16 Apr 2014
By Belle

What Exist has told me about my life

I've been sharing some of the insights from my own Exist account with people on our mailing list and new users recently. I've found this is a good way to provide real examples of what Exist can do and share how useful it is to me already.

I thought it might be fun to share some of these publicly so more people can see some real-world examples of what I'm getting out of Exist already, and how it helps me to understand my life.

What my best days look like

Ultimately, we'd like Exist to be able to show you what your best days look like, and find simple adjustments you can make to have more great days. We're working on this process now, and I'm starting to see some clues in my data already.

tweets and mood

tracks played and mood

For me, my so-called "best days" are the days when I rate my mood 4 or 5 out of 5. Everyone's different—you might say your best days are when you're more active, but I care most about my mood.

As you can see above, I have a couple of strong correlations relating to my mood: I tend to tweet less and listen to less music on my best days. And vice versa: when I tweet a lot and listen to a lot of music, I tend to rate my day lower.

With a little detective work, I can determine that I generally listen to music when I'm at home alone, working. I also tweet a lot when I'm working from home. Perhaps being alone, sitting in front of a computer all day is not my optimal working setup?

What about what I'm doing on my best days?

steps and mood

weekends and mood

check-ins and mood

When I have a high mood rating, a few things correlate with that: I'm more active (both my step count and floors climbed are higher when I have a good day), I check in more and it's often a weekend day. Because I know what my weekends are like, I can fill in the blanks here: When I'm engaged in activities (i.e. out and about) or spending time with friends, I'm not only too busy to listen to music or tweet a lot, but I'm generally having a great day, as well.

How the weather affects me

Obviously I can't change the weather, but it's interesting to note how it affects me anyway. For instance, I'm more likely to tweet on hot days:

tweets and max temp

Perhaps I complain about the weather a lot on Twitter?

mood and max temp

steps and max temp

time asleep and max temp

On hot days, I don't do as much exercise (do you blame me?) and I don't sleep as much. I also tend to have bad moods on hot days, and I wouldn't be surprised if those are related to my lack of sleep and exercise as much as the weather itself.

mood and min temp

When the overnight temperature is higher, I'm even more likely to be in a bad mood. I really don't like struggling to sleep in the heat—and it shows.

time asleep and min temp

Also, I hate wind:

mood and wind speed

Just sayin'.

Getting better sleep

I'm still working on finding clues about my sleep. Most fitness trackers simply track the amount of time you spend asleep, and how much you toss and turn, which isn't necessarily an accurate representation of your sleep. I'm hoping to improve the quality of my sleep—in particular, staying asleep all night, since I tend to wake up a lot.

mood and time asleep

I do seem to have a link between my mood and how much sleep I get, which doesn't surprise me. I'm not much fun to be around when I'm sleep deprived.

time in bed and awakenings

The longer I spend in bed, the more likely I am to wake up—that makes sense, since a long time spent in bed probably involves purposely going back to sleep when I could get up... several times.

weekends and awakenings

One interesting correlation I have about awakenings after I'm asleep is that they happen less often on weekends. This could be because I go to bed later, so I'm more tired and can stay asleep more easily. It could also be that I'm less stressed on weekends since I'm not thinking about work or appointments I have on the next day.

I'm curious to add more data points to what I've already got and see if I can hunt down some more clues about what's waking me up so often.

If you want to get some cool insights into your own life, sign up for Exist here.

This post was originally published on my personal blog.

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