Most of you know that Dr. Christian likes to measure things. He is a true self-quantifier and technology has allowed him to monitor
his "Health Triad" (Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise) and other
aspects of his health and daily life. All of this has become a habit
for him and it requires a little time to review the data but the logistics
to gather the data are pretty much automated by the technology. His Smartphone is the Android HTC One M9
with the iPhone 5s used for a few apps. Here is how he monitors his
"Inside Outside Way of Life!"
From Dr. Seuss, "The Lorax"
"Unless someone like you cares a whole
awful lot, nothing is going to change, it's not" Once-ler.
Sleep and Sleep Stages:
Dr. Christian was one of the first users of the
Headband system when it was introduced in 2009 and he has nearly 9 years of
sleep data gathered by Zeo. Unfortunately the company went
bankrupt in 2013,
but the Zeo still works and there are two 3rd party applications* which allow
viewing of the sleep stage (REM, Deep, Light, Awake intervals) data stored
on a SD card by the bedside unit in the form of 5 minute
(Zeo Data Decoder) and 30 second
(Zeo Sleep Viewer) Hypnograms. Nothing on the market at this time comes close to the Zeo
in terms of measuring sleep stages. He has used the
S+ by ResMed (bedside
device aims a
low power radio wave at the chest which detects breathing) and wrist bands
FitBit One and the
(somehow try measure sleep stages by body movements during the night) to document sleep.
I think these devices are useless for sleep stage measurement and the S+
measures way too much deep sleep. At least some of the devices allow one to start and stop the sleep session so you can get
total duration measured accurately, but they are useless for measuring sleep
stages. A Stopwatch would work just fine
to measure total in bed time. Sleeping heart rate during the
night is reliably measured and documented by a
Polar H10 Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor which transmits the heart rate to the
Polar Beat Android
app which then sends the data automatically to
flow.polar.com for a nice graphical view and analysis of your heart rate
while sleeping (it is useful to see how low your heart rate gets during
sleep). Dr. Christian was also one of the first users of
a ribbon like device which is placed under your sheet near your chest. The
device senses ballistic movement of the chest and heart beating and measures
breathing and heart rate. No sleep stages are reliably measured using
Bedditt. Occasionally, he uses
REM Dreamer Pro to try and enhance
I am currently evaluating the
I have not seen any improvement in Deep Sleep as promised with this device
as measured by Zeo. We are still waiting for a Zeo
Replacement. Hard to understand why we don't have a good substitute.
The market is begging for this. I understand from the
Quantified Self Forum that
ResMed has the patents and
intellectual property of Zeo. They could create one.
Data Library for instructions to use zeo.dat for viewing in the Zeo
Data Decoder (5min) or Zeo Sleeep Viewer (30sec).
update your Zeo bedside unit firmware for it to create an unencrypted
zeo.dat file to use it in these viewers. Resources for doing this can be
found in the Zeo Raw Data Library and Eric Blue's Blog
"Life Beyond Zeo".
These are measured by hip
Omron HJ-720IT. In the past I have used the
and wrist devices
(Discontinued). Recently, I have used the
There is no doubt that the hip worn devices are more accurate than the wrist
devices. The steps data from Fitbit Blaze are sent to the
Dashboard. Fitbit Blaze seems to accurately measure floors climbed also.
Distance is measured by the Omron Device by your Stride Length and there is
a USB upload from the Omron to the
Omron Windows Health Management Softwareso you can view weekly, monthly and yearly data easily. Somehow
the other devices measure distance by steps but don't require stride length. I have not tried a
GPS enabled watch like the
FitBit Surge or the Garmin Vivoactive.
measured by the
which measures calories burned by heart rate and steps. There is no
good way to measure Anaerobic Calories burned during Hi-Lo Strength
Training. The Polar H10 and Polar Beat software try to give a calorie
burn during the
Strength Training based on heart rate. The simple fact is that
it is hard to get a real good measurement of calories burned with activity
outside of a research setting.
We know that for fat loss the most important thing is probaly calorie reduction.
Exercise does burn some calories but the most important thing is that
exercise should help you maintain muscle while losing fat and keep your
metabolic rate from slowing with reduced calorie intake.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
& Stress Levels/Management:
The Polar H10 chest strap heart rate measurement is recorded real time
via Bluetooth by Android HRV Apps
HRVxt Pro creates a RR interval data file (*.txt) during sleep, exercise or
controlled breathing. The RR interval data file from HRVxt Pro can further be analyzed using the
HRV. Elite HRV and HRV Expert are used immediately after awakening to assess AM
Readiness and Stress Levels based on their HRV algorithms. HRV is also calculated
during five minute
controlled breathing meditative sessions with
HeartMath emWave Pro Windows application. The HeartMath program uses an
ear or finger pulse sensor for its RR (actually PP) interval measurement.
BLE HRM & HRV Recorder is another nice HRV program which is occasionally
used with the Polar H10 chest strap. SweatBeat
HRV is an iOS software app which works with several chest straps. RR interval data files created by HRVxt Pro are
ES File Explorer which allows easy transfer from your smartphone to your
The process can be automated using
Dropsync. Occasionally we use a
BioRadio Wireless Physiologic Monitor sensing device worn on the hip
with 3 EKG electrodes to capture real time EKG and heart rate. The data from
the BioRadio is sent via Bluetooth to
Biocapure Software which creates a file that is analyzed with the
Vivosense HRV Module. I'm still trying to convince myself that
via Elite HRV, HRV Expert or Sweetbeat are useful for assessing recovery from workouts or
GPS Location Monitoring and Distance
Since Dr. Christian
does not run or cycle he has not had any need for GPS tracking of a route or
distance. The Polar Beat Appcan
be configured to track your route during driving using GPS
with or without the Polar H10 Chest strap and does a very accurate
distance and route traveled. Dr. Christian
has also used
FollowMee which will track any smartphone location and it's route very
accurately. Every street and turn is tracked and the free version stores 7
days of data which is viewed on the
Website dashboard. The Deluxe version of FollowMee can be configured to automatically
track your route when it senses your car/phone moving.
GPS/Location data needs to be enabled on your smartphone for this to work and
naturally uses your up monthly data quota.