I’ve decided recently to try to work on my sleep. It sounds weird saying that. Sleep doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you can “work on.” I have trouble sleeping occasionally, and I know there are some things I can improve. I’ve read a lot about good sleep habits, and the best things you can do to help get a good night’s sleep. And I’ve already done some of them. I use f.lux on my Mac (and my PCs) to tone down the color on my screen before bedtime. I try to limit my caffeine intake in the afternoon and evening. And I generally go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6am, so I’m in bed for a full eight hours. (Though I’m not always perfect about that. Or the caffeine thing…)

I decided this weekend to make one more change: I started to use an alarm clock app called Sleep Cycle that (supposedly) tracks your sleep so that it can wake you up while you’re in a light sleep phase. I have to admit that I’m a little skeptical about how accurately it can track my sleep; it uses the microphone to pick up the noises you make in bed, and tries to figure out your sleep cycle based on just that. So I’m not sure if it’s really doing anything useful or not. But I’m going to give it a try for a week or two at least. The basic version is free, so there’s no real down side. (Unless it turns out to be buggy, and just doesn’t wake me up at all, and I miss work.) Their FAQ says that it takes a few days to calibrate itself, so we’ll see how it goes.

On another front, I’m starting to think about buying a new mattress. My current mattress is about ten years old, so it’s time. I did a little online mattress shopping this weekend, though, and came away more confused than anything else. There are a lot of options and a lot of opinions out there. I may give up and just go back to Sleepy’s, where I got my last mattress, show them the receipt for it, ask for something similar, and hope for the best.

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