This Data Visualization of Sleep is Surprisingly Artistic

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: leungchopan)

With the exception of insomniacs, most people already know how sleeping like a baby feels, and now there’s a data visualization for sleep that shows us exactly how it looks. Using the Baby Connect iPhone app, Redditor Andrew Elliott and his wife diligently tracked the time their newborn daughter spent awake and sleep for the first six months of her life.

According to The Washington Post, the pattern that the baby’s awake and sleep time produced is so aesthetically pleasing, it’s currently ranked as the top post of Reddit’s data visualization forum, r/dataisbeautiful.

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Now, there are quite a few words we could use to describe sleep, such as relaxing, invigorating, refreshing, necessary or even hard to come by, but we have to agree that this baby’s sleep is actually quite nice-looking on paper, that is, until you get into the meaning of the color-coded data Elliott created with the help of design software.

Click for larger image (Image credit: Redditor andrew_elliott)

The dark blue hue represents the time Elliott’s daughter slept (including naps), while the yellow signifies all the time she spent awake. The center of the circle marks her birth, with each revolution representing a full day. If compared to a clock, midnight would be situated at the top and noon at the bottom.

See all that back-and-forth between the blue and yellow hues near the center of the circle? It’s a visual demonstration of why new parents might want to avoid splurging on the dream crib. In other words, it represents the baby’s most erratic sleep patterns, a stage Elliott refers to as “terrible.” Still, he plans to use his daughter’s sleeping pattern as a background design for a clock that will fittingly hang in her room.

All in all, this visualization artistically confirms something we all know about babies: They tend to be notorious, unapologetic sleep-stealers.