Jill McKinley is on the show for her debut article about why sleep tracking is not stupid, I’ll tell you about the awesome electronic doorbell I found in the trash, Joe Dugandzic is back with a review of the DJI Osmo Pocket and I’ll tell you the tale of woe that has been my Apple Watch Series 5, its poor battery life and the even worse performance of AppleCare on the phone.
Hi, this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Apple Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Apple bias. Today is Sunday, October 13, 2019, and this is show number 753.
This week Steve and I took all of the kids and the grandson to Disneyland for a two-day extravaganza. I was able to relax, run tens of thousands of steps per day chasing Forbes around, make Steve ride It’s a Small World, and have an overall jolly good time because of two people. Joe Dugandzic of Smarter Home Life who you’ve heard from before sent in a review of the DJI Osmo Pocket. And for the first time on the big headphones, we’ve got a review from Jill McKinley. When you hear her review, you’ll think she’s been doing this professionally for ages. She even had enough fun doing it that she’s already planning on doing more and I’m excited to hear what she comes up with next.
Chit Chat Across the Pond
With all the fun and frivolity I didn’t get around to recording a Chit Chat I’m afraid. But let’s dig in and listen to Jill.
I love Jill’s review on so many levels. I have to love it for her gentle challenge to my article on why I think sleep tracking is stupid. She also clarified something for me that I didn’t really understand before, and it’s that there’s a difference between insomnia and poor sleep. I gathered from what she said that insomnia being able to get/stay to sleep, but poor sleep is where you sort of thought you were sleeping but it’s not good quality sleep. I’d never thought about that before.
I do have to give her a hard time for figuring out she needed to go to sleep earlier. That’s one of the things I’ve mocked people on this before. But she had more data than the obvious. It wasn’t that she was able to be in bed longer. It was that the earlier sleep was the better sleep. I loved seeing her trend lines go down over the course of a year showing her sleep quality improving. That was very interesting.
Probably the coolest thing she figured out was that noisy water softener waking her up at the same time – that was brilliant.
My main reason for saying sleep tracking is stupid is that just tracking sleep is stupid. By her pairing of North Cube’s Sleep Cycle tracking app with their Life Cycle app to note the changes she was doing really starts to resemble a closed loop system. That is not in any way stupid.
Like I said upfront, I hope Jill does a lot more reviews for us.
Still, on the subject of sleep tracking, sTim in our Slack group (at podfeet.com/slack), wrote something really interesting in response to my article about thinking sleep tracking is stupid. sTim gave me some valuable insight.
I also think that the quantified self often reveals things more to certain types of people than others. Allison, I’m not surprised that you’d be more self-aware on a lot of fronts, and I find people with engineering backgrounds are often attuned to things like this.
But to take a related example you gave, it should be obvious to most people if they’re consuming a ton of calories every day and thus gaining weight. But it’s amazing how good we are at telling ourselves that our habits are “normal” until we’re faced with hard data – whether that’s calories consumed, steps taken per day, or quantity of restful sleep. Some people are more alert when they wake up at night, while I’ve certainly known more than a few who had no idea they were waking up multiple times or night or even getting up.
So I think good sleep tracking can definitely be useful to point out a problem that an individual was either oblivious to or just minimizing as normal (“Oh everyone is tired, what I’m feeling is within a standard deviation of the mean” kind of thinking).
I will never stop being amazed that everyone’s not just like me, so thanks for pointing out it might be the engineer in me that makes me analyze and think about these things, sTim! I do think finding out you have interruptions in your sleep is interesting, but if it doesn’t get matched to any input data, there’s nothing you can do about it.
If you really want to learn more about why you’re not getting quality sleep, it sounds like Jill has found some great apps to figure it out over at North Cube.
Support the Show
Do you remember what Jill said at the end of her review? I’ll quote her again if you forgot:
Don’t forget to stay subscribed and please consider helping Allison and Bart by becoming a Patreon supporter. I did and I hope you will too.
You might wonder how you, too can join up to Patreon to show your support to Bart and me. You can become a patron of the Podfeet Podcasts by going to podfeet.com/patreon. Bart does a couple of must-listen podcasts over at his site lets-talk.ie and after you subscribe to both of them (one on photography and one on Apple news), there are some big blue buttons. One of them will take you to his Patreon page so you can start supporting his work as well.
That’s going to wind this up for this week. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on twitter @podfeet. Remember, everything good starts with podfeet.com/. podfeet.com/patreon, podfeet.com/facebook, podfeet.com/slack! And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.