Laura Gaynor

Changing little bad habits is leading to a major life upheaval for student Laura

Laura Gaynor Week 4



There has been a major upheaval in the life of Laura Gaynor. “I went out at the weekend, and I bought a box of decaf tea,” she says. “I have only had four cups of caffeinated tea since the weekend.” This is a big step for Gaynor, a self declared tea-addict. “The decaf isn’t quite the same,” she says. “But it’s not bad either.”

Her sleeping patterns continue to improve. “Last night I went to bed and I fell asleep straight away,” she says. “I’m still getting to bed early and getting up early. I really find that I’m a bit more organised when I get up early. If you stay up late doing an assignment or something, you’re actually feeling the effects for a couple of days afterwards, not just the following day.”

Gaynor has a lot going on. She shot her RTE ad for the Fresh Film Festival at the weekend and she’s helping out at the Choice Music Awards later on tonight. “I’m probably feeling more energetic,” she says. “But then, I was getting by on caffeine. I’m not finding that I’m fighting to stay awake in class anymore.”

The technology habit is broken. “I’m not going for the phone in the middle of the night anymore,” Gaynor says. “I had a lot of small bad habits. I couldn’t sleep so I’d end up on Facebook which made things worse and it went on. I’ve learned not to take sleep for granted. You’re so plugged in these days that you almost forget you need to sleep. It’s like a vicious circle sometimes with lots of little things affecting your sleep and that lack of sleep, in turn, making things worse. You can turn that around though and create a situation where lots of little things can help your sleeping patterns. That’s what I’m trying to do I guess.”



Feb 20-21
Time to sleep 00:52 hrs
Sleep onset 23:22
Sleep duration 06:48 hrs
Unscored sections 00:06 hrs
Final awakening 07:05
Sleep efficiency 89 %

Feb 21-22
Time to sleep 00:19 hrs
Sleep onset 23:05
Sleep duration 06:24 hrs
Unscored sections 00:05 hrs
Final awakening 06:32
Sleep efficiency 87 %

Feb 22-23
Time to sleep 00:00 hrs
Sleep onset 00:10
Sleep duration 07:02 hrs
Unscored sections 00:19 hrs
Final awakening 08:13
Sleep efficiency 91 %

Feb 23-14
Time to sleep 00:07 hrs
Sleep onset 22:10
Sleep duration 09:01 hrs
Unscored sections 00:09 hrs
Final awakening 07:49
Sleep efficiency 95 %

Feb 24-25
Time to sleep 00:00 hrs
Sleep onset 22:16
Sleep duration 08:09 hrs
Unscored sections 00:25 hrs
Final awakening 07:48
Sleep efficiency 89 %

Feb 25-26
Time to sleep 00:34 hrs
Sleep onset 22:54
Sleep duration 06:24 hrs
Unscored sections 00:16 hrs
Final awakening 06:01
Sleep efficiency 93 %

Feb 26-27
Time to sleep 00:10 hrs
Sleep onset 23:30
Sleep duration 07:29 hrs
Unscored sections 00:06 hrs
Final awakening 07:33
Sleep efficiency 94 %


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.