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Unquantified Sleep - A sleep deprived account

posted Mar 3, 2012, 10:48 PM by Bill Schuller   [ updated Mar 15, 2012, 2:50 PM ]
I'm currently on a business trip that has taken me from Dallas to Bangalore, India in a little over 24 hours. I was really looking forward to using my Zeo Mobile to quantify my sleep in a few interesting conditions. The obvious one is tracking the effects of jeg lag. However, I was also going to have a few more interesting opportunities.

My employer has a "Business Class for International travel" policy and I was flying Emerits (lowest cost from DFW) which equips it's international flights with "pods" that feature "lay flat" seats. They also have 110v power. This was in theory a recipe for blissful CPAP* assisted sleep on a 14.5 hour flight.

I was very interested to see what my sleep quality would be like in this unique situation. I had packed a brand new sensor pad for the trip since it was about time to change it anyhow and the headband/sensor pad was nicely packaged in it's little bag made packing it a little easier too. It wasn't until I had wrestled my CPAP from my bag and set it up until I reached for my Zeo. I eagerly unwrapped the new headband/sensor pad and began to click the sensor unit into it. I was confused for a minute at why it was giving me any trouble at all. I've been using a bedside unit for a few years, so I've changed a few sensor pads and they usually practically snap themselves together. It turns out that the Mobile and Bedside sensor pads have a different arrangement. The headband/sensor pads that I bought from Amazon (surprise! I buy everything from my toothpaste to  computer accessories there) still don't specify if they are mobile or bedside compatible. My disappointment was slightly assuaged by the fact that I didn't get one wink of sleep on that flight.

A second special sleep situation occurred as I dragged my weary self to a hotel in Dubai for an 8 hour layover. I had a chance for a few hours of sleep, which would normally warrant a Zeo session. However, the hotel in Dubai didn't have an 110v power (just 240v 50Hz) so I couldn't use my CPAP. Whenever I'm forced into going CPAPless, I'm extra motivated to quantify so that I can capture and analyze the difference that the CPAP is making. I might have been double whammied in this situation since not only could I not plug in my CPAP, but I wouldn't have been able to charge my iPhone either ( a requirement for Zeo Mobile use). I could have made it around this by charging my phone with my laptop battery, but didn't need to since my Zeo mobile was a no-go anyhow.

* CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. It is a medical device which uses air pressure to keep my airways open while I sleep. I suffer from obstructive sleep apnea a trait that is shared by my thick-necked family. Every adult in my family either uses one or should. In addition to keeping me breathing while I sleep, it also prevents my medically diagnosed "severe" snoring, which anyone within a 100 yard / 3 room radius appreciates more than they know. 

UPDATE: I managed to get the mobile sensor pads delivered to my door by Amazon by the time I returned home.