Addapp Adventure: Well-being During A Train Ride

Imagine this: (Trying to) sleep in a reclining chair with a stranger right next to you, while on a train traveling through the California night. Waking up to a sunrise peeking through the curtained windows. Greeting Mt. Shasta, which majestically appeared as the observation car rolled by.  And trying to decipher what on earth happened to your sleep metrics.

That was me last week. I’m back from my Addapp Adventure! What a whirlwind of a journey from the Bay Area to Portland: I never expected 17.5 hours on a train to go by so quickly. Along the way, I tracked my various well-being components. Here’s what I learned:


I slept in a reclining train seat that also had a small footrest, so while it wasn’t a fluffy bed that you could curl up in, it was fairly comfortable. I tracked my sleep with both my Fitbit Flex and the Pillow app.  Their separate findings were like night and day: I’ll go into more detail in a future post, but I’m trusting Pillow on this one: I only slept for 3 hours and 39 minutes, which was only half of my total sleep duration. I spent 37% of my sleep duration in deep sleep, 12% in light sleep, and 1% in REM sleep. I was surprised I spent so much of the time that I was sleeping in deep sleep. Total sleep quality was 38% – better than I expected!

Mt. Shasta
What I woke up to: the view of Mt. Shasta in the early morning


According to Fitbit, my total step count for the trip was 1,171 steps, aka not much at all. I usually walk more than that during my morning work commute. During the ride, I got up and moved around (and almost lost my balance!) a few times to make sure I got some exercise, but I was ok with taking in the relaxation and leisurely pace. I had the rest of the weekend to walk around Portland, afterall.

Water Intake

I definitely did not drink enough water during my trip. I brought a water bottle that contained about 20 fluid ounces that I logged in Fitbit. The water disappeared by noon on Friday, and I began to feel dehydrated. I went to get a bottle of water from the cafe car, but it was closed. I wish I would have brought more water! The cafe car opened again toward the end of my trip, but I decided to wait until I arrived in Portland to fill up on more water.


My snacking was on point: I brought a Golden Delicious apple, a Larabar, a small bag of toffee peanuts and chocolate chips, and some Krave Honey Peach Peach Barbecue Pork Jerky. While creating this snack collection, I made sure to have a good range of protein, fiber, carbs, fat and, of course, chocolate. Next time, I would probably go for a lower-sodium protein option, especially if I don’t have access to a lot of water.

Across Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, I ate an average of 610 calories during my trip. (There was a small variance of total calories between the apps.) Fortunately, I packed enough snacks to sustain me throughout the trip: I had been planning on eating lunch in Amtrak’s dining car, but I missed the call for reservations from a conductor during my morning snooze. Oops! No worries, though: as soon as we arrived in Portland, I made a beeline for Voodoo Doughnuts. No regrets. It’s all about balance, right?

Voodoo Doughnuts
Doughnuts from the infamous Voodoo Doughnut.


I was surprised by how positive my mood was throughout the trip. Based on my entries in MoodPanda, my average mood rating was a 7 (with 10 being the most positive). I felt the most negative (a 4) when the train was supposed to board in Emeryville: I had learned the train was running about 50 minutes late. An hour before our (on time!) arrival in Portland, I rated my mood a 9. Even though I was feeling anxious and antsy, my excitement overrode those feelings.

As the train moved through small towns and lush pine forests, I felt inspired. Two docents joined us in Oregon on the leg from Klamath Falls to Eugene to educate observation car passengers about the scenery around us, so my attention was always engaged (along with keeping up with work, of course!).

Broadway Bridge: Portland, OR
Arriving in Portland, aka Bridgetown

Future Adventures

I travelled solo on the train. For future Addapp Adventures, it would be interesting to compare data with a travel companion. We’re also making waves with new changes to Addapp, so I can’t wait to incorporate insights into future journeys.

Where will our next Addapp Adventure take us?

Wellness Content Creator @Addapp. Find me running, biking, losing myself in the produce section of my favorite grocery store, or (not) following recipes in my kitchen.

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