The One App My Wife and I Review Every Morning to See How Calvin Slept
“Children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) suffer from sleep problems, particularly insomnia, at a higher rate than typically developing children, ranging from 40% to 80%.”Sleep in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Sleep has always been tough with Calvin. From turning the lights on the middle of the night to peeing on his carpet to playing with legos at 2 a.m., it’s always something.
The biggest challenge is trying to get a bird’s-eye view of an 8-10 hour period.
We all move around in bed, and sometimes get up to go to the bathroom. So how in the world do we separate the non-essential movements from the problem movements? And then how can we easily take a look at those movements the next morning?
Nest has solved this problem beautifully and didn’t even realize it.
Enter the Nest Cam. Now I realize that at $189 + $5/month subscription, you’ll spend some money upfront, but over a 3-year period, you’re talking $10/month. There’s a ton of cameras on the market, but I love one specific feature that Nest has figured out how to do just perfectly.
Color-coded activity zones. What?
This is how it works. Setup the camera where you get a full view of the room and install the app.
Open the app, and you’ll see a live video feed of the room. Simply tap the video and click the little gear button on the top right and then tap Activity Zones.
You get this really cool screen where you can use your finger to draw activity zones–in other words, where in the room are you concerned about movement?
Here is an actual picture of Calvin’s zones. It’s a two-dimensional video, so if he’s turning, sitting up in bed or lifting his arm, it could signal a false alarm. The pink section high enough that it prevents most of the false alarms. The purple section is a no-brainer–if there’s motion (by his toys), we have a problem, Houston.
I’ve setup the activity zones, and Bosch is actually pretty good, BTW. Now what?
You don’t need to do another thing. You wait for the first night to pass.
In the morning, you pull open the app and you get this smooth scrolling timeline view of the whole night. You just swipe up and down the app to you’ll see these colored lines and dots. That indicates movement in the color-coded zones. When you tap on a time, Nest Cam instantly starts playing video at that moment. My wife loves it.
Every morning, we wake up and pop open the app to scroll through Calvin’s sleep video. If he was up all night, that could signal a bad day at school, or if he mostly slept through the night, we try to figure out what we did “right” the day before.
Technology is constantly changing and improving with new products coming out all the time. I would say that this is one of the very few apps that we’ve used consistently over the past few years. Even if you only buy one specifically for monitoring sleep, it’s more than money well-spent.