Leaderboard Winner Interview (Audrey C.) - October 2022
Audrey C. from the Netherlands is the winner of the Circular wellness leaderboard of October 2022. We interviewed her so that you can benefit from her experience, her routine, and her advice. Without any further ado, here is the interview!
Can you introduce yourself (work, hobbies)?
I am grateful to work in a fascinating field that is knowledge management. Every team and environment I’ve worked with have unique business challenges to solve, and I really enjoy that. In terms of hobbies, I am always on the lookout for fusions / blends that at first glance may appear unrelated to each other yet create a very unique result. I got to discover amazing creators whom do so in the worlds of music, dance, health/tech innovations but also … food ! I also enjoy photography and recently gave a try to 3D jewellery design - I’ve created a couple of custom designs as gifts to friends and had them printed on precious metals. This is fun !
How would you describe your relation to personal health?
Let’s say that I tend to work rather intensively, which means that I am consistently inconsistent at other things including activity. One thing I’ve learned not to compromise on however, is sleep. I highly recommend the book « Why we sleep » from Matthew Walker - a fascinating read on how sleep affects various aspects of our lives.
Can you describe your daily routine?
I get up around 7am and then shower, dress up, and have a coffee and free my mind for a bit before getting started with my job at about 8.30 am. I try as much as possible to have at least a 30-min break at lunch to disconnect and let my mind wander - I’ve found that this way I get much more improvement ideas than running the day non stop or eating at my desk. After work, I usually spend sometime cooking and then spend some time reading and go to sleep around 10.30 / 11pm. On the weekends, I follow the same morning routine and try to have a walk outside.
What do you think you do differently from others that give you an edge in the leaderboard?
First,I wouldn’t think I’d make it as these were my very first weeks using the ring. I immediately noticed that my deep sleep scores were pretty low and below average- which was not too surprising as I’ve always had a light sleep and get easily woken up. I’ve tried several things, but the one that worked the best for me consistency in sleep schedules. I’ve tried magnesium supplements for a few days which seemed to help but then I was back again on low scores, a colder room temperature but changes didn’t last. I found however that I had much better scores when I both had dinner and went to sleep consistently earlier rather than later - even when sleeping as much! So, I am trying to stick to that.
Sleep or Activity? Why?
Sleep:) I see people around me that seem to have a better tolerance to shortened sleep nights, I however don’t. And that’s what I like about Circular - there’s no size fits all, rather the insights are continuously updated based on your own reference values, and Chronotype. So for me i make sure I get good sleep to ensure I start the day fully energised - and I get that others might not need that or something else would work better for them to reach the same result.
What is your preferred Circle inside the app?
Without hesitation, the guided breathing feature which was recently released. It was a nice, unexpected surprise and I appreciate to be able to run the guided session and then visualised how it influenced well-being related scores such as HRV.
Any extra tips that helped you achieve better scores?
Adaptability! As i mentioned, consistency in schedules has been key for me however there’snot « one thing » that worked for me. I tried to adapt my routines based on the insights I guess. Say for instance my resting heart rate is higher than usual, then i would focus on guide breathing and avoid coffee and heavy foods in the evening for instance.
Have you noticed any bad habits influencing your metrics?
Heavy meals. I noticed that then my resting heart rate is higher than usual, and when that’s the case i also get less deep sleep.
Are you taking any supplements? If so, what supplements do you take?
I tried magnesium - though as said this didn’t seem to make a difference for me over time. Instead, I am experimenting with foods and reconsidering how I eat during the day - trying to have a fuller lunch and lighter dinner while I got used to the other way around.
What practice have you not yet adopted that you are thinking of implementing in your routine?
I first had a smart device to monitor my sleep in 2017. I remember that back then, when I started learning to play the harp, my dream REM rate used to go through the roof the exact days I was practicing (30-40%). I am keen to experiment with that again, and learn new things to see this affects the amount/ share of RME sleep I get !
What would be the best piece of advice to give to a beginner?
Learning what works best for you - by trying one thing at a time and see how it impacts your scores, but also noting if there were specificities during the day. I really like the tag feature on the calendar - it helps looking back and see what may correlated with results we get.
What new feature would you like to see in Circular?
There are a number of competitors whom recently entered the market, and from what I saw most offer similar features as they have comparable hardware. Two features that makes Circular really unique are the smart button and vibration. So I’d really like to see functionalities that leverage those to help people around the world whom are suffering from chronic and dysautonomia conditions. There are two that immediately come to my mind. The first is sleep apnea - Circular could trigger a vibration alert on low SPO2 / breathing rate. The second is POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) where it would be useful to also send an alert when the heart rate of the user drastically increases by 30-40bpmper minute, independently from any physical activity so that they can anticipate other symptoms such as dizziness and fainting. Many people suffering from POTS need support, and this is an especially important area of research because COVID has significantly increased the prevalence of this condition in previously healthy people.