Believe it or not, 80% of people in the UK don’t feel like they get enough sleep at night.
Last week I tested the ZEO Sleep Manager, a device that allows you to monitor sleep patterns and help to improve the quality of your time under the covers.
The device is fitted to a headband and during the night measures the amount of time you spend in the 5 different stages of sleep. It transmits this information in real time via bluetooth to a dedicated application on your iPhone or iPad.
To simplify things the ZEO Sleep manager splits these 5 stages of sleep into 3 phases.
Light Sleep (Stage 1, Stage 2)
Stage 1 is where your body drifts from wake to sleep, this period usually lasts for 5-10 mins. If someone wakes you during Stage 1, you won’t really feel like you’ve been asleep.
Stage 2 is where your temperature starts to slowly decrease and your heart beat will also slow down at this point.
Deep Sleep (Stage 3, stage 4)
During stage 3 your brain starts to produce ‘delta waves’ and it’s a transitional period between light sleep and a very deep sleep (basically you are out like a light).
Stage 4 happens just before REM sleep, (NOTE) this is when you are most likely to wet the bed or sleepwalk.
REM Sleep (stage 5)
This is thought to be the stage when the brain assimilates recent information and filters out the stuff you don’t need. EG you might remember the great film you saw that day, but not what pair of socks you put on. It’s also when you have dreams.
In the morning you are able to see the amount of time you spent in each sleep stage and are awarded points accordingly (see below). These are added up to give you a ZQ total for the night.
Basically, the higher the ZQ number, the better your sleep.
If you get one, DONT PUT IT ON TOO TIGHT. I woke up with thick red line marks across my forehand on the 1st day that took several hours to disappear. You will look like you’ve been playing kinky sex games, and a right charlie at the 10am shareholders board meeting.
Your data is automatically updated to the Zeo website where it can analysed in daily graphs, weekly grids and any number of comparison charts. A ‘Journal’ function allows you to enter information related to how you were feeling/what you did etc, before and after your sleep, it’s quick and easy, and allows you to make sense of the data.
There is also a huge resource of info available on how to improve your ZQ Score.
Luckily I’ve never had trouble sleeping. My first nights ZQ score was 79, followed by 78,80,77,78 then 79. In fact although the time I spent in the various stages of sleep varied, my ZQ score was pretty consistent all week. Probably due to the fact that I went to bed and woke up at similar times.
The average for my age is (74 See above), so I was above that, but my ‘Deep Sleep’ (the time when your body does most of its regenerative repair work) time was lower.
There are some ZEO fanatics out there who try and beat each others scores, by, from what I can make out, staying in bed all weekend (apparently anything over ZQ100 is Zen-Like).
Not drinking alcohol or caffeine a few hours before you sleep, having a quiet room, not watching TV in bed, these are all things we know we SHOULD do to have a good nights rest, but the problem is, we don’t always do what is best for us. If we did we’d all be tucked up by 10pm every night.
In addition to this, factors such as kids, noisy neighbours, or traffic mean despite the best intentions you can’t always get the sleep you require, even if you wanted to. As the week went on I got used to wearing the headband, but I’m not sure how long I would continue to use it in normal circumstances.
The Zeo Sleep Manager DOES make you realise how important sleep is in relation to general well-being (it’s hard to forget when you have a device similar to small miners lamp on your forehead), and for people with genuine sleep disorders the device and resources can only be beneficial in finding an answer to their problems.
However, to see any real benefits you’ll have to invest some effort into the solution, as it can only help with the diagnosis and point you in the right direction. The rest is down to you.
We tested the Zeo Sleep manager Mobile £89:00
For more info visit www.myzeo.co.uk