Friday, April 26, 2013

Using Unfrazzle: A Sleep Diary for Aunt Millie

Part One

My Aunt Millie lives in Boulder, Colorado, a long distance from my home in Berkeley, California. She's 86, very sweet, and I'm attached to her in a special way. She provided me refuge during some turbulent times in my confusing teenage years. 

Independent and in good health, Aunt Millie lives by herself in a little house on Mapleton Avenue not fair from the Pearl Street Mall. She doesn't drive, most everything she needs is within walking distance. 

I did not used to be too concerned about Aunt Millie because my Uncle Bully, her brother, lived in Denver and my parents lived not far away in Western Nebraska. They were always in touch with her, but they've all passed away and now I am her closest relative.

If something goes wrong and Aunt Millie really needs someone to be with her, that would be me.

Recently, I began to worry about Aunt Millie when she told me she hasn't been getting much sleep, some nights none at all. So I called her primary doctor, Dr. Anna Fraiza, and we discussed the possibility of giving her a prescription to the sleep medication Lunesta. 

Lunesta might help Aunt Millie, but it can be addictive and there are numerous side effects including the possibility of short-term memory loss. 

An Alternative Approach

Before going this route, Dr. Anna and I agreed we should first see if we can discover the underlying cause of Aunt Millie's insomnia, perhaps we can correct it in a more natural way and avoid using a sleep medication. 

To get started, Dr. Anna suggests we ask Aunt Millie to keep a "sleep diary."  

Right away I thought of Unfrazzle, I wondered if could I use it to create a useful sleep diary for Aunt Millie that both Dr. Fraiza and I could monitor. 

Aunt Millie doesn't have a smartphone, but last Christmas I bought her an iPad which for her is even better. The screen is larger, easier for her to read and the keys are larger too. She loves it, uses it frequently. 

While I find Unfrazzle user friendly, it is unrealistic to think Aunt Millie can download the app, create an account, and set up her own sleep diary.

I do want Aunt Millie to eventually manage her own account. However, to make sure she understands how her Unfrazzle sleep diary works, I decide to not only set it up for her, but to actually call her every morning for a few days and make the entries myself. 

Once Aunt Millie is familiar with the sleep diary, I will "walk her through" the procedure for downloading the Unfrazzle app onto her iPad and the logging into her account. 

At least, that's my plan. 

Aunt Millie's Unfrazzle Account

Setting up an account for someone else on Unfrazzle is simple. After logging into your account, you first navigate to the "Family" section by tapping on the Family icon which is 1-of-the-4 choices on the bottom navigation bar of each Unfrazzle screen. (below) 

Once in the Family section, you tap the "+" sign. 

You are now at the "Add to Family" screen. Obviously, Aunt Millie isn't already an Unfrazzle member, so I tap on "New Member" (below).

When you add a New Member to your Unfrazzle Family you can give them different levels of access to your account. There is no need for Aunt Millie to have access to any information on my own account, so I leave the check mark beside the None designation. 

As you can see, the next step (below) is to fill in a sign-up form. I enter Aunt Millie's formal name "Mildred," which I also use as her Username, and enter a password.

Press Done and ViolÄ!, Aunt Millie has her account.

Aunt Millie's Sleep Diary

To create the sleep diary I log out of my own account and log into Aunt Millie's new account. As you can see, when you first log into an Unfrazzle account, the "Journal" screen pops up and is already populated with three sample journals: Coffee, Miscellaneous Notes, and Mood Journal. 

The word Journal in "Unfrazzle Speak" can be any activity or task you want it to be. This may seem confusing at first, but in reality it makes perfect sense. Because Unfrazzle keeps a history of all your entries, the dates, listings and notes you make related to any specific activity become a "journal" of that activity. 

The sample journals above are only there to show you what journals look like and demonstrate what they do. You can use them if you want, or you can simply ignore them or delete them.

I choose to delete these sample journals because I think they might distract Aunt Millie. To do this I simply tap on the journal name to get to its edit screen, scroll to the bottom of the page and clicked on "Delete Journal." (below)

Having deleted the three sample journals, I click on the "+" symbol on the top of Aunt Millie's Journal screen to add a new journal, which will be Aunt Millie's Sleep Diary. (below)

An "Add Journal" form appears (below). I enter the name "My Sleep Diary" on the Title line and leave the Description line blank. 

Tapping on the word Schedule (above) I am given the choices: None, Once, Daily, Weekly and Monthly. 

I choose Daily and set the time at 9 a.m. (above)

I leave "Ends" set at "Ongoing." The alternative setting for "Ends" is a specific date. If Dr. Anna had only wanted Aunt Millie to keep her Sleep Diary for 6 weeks, Unfrazzle could accommodate this.

After clicking on "Done" Unfrazzle takes me back to the "Add Journal" screen (below) where I turn the "Reminder" ON. Next, I click on "Add Attribute."

The first entry (Attribute) I want Aunt Millie to make into her Sleep Journal every morning at 9 a.m. is "How Well?" did she sleep. Note that Attributes can be "amounts, lists, scales, or text fields."

For this first Attribute, I decide to use a "Scale." I want to know on a scale of 0-to-10 how well did she sleep the previous night, with "0" meaning "restless" or not at all, and 10 meaning "like a baby." (below)

I press Done and move on to the second Attribute. I want Aunt Millie to tell me how many hours she slept. For this I chose the "Amount" style Attribute, fill in the Name: "How Many Hours?," and fill in the Unit: "Hours." I leave Amount blank. (No need for "Default Amount" here.)

I press Done (above) and move on to the third question, which will be "Times I Woke Up?" As with the previous Attribute, I use the "Amount" attribute, filling in the Name and leave both the Unit and Amount lines blank.

The Final question for Aunt Millie calls for her to briefly describe any dreams she might remember having. For this I use a "Text" attribute (below):

Pressing Done I have now created Aunt Millie's Sleep Journal. Notice on the Edit screen below that Unfrazzle automatically adds an additional item for entering notes. With Unfrazzle you can always add notes to Journal entries.

What's Next

My plan now is to call Aunt Millie at 9 a.m. for a few days, ask her these four questions and enter the answers into her Sleep Diary. I'm going to also take advantage of these conversations to find out if there some things I can suggest that will help her sleep better. 

For instance, does Aunt Millie have a TV in her bedroom? If so, I'll ask her to move it out of the bedroom or at least agree not to watch it in bed at night. I'll suggest she do some reading instead. I might even suggest she try some deep breathing exercises or meditation before going to sleep. (See: 21 Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep)

If and when she adopts some of my suggestions I'll be able to tell if they make a difference. 

Once Aunt Millie is totally familiar with this routine, I am going to "walk her through" the steps of uploading the Unfrazzle app from the iTunes store into her iPad and logging into her account.

Before this happens, I will have added Dr. Anna to Aunt Millie's Unfrazzle Family network so she can also monitor her progress or lack thereof.

Check back in a few day for my next installment: Is Aunt Millie Get More Z's? 

More tips on using Unfrazzle, including videos, can be found on the User Guide pages of our website. 

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