LAS VEGAS--The truth can be so brutal.
After spending two days in the Fitness TechZone at the Consumer Electronics Show, I now know that my weight, blood pressure, and stress levels are all higher than I would have guessed. And now, thanks to the Fatigue Science ReadiBand I've been wearing since yesterday morning, I also know I need more sleep.
The band looks like a faceless black watch (warning: it draws attention to itself, at least here at CES) but it's oh so much more. The wrist movement detector tracks activity to calculate fatigue based on sleep levels, and the ReadiBand Report shows your data over whatever period of time it's been since your last report. (Battery life is 60 to 90 days, and the device is waterproof down to 100 feet.)
Because fatigue can be a bit of a nebulous concept, the report includes a mental fatigue analysis that rates what percentage of the day was spent highly effective (90 percent to 100 percent of the time), reduced (70 percent to 90 percent), and high risk (zero to 70 percent). Then those numbers are translated into a blood alcohol equivalence, so that one knows what percentage of their day they were, in effect, sleep-deprived enough to be, well, inebriated.
I learned that despite going to bed at 11 p.m. and getting up at 8 a.m., it took me 28 minutes to fall asleep, I woke up 9 times (I only remember two but those two were spot on in the report and represented the vast majority of my time awake during the night) and I slept a total of 5 hours and 55 minutes. And yet somehow I spent 88 percent of my time in the highly effective zone (today will likely be worse), and just 3 percent of the time with a blood alcohol equivalence of 0.05 percent.
Obviously one night of data is insufficient for drawing any conclusions about my general sleep patterns. To try this out yourself, the watch will set you back $250 and each report, e-mailed as a PDF, costs roughly $10.
The ReadiBand has been around for almost a year, and in that time Fatigue Science has worked with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Department of Defense, Naval Air Systems Command, United Airlines, and the entire Vancouver Canucks hockey team.