Issue 49 Oct 01, 2023

On sleep

I've been tracking my sleep since Jawbone UP was the techy hotness on your wrist. It lead to plenty of revelations, and has made my life better.

I used to wake up in the morning with a heavy sigh. The feeling was, I hadn't slept enough, hadn't slept well, I wasn't rested, I wasn't ready for the day. It was a downward spiral, and not the best start to the day. My then girlfriend pointed this out to me.

This is when I got the Jawbone UP, I can't recall the exact model. It was the smallest activity tracker at the time, the best looking one, and it tracked, among other things, your sleep. Probably not perfectly, but that didn't matter much, still doesn't as it's the trends that are important when measuring your body.

The Jawbone said I'd slept enough. I'd slept fine.


The Jawbone kept saying I'd slept enough, except when I clearly hadn't. Overall, I slept just fine.

I started getting up in the morning without the heavy sigh. The downward spiral was broken, my days got easier because I didn't burden them with my lows before they'd even happened.

I tell this story whenever I can. I'm convinced that most people have a skewed view of their sleep. There's been too many conversations where it's obvious.

These days I track my sleep with an Oura ring. I don't love it, it's a pretty dumb piece of health tech, and it strings you to a monthly membership. It is, however, small, being a ring and all. And I want to keep tracking my sleep, I want to follow the trends, and see how stress, alcohol, food, exercise, and more affect my sleep.

Consider tracking your sleep. You don't need to go all fancy with it, there are activity band that do it, and while it won't have all the sensors of an Oura ring, or an Apple Watch for that matter, it's not important. It's the trends you're looking for, the validation – or, in my case, invalidation – of how you sleep.

Sleep tight.


🕵️‍♀️ Mick Herron, author of the excellent Slow Horses and subsequent books, which is also an awesome show on Apple TV+, is coming out with a new book called Secret Hours. This interview was interesting.

🔫 Great essay: The last gun I shot.

🗄️ I’ve yet to try it, but since I’m a big fan of Working Copy, I’m bound to like the new Source Files app too.

🛑 The writer’s strike is over.

💻 There’s a new version of macOS, called Sonoma, out now. Here’s a review in case you’re wondering what’s new. Oh, and remember to update your iOS devices, there’s been a security thing.

🤖 Quora AI answers makes Google claim that you can melt eggs. This will obviously not be an issue for much longer, ChatGPTs and its ilk are getting better fast, but they’re definitely not there yet.

👺 Speaking of Google, this is downright evil of them (surprising no one). I recommend you switch your search engine to DuckDuckGo. Google related: This quiet webpage 0-day story.

🐴 A follow-up on last week’s essay: If everyone creates, who consumes?

Got something I should read? Send it to me, either by replying to this letter, tweeting to @tdh, or hitting up on Bluesky. Thanks!


📚 I’m done with The Dragonbone Throne by Tad Williams. Not sure if I’ll continue the series, we’ll see. It did pick up in the end, but it’s such an investment to read those brick-sized books. We’ll see what I’ll read next.

🎵 I’ve been revisiting Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind. Suck a great album.

📺 We saw Past Lives at the cinema, and wow, that certainly deserves all the praise it gets. Greta Lee is great, and the chemistry with Teo Yoo is amazing. Works just as well on the small screen, so be sure to catch it when it's out.

🎮 The Mortal Kombat 1 story mode is done and dusted. A bit weak at the end, but still entertaining. I’ll continue playing the game, it’s great.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be sleeping soundly tonight, we’re at the country house, and it’s so quiet in comparison to the city. I love it.

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

Want letters like this in your inbox?

Subscribe for free, cancel anytime. No spam, no evil tracking, I promise.