Sleep-Tracking Device Shows How the Napa Earthquake Woke People Up

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 25 2014 1:30 PM

Sleep-Tracking Device Shows How the Napa Earthquake Woke People Up

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NAPA, CA - AUGUST 24: Debris sits on the ground in front of a damaged building following a reported 6.0 earthquake on August 24, 2014 in Napa, California. A 6.0 earthquake rocked the San Francisco Bay Area shortly after 3:00 am on Sunday morning causing damage to buildings and sending at least 70 people to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The South Napa Earthquake—the strongest in Northern California in the last quarter-century—was quite a shake up. And for many, it was also quite the wake up, since it struck at 3:20 a.m. Pacific time.

But for how many? To answer that question, the data scientists at the wearables company Jawbone turned to its UP users. Jawbone’s website describes UP as “a revolutionary system that guides you every step of the way to a better, healthier you” by tracking diet, exercise—and sleep. Jawbone turned to its sleep-tracking UP users to find out how, exactly, the earthquake affected sleep.

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They found that while hardly any users between 75 and 100 miles from the epicenter awoke, 55 percent of those in Oakland and San Francisco did. And in Napa, Sonoma, Vallejo, and Fairfield, 93 percent of users were shaken awake when the earthquake hit—and 45 percent of them were awake for the rest of the night. Sweet dreams are not made of this. 

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Chart courtesy of Jawbone

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Emily Tamkin is an M.Phil. candidate in Russian and East European studies at Oxford. Follow her on Twitter.  

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