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Measurement is the first step to change

By kennytotten
March 21, 2023
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Kenny Totten is a serial entrepreneur and the current Co-Founder & COO of AllFly, a travel tech startup making it easy for companies to book group air travel for meetings and offsites. Kenny resides (and sleeps) in Orlando, Florida. 

My 35th birthday was not kind to me. 

After having dinner and drinks with friends, I came home and laid down on my ten year old IKEA mattress. 

(Side note – we’ve always felt the mattress was “okay” but considering that you spend a third of your life in bed, settling for “okay” was no longer cutting it and we were actively looking for another solution).

As I laid down, I felt my heart begin to flutter and race. Over the last six months, I’ve periodically experienced this unnerving sensation of tightness in my chest – my heart was racing. For a long time, I thought I was having bad anxiety or panic attacks. 

In the back of my mind, I found this odd. 

I’ve never suffered from anxiety in the past. However, our startup raised a seed round in the fall. We were growing the business and expanding during uncertain times. I did not feel professional pressure, but nonetheless, I attributed the racing heart to anxiety brought on by this next phase of life.

Over the last six months, I’ve become more cognizant about all the inputs that affect my body, mood, and relationships. I started tracking calories, logging my food, and jotting down notes on my mood. 

I was making good progress. I lost 10 pounds, vastly improved my diet, and was living an active, balanced life. 

Circling back to my 35th birthday, as I laid in bed, heart seemingly beating out of my chest, I remembered my Apple Watch does EKGs. With a belly full of birthday cake, I took my EKG. The result floored me. 

Atrial Fibrillation. 

I’ll spare you the tragic family history, but this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Prior to the first Afib reading, my wife and I were looking at Eight Sleep

Tracking the other 16 hours of my day was a critical part of me increasing my overall health and happiness. With my heart now periodically going in and out of Afib, I felt it even more important to invest in the other 8 hours of my day. 

Thus, my wife and I purchased the Eight Sleep Pod and absolutely love it. 

The bed is comfortable and the temperature control truly is something special. But the most impactful part is something that doesn’t get captured on the Eight Sleep website or brand marketing. 

The most significant thing I’ve found about the Eight Sleep is the awareness and insight it brings into your sleep performance. The simple act of giving a sleep score each night surfaces your daily habits that help drive health improvements

If you want to change it, you have to track it. 

While the Mattress Pod Pro doesn’t detect Atrial Fibrillation, it does help me understand more about my condition and the levers I can pull to help manage. 

In showing my Cardiologist my Apple Watch EKG reports, I also showed him my Sleep Score statistics. He found both helpful in creating a treatment plan and asked me to continue to track both. 

I believe Eight Sleep marches towards a future where individuals maximize their health, putting a priority on their sleep fitness.

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