The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Oakley Foldable Tote

oakley foldable tote Sometimes my gym bag becomes a bit unwieldy because of all the extra clothes I have to carry (especially in winter). Plus, it’s not always easy to keep the sweaty/wet stuff separated from the dry stuff, which of course is undesirable. So after looking at different bags, I decided to purchase this Oakley foldable tote.

This is a mesh tote that zips up into a compact case when not in use. It easily fits into my gym bag on the way there, and is perfect for my wet clothes and towels on the way home. The case part also has a D-ring clip that allows me to attach it to the outside of my gym bag so I don’t even have to carry it.

I’m not entirely crazy about the bag being made out of mesh, as I’d rather keep my undergarments a bit more discreetly hidden. But that alone isn’t a deal-breaker.

All in all I like this little Oakley bag. I got it on sale for about $20. Yes, that’s expensive for what the product actually is, but I know I’m paying for the brand here (and I’m okay with that).

Tempur-Pedic Pillow

I have the hardest time finding good pillows. No matter what kind I get (soft, medium, firm), I end up with terrible neck and shoulder pain. So I finally did some research and splurged on a Tempur-pedic memory foam pillow.

I went with one that is designed specifcally for side-sleepers, which I definitely am, and have been using it for only a few nights now. I can’t say that I’ve noticed much difference in the early going here, but will give this at least a month before writing a fuller review. At that point, if the pillow is good for my neck/shoulders, the results should start to show.

Keeping my fingerss crossed that I haven’t wasted $150 here!

Sleep Cycle App

I purchased the Sleep Cycle iPhone app about a month ago and have been trying it out ever since. This app is supposed to help improve the quality of your sleep by recording your nightly patterns, waking you up slowly and gently during your lightest sleep phase, and by displaying data in a way that allows you to make changes to your routine to get the best sleep possible.

It sounded great and was only $.99, so I figured what the heck. But the app didn’t really work that well for me.

My biggest problem with it is that it didn’t register my movements accurately enough. I sleep on a very firm mattress, so even when I toss and turn (which I don’t do often anyway) the mattress doesn’t move much. It’s basically like I’m sleeping on the floor or something. At any rate, no matter where or how I positioned my phone, the accelerometer (which works just fine in other applications), didn’t detect my movements. So my sleep data wasn’t accurate or useful in any way.

Another problem with the app is that when you set the alarm, you can be woken up at any time during a 30-minute window prior to the alarm time. Thus, if I want to wake up at 7am, the app might actually wake me up at 6:30 if it determines that that is the lightest part of my sleep cycle. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to potentially lose 30 minutes of sleep per day!

On the other hand, I did like the slow, gentle alarm. I noticed that I did in fact wake up more slowly and naturally as I became gradually aware of the app’s nature sounds. It was much better than the jarring buzzing noise of my usual alarm. But there are other free apps that can do this, too.

Overall, the Sleep Cycle app didn’t work for me, primarily because of my bed. But that’s not to say it wouldn’t work for you. The app has tons of 4- and 5-star ratings at the App Store, and is only $.99, so it won’t hurt to try it.