Conor Pope

Pope contracted a serious case of manflu this week but on the plus side this resulted in less alcohol consumed




I suffered a serious setback in the second week of my sleep challenge when I contracted a severe dose of manflu and the resulting complaining, coughing and wheezing and shivering and other near-death experiences made normal sleep almost entirely impossible.

On the plus side, my lingering illness made alcohol entirely unpalatable for the entire week so that was one not-entirely-good-for-me habit broken handily enough. While falling asleep after a couple of glasses of wine is pretty easy,  staying asleep is much harder. I found that by knocking the booze on the head, I was able to stretch out my sleep for as long as six hours at a time.

Once the worst of the hacking subsided, I found that I was sleeping better than I had been for weeks if not months although the fact that my illness meant I missed two work-related early morning starts early in the week probably helped that no end.

Technology continues to be a problem. There was probably a time when I did not bring my phone to bed with me but it is so long ago that if such a time did exist, I certainly don’t remember it. I have done my level best not to check my bank balance or the Irish Times website or my Twitter stream (I never check my Facebook account – day or night) after I have got into bed – or especially when I wake up in the middle of the night. And I have tried to refrain from looking at my phone until at least after I have brushed my teeth.

I am not going to lie, I have fallen off the virtual wagon a couple of times and almost as soon as I pick up the phone I can feel myself properly waking up. Next week, I will be better, I promise. 



Feb 13-14
Time to sleep 00:21 hrs
Sleep onset 00:25
Sleep duration 05:51 hrs
Unscored sections 00:19 hrs
Final awakening 07:13
Sleep efficiency 90 %
Feb 14-15
Time to sleep 00:20 hrs
Sleep onset 00:33
Sleep duration 09:03 hrs
Unscored sections 00:16 hrs
Final awakening 11:25
Sleep efficiency 85 %
Feb 15-16
Time to sleep 00:15 hrs
Sleep onset 00:17
Sleep duration 05:38 hrs
Unscored sections 00:05 hrs
Final awakening 07:33
Sleep efficiency 78 %
Feb 16-17
Time to sleep 00:02 hrs
Sleep onset 01:52
Sleep duration 05:31 hrs
Unscored sections 00:11 hrs
Final awakening 09:01
Sleep efficiency 79 %
Feb 17-18
Time to sleep 00:00 hrs
Sleep onset 22:44
Sleep duration 08:08 hrs
Unscored sections 00:07 hrs
Final awakening 08:26
Sleep efficiency 85 %
Feb 18-19
Time to sleep 00:20 hrs
Sleep onset 23:33
Sleep duration 07:25 hrs
Unscored sections 00:18 hrs
Final awakening 09:25
Sleep efficiency 77 %
Feb 19-20
Time to sleep 00:15 hrs
Sleep onset 23:24
Sleep duration 07:58 hrs
Unscored sections 00:17 hrs
Final awakening 09:01
Sleep efficiency 85 %
Sleep efficiency:

Your “Sleep Efficiency” provides a metric of how well you slept. This simply means working out the percentage of time spent in bed asleep each night. If you spend 8 hours in bed, but only 4 of those hours are spent asleep, then your sleep efficiency is very low at 50%. Sleep efficiency is based on the assumption that we go to bed in order to sleep. Most normal sleepers spend nearly all of their time in bed asleep, i.e. a sleep efficiency of 90-95% or more. People with insomnia generally have an average sleep efficiency of less than 85%.

Sleep duration:

This is the actual length of your sleep while in bed. Most healthy adults require 7-9 hours of sleep, with experts recommending 8 hours. Some people only require only 6 hours, but others may require 10 hours of quality sleep.

Sleep onset:

This is our estimate of when the person first feel asleep.

Normally, you should try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. For instance, if you stay up late on Friday, sleep late on Saturday, you are set up to sleep even later on Saturday night. This can give rise to Sunday night insomnia.

In practice, this means trying to get up at the same time every day, even after a late night party. It also suggests that “sleeping in” at the weekend to make up sleep debt from the week may not be completely be effective – especially if you encounter Sunday night insomnia.



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