Yawn? No, YawnLog.
And that goes double for the folks at HelloSilo, whose site - as of this blogging - is a dead end, but whose fevered, February 24-hour hackathon produced something called YawnLog, where you can track your sleep habits - reporting on the duration and quality of your 40 winks, comparing it your target, and seeing how you stack up against other dreamers, snorers, tossers and turners.
And, since just about everything you do in life can be expressed in 140 characters, and, since just about everything you do in life is at least potentially of surpassing interest to everybody else on the face of the earth, you can twitter about your sleep. But how about letting the hackathon-ers themselves tell us about YawnLog:
YawnLog is a sleep tracker. All you have to do is tell us when you went to sleep, and when you woke up. You can tell us how well you slept, and some notes about your slumber. Was your sleep this weekend serene? Was it restless? Did you dream about flying? YawnLog lets you answer these questions, and we let you share your answers with your friends--and see how well they're counting their own sheep. Are you worried you're not getting enough sleep? Are you sleeping too much? Are your friends? Do you dream about the same things as your friends?
YawnLog keeps track of all these things for you, and lets you do what you want with that information. We allow you to fully customize your privacy. Don't want anyone to know about your dreams? Don't want to aggregate? We won't make you. We care about your privacy just like you care about your sleep.
YawnLog is about you and your naptime, and we're happy to tuck you in.Although I did hear that these guys may have gotten some funding, I mostly think that this is merely the product of a bunch of ultra-smart young folks - I think some of them are from tech brainiac Olin College - who spun this idea up, because they could. And who have attracted a goodly number of participants, because it's there.
I, in fact, am one of the goodly number who has signed up - I just wanted to see how it worked. I did put one entry in, for Sunday night, where I got an atypically poor night's sleep. But I will not be going back, other than to make my profile private. (Done!)
But the YawnLog experience did get me thinking about sleeping, dreaming, and the growing problem of TM narcissistic I - which I'm assuming that the hackathoners were, just maybe, Red Bull riffing on.
Sleep: I like to sleep, and have pretty much always enjoyed a good night's sleep. For me, that's 8 hours. I can get by with 7, but anything less than that, and I'm feeling sleep deprived and a bit cranky. I also like to nap, especially on a late fall through winter weekend afternoon. And I'm going to stop right here, before I start heaving up TM narcissistic I.
Dreams: I often remember my dreams, which tend to be involved and complex little mini-movies that quite normally don't always make perfect sense. One of my favorite dreams occurred about 20 years ago, when I had a job I didn't particularly enjoy, working for a company that I absolutely hated. In the dream, I am performing in some sort of group dance, desultorily doing a shuffle-ball-change, and telling myself "I really can't stand this." As I'm leaving the stage, one of my fellow tappers - someone behind me, whose voice I don't recognize - says, "Maureen has no talent."
Waiting in the wings is Bob Hope, who retorts, "No, Maureen has plenty of talent. She should be writing, not performing."
So, what do I make of a dream in which a comedian whom I don't even like gives me life advice?
Now I will stop before I start heaving up TM narcissistic I about the dream in which I open my grandfather's coffin, or the one in which I am fleeing the Nazis while wearing a wedding dress...
TM narcissistic I. Is there no end to the things we can and will obsess on, continuously tracking everything about ourselves - and sharing it with everyone else out there, because we can.
What of all this actually is or could conceivably be useful? Medically, it may at some point by useful to be able to pull out a file that lists every night's sleep, every mouthful swallowed, every bowel moved. Interesting to me, anyway. (And maybe to my doctor.)
Dreams? I wouldn't mind having the full roster of all my dreams - it would be quite fun and interesting. To me, anyway. (And maybe to my shrink, if I had one.)
But - despite the fact that I'm a blogger sharing plenty these days - I am so not the right generation to just jump in there and share a steady stream of me-based data in real-time. I don't particularly care what I ate for breakfast yesterday, let alone what anyone else ate.
Personally, I'd rather spend time curled up with a good book (literary fiction, please; or history) than glance through what 1,000 strangers dreamed last night.
And curl up with a reasonably good book was precisely what I did the other night when I atypically couldn't sleep.
The reasonably good book was Christine Falls, by Benjamin Black (a pen name of Irish literary novelist John Banville). I say reasonably good book because, Benjamin Black being John Banville, the writing was clear, strong, and frequently brilliant - he sure can tell an interesting story. But, willing as I am to believe far-fetched conspiracies about the dark deeds of the Catholic Church, I wasn't quite able to completely buy the punch line of this one. It lacked just a bit of plausibility as far as I'm concerned. (Not by much - just somewhat.)
Anyway, for my one and only entry into YawnLog, I noted - in far fewer words - that when I couldn't sleep, I read this book.
If anyone's interested in what everyone else did that night, they can head on over the YawnLog and look it up.
A tip of the night-cap to my friend Valerie, who dropped me a line about YawnLog. In turn, Valerie had gotten the word from her friend Bill, a sometime blogger and oft-time PR/marketing guy, who - in keeping with the ur-Pink Slip theme - was recently laid off.
Here's his excellent haiku on the unemployment experience:
Out of work, this sucks
"It's an opportunity"
Says those with a job.