We have technology for just about everything. Need to catch up with a friend on the other side of the globe? No problem, fire up Skype. Need to find the closest restaurants? There are apps for this right at your fingertips. Want to capture every image, note, or voice reminder and never lose them again? No problem. When it comes to ensuring quality restorative sleep, however, there’s not too much technology out there for the consumer.
Sure, there’s the Sleeptracker watch (which I do personally use, by the way) — which works as a wearable personal wake-up alarm — and does keep track of sleep patterns if you want to track that data on a computer. Honestly, though, I’ve not done that once in the two years I’ve used the watch. Now there is another tool aimed to really give you the gift of better sleep — without the use or dependency of pills or pharmaceuticals? Where the Sleeptracker will wake you with either an audible or vibrating alarm when you are closest to a waking moment in a sleep cycle (using movement), the Zeo aims to actually coach you to permanently gain a better night’s sleep by revealing your habits and giving you tools to gradually change those habits – and wake you using actual sleep phases (not movement like Sleeptracker) — to give you more quality Zzzz’s.
By giving you the gift of sleep, Zeo also promotes the benefits essential for their health, heart, stamina, memory, work performance, even longevity. Interested in making these changes in your own life? Let’s see how Zeo works.
First, there’s the headband. I know, I know….a headband?!? It’s used to track your sleep patterns using the Zeo’s SoftWave™ sensor technology to send your personal sleep information safely and wirelessly to the bedside display. The makers of the Zeo system ensure that this headband is lightweight and comfortable to wear while sleeping.
Then there is the bedside display itself. Innocently appearing to be a bedside alarm clock, the display actually provides the user with a wealth of information. The display captures a sleep graph, showing your pattern of sleep from each night. The “ZQ” is shown under the time on the display, giving you a single score to quickly gauge the quantity, quality, and depth of your sleep. The “Total Z” on the unit shows you how long you really sleep each night. Sure, you went to bed and stayed there for eight hours — but you tossed and turned and slept for five. The display also shows you how long it actually took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up throughout the night — and, get this, the total amount of REM, Light, and Deep sleep.
The data is saved to an SD memory card, so you can transfer the data and track it on your personal Zeo web-based account. The system uses all of these tools to make up a “7 Step Sleep Fitness” program used to track and show you ways to improve your sleep habits. The system will also show you how your sleep may be impacted by your lifestyle; including exercise, diet, stress, and environment. While the system will not magically give you an additional 2-3 hours of sleep, it aims to give you drastically improved quality sleep — so those 6 or 7 hours you actually get are more restful.
All of this without pills, or being poked, prodded, and probed. According to the makers of Zeo, the system was developed by leading sleep scientists. While it is not cheap ($250), it certainly sounds like a better method of making a permanent change to get all of the health benefits of quality sleep. This holiday season, you may be able to give a loved one — or yourself — a better night’s sleep every single night. Now that’s a gift that keeps giving.
Still skeptical? Fine. Maybe NYT’s David Pogue can show you a bit more about the Zeo system:
View the full Zeo Sleep System details on Zeo’s website.