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Zeo Personal Sleep Coach Review

 

Zeo Personal Sleep Coach

 

We all spend a large portion of our lives sleeping, so it simply makes sense that we should aspire to do it as well as we can. Unlike many people, Iíve always been one to get the recommended amount of sleep, but for a long time Iíve wondered about the quality of that sleep. I remember the rare mornings many years ago as a child waking up and feeling refreshed and full of energy. Those days are long gone, as most mornings as I wake to a less than a fully-charged battery. On occasion, I'll nap during the day and often wake feeling tremendous, so I know what's possible from a quality sleep. The question is why can't I duplicate this at night, consistently, and when I don't, what was getting in the way?

The end result is that from day to day I just don't have a lot of energy to do the things that I want, so I set out to find out the answer to my sleep quality question, which suggested that I needed some way to monitor my sleep. One way would be by visiting a sleep clinic. Where I live, I could have it done for free, but the wait was over a year. I could alternately pay to have it done for around $200 CAD. With this, theyíd have you sleep in special room while hooked up with wires to your body that would monitor your sleep. A doctor would then analyze the results to determine problems. If you want to rule out a medical disorder, this is the way to go.

While I never did this, I imagined several problems with this approach. First, you spent the night in a strange bed hooked up to wires. I rarely sleep well in foreign environment the first night, let alone being all wired up. Secondly, youíve got one chance at it Ė you have to try to sleep like you usually do and if it doesnít work out that way out, then how valuable will the results even be? So, unless youíve got a sleep disorder that occurs consistently anytime you sleep for any length of time, I suspect thereís a chance that some problems may not show up.

And I indeed wasnít convinced that I had a disorder. I suspected that there was some other reason why I wasnít feeling rested Ė that there was some other factor affecting my sleep quality. 

I was working with Jeff from Restwise (another project Iím doing to measure my recovery from physical exercise - Restwise Review) and he mentioned the Zeo Sleep Monitor. For around the same cost as visiting a sleep clinic for a night, you can own this device, so I figured that made sense to start with it.

 

While it looks much like a normal alarm clock, itís so much more. Itís composed of a lightweight wireless headband, a bedside display, a set of online analytical tools, and an email-based personalized coaching program.

When you go to bed, you put on the headband monitor which transmits data wirelessly to the main unit, recording your sleep pattern (things like, how long it took you to fall asleep, total time awake, # times waken, time spent in each phase of light, deep and REM sleep). Have you ever wondered how long those dreams of yours actually are? Or how long it really took you to fall asleep? These answers and much more are now yours. Zeo does admit that their data may not be as accurate would be measured all wired-up in sleep center, but the important thing is that itís good enough for what is needed.

The Zeo package included the bedside display and power adapter, a headband, a SD memory card and USB card reader, instructions and a sleep wheel reference.  

 

Although this basic data is interesting to some, it gets really interesting and really valuable when you upload it to their website and begin the 7 Step Sleep Fitness Program, which is now included at no extra charge. The program guides you through establishing a baseline for your sleep quality and then addresses various factors that can affect your sleep to see how adjustments in each area might improve your sleep. This is where enormous value begins. You can spend as many nights as youíd like exploring the various adjustments to optimize your sleep. This is obviously something that is simply not possible to achieve in a one-night sleep center.

 

The program also does a top-notch job at keeping you on track. It will regularly send you well-written emails, letting you know exactly what your next steps are. And if you don't do anything in response on the website for a few days, it sends you a few gentle reminders. If you still don't take action, it lets you know that it will put the coaching program on pause and stop emailing as you're likely busy and that you can simply continue when you are ready to proceed. Motivating and persistent in helping you progress, but not irritating. Very well done.

Zeo does a great job of making sure that we all know that their Zeo Sleep Monitor is not Zeo is neither a medical device nor a medical program and it is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of any sleep disorders and openly outline why in this video. But for those of us who donít feel rested come morning and want to see if we can improve things ourselves, Zeo is a great partner and quite fascinating. And like I mentioned at the outset, we spend so much time sleeping, why shouldn't we strive to make sure we do it well.

Updates


Iím currently still making my way through the 7 Step Sleep Fitness Program, and will post more as I make progress through it, however I do have a couple of comments already.

One step concentrates on relaxing your mind and body and recommends that you listen to a downloadable MP3 track before going to sleep. Since the monitor has a SD card for recording your sleep data, why not let people put MP3's onto it as well and play them through the Zeo rather than having to bring an MP3 player into bed with you? They could then hook this up to the sleep timer function, so that you could fall asleep to your relaxation tracks which would automatically turn off.

Another step concentrates on creating a pleasant bedroom environment. They mention turning down the brightness on the Zeo display. Why not let the user configure a day and night brightness level and then have the display automatically dim when the headband is removed from the cradle?

 

 

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