Issue 67 Jun 01, 2024

Sleep tracking cycle

I’ve been tracking my sleep, on and off, for the last fifteen years. It started with a revelation: I thought I slept poorly but really didn’t, which changed my mood in the morning. It has felt useful ever since. To be fair, said revelation was probably enough, but my curiosity was piqued.

Sleep tracking tools has come and gone. For a long time, I thought that Jawbone’s bracelet models were the ideal form factor. They were not the best, but they had a feature that none other, save smart watches, has: A reliable alarm clock. When you sleep next to someone else but want, or more likely need, to get up early, a garish alarm going off isn’t particularly nice. Waking up by vibration on your wrist however, that’s limited to disturbing just you. I’ve missed that, so much that I used my Apple Watch as a sleep tracker and alarm for months. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for it at all. Not only does it mess up overnight charging, it’s also uncomfortable to sleep with a watch. That’s what the bracelet type sleep trackers got right: They weren’t horrible to wear in bed. Not ideal, not by a long shot, but a lot better than a bulky watch. I stopped wearing the Apple Watch to bed a couple of months ago.

Prior to the Apple Watch sleeping experiment, I’ve gone through a handful of Oura rings. They’re good enough for sleep tracking I guess, and they look okay, but they lack a vibrating alarm. I stopped wearing these things when my fifth ring started to show battery problems – they all end up there. That, together with the €6/month to use a product I purchased for €450, finally turned me off them. Hence, when dropping the Apple Watch sleep tracking, I went without for some time. No big deal.

A ring with a vibrating alarm, that’d be perfect. I’ve said that for years.

Well, turns out it exists, and it’s called Circular. I finally got mine a few weeks ago, after months of wait, and I’ve been using it since.

I’m not going to review the ring, that’s not what this is about, but I will say this:

But you know what, alarm vibrations on your finger works fine. That’s the primary feature I’m looking for these days, so even though the Circular ring feels like an inferior product, it does what I want it to do. Without a monthly subscription, which I approve of. My version costs €260, so it’s no surprise it’s not as premium a product as the €450 Oura ring. I’d be fine paying a premium as long as the vibrating alarm feature is present. I’d even be okay with a monthly subscription.

I’ve all but stopped buying gadgets. AI tools like Rabbit R1 and Humane AI pins doesn’t interest me one bit. I haven’t imported the Apple Vision Pro, and doubt I’ll get one unless work demands it. I’m done with the rushed tech cycle, and buy or replace what I use and need, nothing more. Sleep trackers are the exception to the norm. If Circular, or any other health device player, release a new version that has the feature set I want, I’ll likely give it a go. I’m still on the hunt for a better sleep tracker and, more importantly, vibrating alarm. For now, Circular fits the bill.

📺 I’d hoped to announce a fun project that Bored Horse is sponsoring, but it’s not quite there yet. Not the project itself, it’s all on me and my ridiculous workload the past month and a half. But soon! Prepare for adventure...

🎮 While I stay off the tech upgrade and buy all the new things cycle, I did pick up a gaming laptop for use in the apartment. Can’t fit a rig here, so that moved to the countryside house. I went with a ROG Zephyrus G16, which turned out to be a nice machine. My workflow is Mac based these days, but I could see myself using the G16 in a pinch.

📚 I’ve been reading a lot. The reading log’s on my Swedish site, if you’re curious. Rocannon’s World by Ursula K. Le Guin stood out.

🏋🏻‍♀️ Finally got time enough to getting back to the gym. Which is to say, I went yesterday and will go again on Monday. Looking to restart that habit. I might have to ask my brother for coaching (which you should do too, if you’re serious about strength training) to motivate myself further, and be held accountable.

🏡 We’ve opened the countryside house, which is a small cottage and not a mansion if you for whatever reason thought that, for the summer. Not that it ever closes, but there are things that need to be done as things start to grow. Like mowing the lawn, preparing the small guest house for visitors, and all those projects that a house comes with. I look forward to moving the base from Stockholm, to the countryside, in a few weeks. We’ll be based there for summer.

😅 Work’s been stressful lately, but I can see the end of the tunnel. Four big assignments are now down to two, and when one of them wraps in just over a week’s time, I think I can finally wind down a bit. Scheduling fell through this spring, which sometimes happens when you’re juggling multiple clients, and the projects don’t follow the plan. It’ll be fine, although it’s been way too much at times. I deserve a rest.

Work really put a pin to my various plans. I haven’t written anything, be it blog posts, newsletters or fiction, for way too long now. It’s a shame, and it makes me feel bad, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. No sense in beating myself up about it.

So, if you have something you feel you should’ve done but haven’t been able to, be nice to yourself. The world’s a hard enough place as it is for you to be unnecessary hard on yourself. Try to remember that, I know I am.

Until next time, take care!

— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡

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