s time. That used to make me really mad. I’m not done doing what ever I’m doing or watching what ever show comes on next. But he gets up really early to go to work, and I’m fortunate to work for myself alone at home. So even if I sleep in—or at least later than he—I’m still at work at the same time he is. Ah, the benefits of an 50 foot commute!
But wait! I digress…
Somebody telling you, “Now is the time,” is really a nice reminder, provided they don’t nag and you can get past needing someone to tell you to do it.
- That leads to another sleep zapper: Don’t keep working until you head up to bed. That’s really not conducive to getting to sleep–even if it’s not worry about the business.
- Don’t drink coffee late in the day. I used to drink coffee all day long. I’d make a pot at 4 p.m. to keep me focused through the dinner hours. But as I got older and started taking meds for ADHD, I find that caffeine after about 2 is an unfortunate kiss of death.
- Don’t drink too much water right before bed. Heck, my grandmother knew that! But these days the doctor, reflexologist, the freakin’ dog walker and my mother keep telling me to drink more water. I’m sure offsets some of its benefits if I’m up six times at night to go to the bathroom! And no, I’m not sure how much is too much. And I guess if I wake up in the night wildly thirsty, that wasn’t enough.
- Every diet I’ve ever been on says “Don’t eat right before bed.” Well, when there’s a new episode of Law and Order on TV, a bowl of popcorn or cheese and crackers is just a habit. And not a very good one. While that gianormous turkey dinner at Thanksgiving makes everyone tired just after they eat, it always seems to induce a nap, not a full night’s sleep. Your stomach has to work to digest all that. And when part of the body’s working, no part can sleep particularly well.
Check out this list with a couple other ideas for getting better sleep.
OK.. This is cool. Heard about it just last week from a college student I know.
Bacon-cooking alarm clock by Matty Sallin. Read the post at Make: Online where they have all sorts of cool stuff you probably never thought of.. but now that somebody has… you want to make one, too, doncha?
If you do make one, drop me a note, let me know how it works.
Image from Make: Online
Funny how one of the most viewed posts on my blog is one called “How to get up in the morning.”
I thought it a bit of an odd fluke til I read over at MakeUseOf.com that THEY also noticed it’s something people search on a lot. So they reviewed an online alarm clock that allows you to pick the song you want to wake to.. and a lot of other stuff. And it’s on your computer so it will even work when you’re traveling—presuming you travel with your computer. (HA! Silly me, of COURSE you travel with your computer! Doesn’t everyone?)
And they this other link to a great DIY project: World’s Loudest Alarm Clock
Hope you don’t live next door to me!