My wife loves to sleep, or at least that’s what I used to think. She tends to sleep as much as possible any day of the week. On the weekends she can sleep in till 2 in the afternoon. I always felt this was excessive and we’ve fought about her wanting to sleep so much many times in the past. I am an early riser but have a lot on my plate so I’ll stay up till late in the evening, get up bright and early and feel great all day long. I have lots of things to do and I feel like sleep is one of the biggest wastes of my time so I get as little as I possibly can to function.
Since my wife and I have been married, I’ve come to terms with her sleep patterns and do what I can to accommodate her. I’ll watch the kids on the weekends during the morning and early afternoon hours so my wife can sleep in as long as she needs to be happy. When my wife is happy, we are all happy.
I can’t help but still wonder why she needs so much sleep though. She’s explained to me that she gets up with the kids a few times every night and the baby still needs to be fed during the night but that doesn’t curb my curiosity.
Fast forward to now, my wife’s birthday is coming up and she’s been wanting some tools to aid her in her battle with fitness. She is not overweight and is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known plus she’s had 3 kids so deserves even more credit for keeping a trim waistline. She only wants some tools to help her workout be more efficient so I did some research and decided to get her the Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer.
The Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer is this tiny device that you carry around with you 24/7. It tracks your steps taken, activity level, estimated calories burned and miles traveled. The Fitbit also wireless syncs with an included base station and uploads all your fitness data to their website where you can view your entire fitness history according to Fitbit. You can manually track food there and all sorts of other cool things. But that’s not why I decided to get the Fitbit. It costs $100 and that’s pretty excessive for a glorified pedometer. What really intrigued me about the Fitbit is that is also will track sleep patterns.
The Fitbit device contains and accelerometer which is the same mechanism in cell phones that can detect movement and if you wear the device while you sleep, it will track your sleep patterns and analyze your sleep efficiency. I thought this might help in detecting why my wife needed so much sleep and with the data collected maybe we could even try and fix the problem.
My wife has worn the Fitbit for three nights now and so far we know that her sleep efficiency is close to 80%. She gets up close to 20 times each night and her activity during those times is close to what it would be during the day meaning she is fully awake and not just walking like a zombie to the bathroom 20 times. She gets up with the kids when they have nightmares, when they need to go potty or have an accident and when they are sick.
I wore the Fitbit for one night to see how my sleep was and not too surprisingly my sleep efficiency was 99%. I woke up one time during the night and I know I didn’t even get out of bed when I woke up. Actually, I don’t remember waking up at all and the only reason I know the device didn’t malfunction is that while all the kids went to bed in their own beds, one of my daughters happened to be wrapped up in my arms when I woke up in the morning proving that I did move during the night.
That explains a lot. For every 8 hours of sleep I get my wife only gets 6. Over the course of each week my wife loses hour after hour and by the end of the week she is short 2 days worth of sleep! The weekend when I watch the kids is the only time she can recoup that lost sleep.
Now as exciting as this discovery is to my wife and me, I do have a financial point to get to here.
Imagine my wife’s sleep patterns are your budget. Each day your budget is being drained and you don’t even know it unless you track your spending. If your spending/saving efficiency is equal to my wife’s sleep efficiency, for every dollar you bring in 20% of that is lost due to bad spending habits. If you make $1000 each week, by the end of the week $200 has disappeared.
My wife gets to make up sleep during the weekend but you can never make up lost cash due to poor habits. Once that money is gone, it’s gone.
This is why tracking is so important. With money there is no way to make up for losing it but you can prevent losing it a lot easier than my wife can prevent losing sleep. You can track your spending vigilantly and change your habits thus raising your spending efficiency. But without tracking you will never know about all the lost cash.
That kind of revelation would make even my sleep restless.
Image by mrbille1 br>