I don’t like wearing jewelry. So much so that several years ago I got a tattoo on my left ring finger because I didn’t even like wearing my wedding ring.
A few years ago, my kids got me a Fitbit for Father’s Day. I could tell by their excitement that I was going to have to wear it, at least for a week or two.
Little did I know how much I was going to love being able to see how many calories I burned in a workout, or what my heart rate would get up to.
Another feature of the Fitbit, or any smartwatch, is sleep tracking. I became particularly enamored with this feature, as sleep has always been pretty hard to come by. It seems my brain won’t stop churning long enough for me to ever get much sound sleep.
What I learned from wearing this watch was that I’m good for around four hours of sleep a night, or day, depending on what shift rotation I’m on at the time. Six hours of sleep became this goal of mine. A goal I might hit once in a blue moon. Never six hours in a row – I would have to lie in bed for a lot longer than six hours to get six hours of accumulated sleep.
The first thing I would do when I woke up would be to sync my phone, to see how much sleep I didn’t get that night. A lot of nights, I would wake up around 3 a.m., sync my phone to see how many hours I had, then calculate whether or not I could hit that mythical six-hour mark before I had to wake up.
More often than not, my day would start off with me frustrated or tired before it even began, based on whatever number the watch said.
The other day, my Fitbit band broke. I superglued it back together and was fine to keep on wearing it. But as I tried to clean all the superglue off my fingers – and yes, there was more than there probably should have been – I figured I would try to go without it for a night.
“Try to go a night without it.” Sounds weird, I know. But I’ve worn it every day for years. I’ve become used to getting useless information every morning.
When I woke up the next morning, I felt pretty good. I had plenty of energy, even made it to Crossfit, which I had missed for about the last month, before work. It was as good as I remember feeling in a long time.
I was telling a buddy at work about how good I felt and he asked me how much sleep I had gotten the night before. I told him “I don’t know.” And I think that’s why I felt so good. I didn’t have that watch to tell me first thing in the morning how much sleep I didn’t get. My day had just started as my mom would always say: “Up and at ’em.”
I guess what I’m trying to say with all this is: get off my lawn, and take your fancy wrist contraptions with you, ya’ whippersnappers.
Toby Nix is a local writer, guitarist and investigator with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. He is the author of two books, “Columns I Wrote” and the newly released “A Book I Wrote.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .