Conor Pope

Conor has curbed his technology addiction, resulting in better sleep, but 'madder dreams'

Conor Pope. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh / THE IRISH TIMES

Conor Pope. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh / THE IRISH TIMES



I was told by Doctor Sleep that I was not being tough enough on my electronics devices and that until I banished  them entirely from the bedroom I would struggle to get my desired eight

hours so I resolved to be steely in my determination this week and not use any electronic devices anywhere near me as I tried to sleep.

The results were mixed. The problem is that the only way I can tell the time is by looking at my phone and because I couldn’t allow myself to do that, I spent a not inconsiderable time lying in bed, awake in the dead of the night, wondering what time it was. Maybe I need to get myself an old-school clock?

I reckon I am winning the tech-thought. Idly wondering what time it is in the dead of night is one thing  - and one which it is possible to do without fully waking up – but mindlessly scrolling through Twitter is another thing entirely and one which can’t be done without rousing oneself almost completely.

So that is gone. And it is not missed. It’s not like I have ever seen anything interesting happen on social media in the middle of the Irish night – except that one time Osama Bin Laden was killed – but that’s hardly likely to happen again.

The upshot is that my sleeping has improved, slightly – and my dreams have got madder although I am not sure if there is any link there. There are still interruptions – but they have been shorter of late than they used to be. I still can’t imagine sleeping for eight uninterrupted hours though.



Feb 20-21
Time to sleep 00:07 hrs
Sleep onset 00:10
Sleep duration 06:52 hrs
Unscored sections 00:05 hrs
Final awakening 08:31
Sleep efficiency 83 %

Feb 21-22
Time to sleep 00:00 hrs
Sleep onset 00:35
Sleep duration 08:02 hrs
Unscored sections 00:33 hrs
Final awakening 11:19
Sleep efficiency 79 %

Feb 22-23
Time to sleep 00:10 hrs
Sleep onset 01:32
Sleep duration 07:24 hrs
Unscored sections 00:29 hrs
Final awakening 10:38
Sleep efficiency 86 %

Feb 23-24
Time to sleep 00:03 hrs
Sleep onset 23:05
Sleep duration 07:16 hrs
Unscored sections 00:15 hrs
Final awakening 08:18
Sleep efficiency 81 %
Feb 24-25
Time to sleep 00:11 hrs
Sleep onset 23:48
Sleep duration 07:08 hrs
Unscored sections 01:04 hrs
Final awakening 09:47
Sleep efficiency 80 %
Feb 25-26
Time to sleep 00:14 hrs
Sleep onset 23:51
Sleep duration 07:03 hrs
Unscored sections 00:25 hrs
Final awakening 09:21
Sleep efficiency 78 %
Feb 26-27
Time to sleep 00:17 hrs
Sleep onset 23:44
Sleep duration 07:59 hrs
Unscored sections 00:09 hrs
Final awakening 09:24
Sleep efficiency 84 %
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.