Six Sigma Analysis: Is The COVID-19 Quarantine Helping My Sleep?

When I bought my Fitbit, the main reason was the ability to track my sleep automatically.

I feel like I am getting more sleep, but like any good Six Sigma problem, I wanted to get the data to prove it. Downloading the data into a spreadsheet is not easy to do, but I did go back and retrieve it this weekend.

Here are the results…

When I first had a Fitbit back in 2016, I was working full-time, and I was averaging 6.7 hours per night. My goal is to achieve at least 7 hours per night.

So if my average is below my goal, I know that at least 50% of my nights are going to be under 7 hours. If I was averaging exactly 7 hours, that would still mean that 50% of my nights are below 7 hours. The exact percentage when you do the distribution fitting in Minitab is 62% of my sleeps are under 7 hours. Yikes!

I really need to be averaging well above 7 hours in order to ensure that almost every night I’m getting the minimum of 7 hours of sleep.

I ended up losing my fitbit when I took a spill mountain biking, and lost the ability to track my sleep. However, I was still working on my sleep.

In July 2017, I left my full-time job and started consulting on my own. I could work at home, work less often, and if I did travel it was closer to my home. So right there, I felt a boost in my sleep hours. I wish I had tracked my sleep during that time to see the change in results.

I bought a new Fitbit last September, as I wanted to get the real results again. However, I hadn’t looked at the data yet.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve had limited work and a much more flexible schedule, so I wanted to see how much extra sleep I was getting, compared to earlier this year, and back in 2016.

The data from Sept 2019-March 2020 shows an average of 7.1 hours, which is an improvement from 6.7 hours back in 2016. The percentage of nights sleeping less than 7 hours decreased from 62% to 49% (which is a good thing!)

The start of COVID-19 for me happened in early April. It’s been about 5 weeks so far, so that should be enough data to see if I’m getting more sleep.

Since April 2020, I’m now averaging 7.9 hours, and only 30% of my nights are less than 7 hours!

Yes, I’m getting much more sleep since the COVID-19 quarantine began!

I hope to continue to work on my sleep, so less than 5% of my nights are under 7 hours, and get over 8 hours on average.

Look for future posts on sleeping, or check on my detailed sleep analysis and breakdown from back in early 2016.


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