SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

Adventures of Mattman: Google’s Sleep Sensor Exposed A Massive Lie

Ladies and gentlemen! Today I have some fantastically fun news. Hold on one second, let me just turn all the smart devices off in my house, looks like I forgot to do that before I left. Hey Google, I am not home. 

Ladies and gentlemen! Today I have some fantastically fun news. 

Hold on one second, let me just turn all the smart devices off in my house, looks like I forgot to do that before I left. Hey Google, I am not home. 

All right, now I can see on this app that it’s all done. The lights are off, the doors locked, my oven is not on, the garage door is closed, and I’m ready to not worry about my house! 

Great, so yeah, I wanted to take a second because it’s an exciting day. I have been using a sleep tracker for a couple of months now and I wanted to share some results. This is totally not going where you think it might be going.

I have been using a Google Hub Gen 2 since early May. Google added Sleep Sensing to their hub. It can help track your sleep. My house is already like the US Enterprise from Star Trek. 

We are a Google household and everything is connected. Machines turn on when I ask them to and they turn off when I ask them to. For now, anyway. And there’s a lot of automatic routines built in that I no longer have to do and worry about anymore. 

If you do not connect your house on smart devices because you are worried about the tracking and the information and all that stuff, I totally understand. But holy cow are you missing out on some automation! 

For example, at 11:00 p.m., our downstairs lights turn off because we should have been in bed a while ago. If we are still downstairs, that’s the signal we’re not supposed to be. Or in our upstairs bedroom, the lights dim at 9:00 p.m. so that I’m not being blasted with bright light just before bed.

Or how about the process of just making sure to dot all my T’s and cross all my I’s? At the end of the night, I ask my smart device to shut it down. But I don’t just ask, the last thing I do before I lay down in my bed is to ask it to shut it down like I am shutting down the nuclear reactor. 

I am shutting down a heavy piece of machinery, I mean, we’re talking about a sleep superhero getting hyped up to go to bed. You’re not supposed to do that, but I can’t help myself. So when I ask the smart device to shut it down, I say shut it down!  

My wife shakes her head and says I’m such a nerd. But I don’t care because that’s a really fun process to have, and when everything’s automated and you don’t have to stress about getting back up to turn lights off you can just give commands, life is easier! 

At one point, I realized that with an automatic sensor for our kitchen overhead light, I hadn’t flipped the switch in six years. Do you know how much time I saved myself? An amazing amount of time.

So enough about smart homes and interconnectivity because I could talk forever on the science fiction behind that. It is really coming into fruition with builders and new homes. If you’re not good with smart homes now, you will be akin to your grandparents when they were given their first smartphone. The learning curve is huge. Don’t be left behind.  

The Google Hub Gen 2 was extremely easy to install. It basically knew my house because it recognized the other smart devices. I just had to plug in my name and my Wi-Fi password. It sits right next to my bed so that it can use its radar to watch my sleeping patterns. It can also sense coughing and snoring, and an overall movement throughout the night. 

I’m a little bit of a guinea pig here and so I don’t know exactly how much it’s tracking successfully. There’s a lot of leeway for error in the room. For instance, there are two dogs sleeping in bed with me and they move around throughout the night. I don’t know if it’s picking that up or if it’s picking me up when it says I sleep restlessly. 

Yep, you heard it here first—I sleep restlessly. Now full disclosure: I do have an injury that’s related to my back and leg and laying down for hours at a time doesn’t feel comfortable. It also doesn’t feel comfortable when I sit for or stand for too long either. I’m aware of the issue and it’s one of the reasons I set on this path of sleep maximization. 

However, I thought I was getting really good sleep before, and now I’m not sure. So I have to try harder at my habits to maximize my sleep.  

I also have to do things like change the room around a little bit. Recently I’ve been putting the dogs to sleep in their crates at night when I know they’re not going to be cooped up the next day. After trying that multiple times I still got the restlessness result. And right at the same time every night—round 2-3 a.m., which is four or five hours after bedtime.  

Now, it may or may not be doing a good job with the radar on that, but here’s one thing it does tell you—which I love and love with toughness.

It tells me what time I went to bed and what time I woke up! Wouldn’t you know it, I was setting my bedtime for 9:30 p.m. but I wasn’t actually going to bed till like 9:45 p.m. some nights, so I was a half-hour late. 

Talk about a sore moment for me. I caught myself lying to myself. And a few times my wake-up time fluctuated as well because my bedtime was fluctuating and I had some pain issues. So the sleep assessment it gives me is “Wow, you don’t have a very consistent schedule.” Say what?!?!?!    

Oh man, guys, if you’d have seen my face. I was ready to punch this thing because all I do is try to plan my sleep habits. However, it wasn’t wrong and it wasn’t the Gen 2 Hub’s fault for reporting this. In the words of Dr. Oz, “Knowledge is power. And knowledge with solutions is empowering.”

I have enjoyed using the Google Hub Gen 2. I’m not afraid to cover that radar while I’m not sleeping to protect my privacy. But at night, it’s crucial to keep track of how well I maintain my routines and habits. 

I highly recommend this device to anybody with a Google home network. Technology has not reached the point where I can give the command to my smart device to turn my superpowers on. 

Until then, I will use the smart device’s help to empower me to sleep great and be a superhero tomorrow!

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