“I can’t get no sleep”, said Faithless in their famous song, Insomnia.
I love that tune (listen to me trying to be all trendy saying ‘tune’ – god I’m old. This ‘tune’ came out in 1996 people! 1996! That makes it 20 years old! Stop!!!!)
Luckily, I seem to be able to sleep without too much hassle as long as my three little darlings are behaving and aren’t having nightmares, falling out of bed, deciding it’s ‘wake up time’ at 4am or being poorly. Yeah, I have a few hindrances that can influence if I have a good nights sleep or not and my dear husband is also one of those ‘hindrances’.
Don’t go getting all Sheffield United (excited, it rhymes, kind of), it’s not for any reason that warrants girly giggles and blushing that he hinders my sleep (my parents read this drivel people!) it’s purely because he is a chuffing nightmare when it comes to bedtime and sleep! He’s restless, he get’s insomnia, I get ‘attacked’ in my sleep by him (by this I mean he thrashes about and I often get a kick to the shin or an elbow in the head) and he shouts out whilst having bizarre dreams where he can’t open his mouth but he needs to shout for help (a bit like Neo in the Matrix – freaky…)
All this makes for a very tired and grumpy husband, who is already pretty tired and grumpy due to a long and busy day at work. The sleep deprivation and stress combine to make the perfect storm of ‘Stanger’ you’ve ever seen. Yes, ‘Stanger’ is a new word I just made up. It’s stress and anger together. I quite like it.
When I was contacted a few weeks ago to see if we would like to review a new sleep aid, I immediately replied on behalf of my husband (and my sanity) and said, “yes please, thank you very much, you might just save my marriage and my sanity”.
In a nutshell, I was hopeful this device might help my husband a bit to kip a bit better.
The device arrived and it is called the S+ by ResMed. I hadn’t heard of it before but I’d had a read up on it and it sounded almost too good to be true. The S+ is the first sleep device you don’t have to wear anything for or have any physical contact with whilst you sleep, therefore it doesn’t impede on your rest and it can quietly go about it’s business without interfering with you. Wonderful, eh?!
It uses an app on your smart phone (which is free to download) to track your sleep and record the data. You just need to have the S+ and your phone stationed next to you for it to work.
My husband got in from work and diligently ignored the manuals (he’s a bloke, what do you expect) and set it up without any issues. The S+ had to be next to the bed, with the white unit part pointing towards to mattress to get a good reading, and that was about it. Fill in the info the app asks for (this is very comprehensive and asks about exerice, height, weight, stress levels, light levels, issues you have with your sleep and much more so it can get a good gauge on what might be affecting you) connect the phone to the unit using Bluetooth so a green light shows on the front of the white unit and away you go! Super simple.
My husband literally couldn’t wait to go to bed that first night to…try it out. Again folks, don’t get all excited this post is about SLEEP!
He connected his phone up to the S+, he selected for it to play him some soothing sounds to help him get to sleep (this is one of the many functions the S+ offers. The sounds gradually slow down and get quieter in order to make you relax and then drift off to sleep. I have to say, the sound he had chosen sounded a bit like an ethereal being was stood singing in the corner of the bedroom, but it seemed to do the job for him and he was asleep in no time).
The next morning, he excitedly looked at the data the app had collected to see how he slept. Like a child on Christmas morning he was!
It broke his sleep down into deep sleep, REM sleep and light sleep. Apparently, and this is an ongoing theme until this day, he didn’t get enough REM sleep and this REM sleep is what apparently allows your brain to relax and is the holy grail for those who feel tired. You are more likely to dream during REM sleep and it’s where your body can truly relax, so this is what he needed to improve.
In order to improve on this REM sleep score, the S+ recommended Mr Knutts went to bed at, wait for it, 9:30pm. An hour after our almost 9 year old does. I stifled my rage at this machine giving him permission to relax and get to bed whilst I was sorting packed lunches, folding washing from the Tumble Dryer, locking the house up, loading the dishwasher and reminded myself he has had a busy day *ahem, so have I, ahem* and we mustn’t get resentful about these things must we.
So, off he trotted, at 9:30pm, up the stairs to Beddington and snuggled down to his dreamy music once again.
This continued for the next week and a half. He almost became a bit obsessive about it and I could literally see him getting fidgety about 9:15, preempting the S+ app’s demands for an early bedtime. I got used to it in the end and used the time to watch my TV programmes in peace and quiet. Not all bad, we have to find some joy in these moments of madness.
Luckily, the S+ has tracked his sleep for 4 weeks now and currently it suggests a more reasonable time of 10pm. This is *on a good night* when I hit the hay anyway so I don’t find that as galling as 9:30…
It has so far suggested making the room darker, turning the heating down and then more general things which are proven to help sleep like having less caffeine or trying to get some more exercise in (which is easier said than done after a long day at work).
Mr Knutts is now at a point, after using it for 4 weeks, where he has begun averaging a score of between 85 and 95 out of 100 for his sleep quality. Without sounding too bitter and twisted, I’d be pretty happy with that if it was me. Mr Knutts however, isn’t going to rest (excuse the sleep pun) until he hits 100. Hard work this sleep malarkey isn’t it?! Hopefully it won’t tell him to go to bed any earlier than 9:30pm.
The S+ has lots of different cool things to help ensure you get a good nights sleep; from the calming sounds I told you about, to a notepad function so you can jot down anything that pops into your head to help ‘clear your mind’ before you go to sleep…
Mr Knutts has said that he likes the S+ and it has been interesting to see what type of sleep he is getting and when. He isn’t sure it has made much difference to his actual sleep but I beg to differ because I have been accosted by the Matrix-mouthed sleeping ninja far less of late, and I have to say it coincided with getting the S+ so we shall wait and see if the random sleep quirks are held at bay. Let’s hope so! His main gripe is that it can take quite a while to connect his phone with it (it can be temperament and loose connection) which, when he is tired and just wants to sleep, can drive him a bit bonkers. Who knows, but that was his feedback. He thinks it would be a good investment for anyone struggling with their sleep and would suggest trying it if you’re at a real loss as to what to do to improve it.
Essentially, I think my husband needs to hibernate like a bear (with a sore head) does and this might improve his tiredness levels.
You can buy you own sleep helper in the form of the S+ by ResMed online and you can view their website here.