Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Zeo sleep monitor

My wife got me a new toy for Christmas this year, a Zeo Sleep Monitor. It's a device that fits on your forehead while you sleep and measures your brain waves while you sleep. Based on your brain waves it logs what phase of sleep you're in (light, REM, deep, or awake). I got some time to try it out a few nights ago and I was pretty impressed!

Above, you can see a screenshot from the app on my phone. You can see for yourself what each of the colors means on the graph above.  The fun thing to note for me is that it lines up perfectly with what happened that night.  At around 1AM (the second set of red lines) my dog woke me up to be let outside.  Then around 2AM my wife woke up which woke me up for a little while.  Then at around 6:30AM my wife woke up to get ready for work which again woke me up.  So that correlates the data with reality nicely.

The interesting things in the graph are what I wouldn't ordinarily be able to determine for myself, namely differentiating between light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep.  I find this pretty fascinating.  I think this also means that I don't have sleep apnea (or at least not this night), since I would assume there would be many more red lines throughout the night.

I'm going to keep using this as much as possible for the next few weeks to get an idea of what my sleep habits look like over time.  The Zeo Android app also has another feature whereby you can set an alarm and the app will try to wake you when you're in an optimal sleep state.  This works on the theory that you feel better and more alert if you're awakened when you're in a light sleep state.  I haven't tried that feature yet, but I will soon.

When I find some time I'd like to find a way to use the Zeo sensor to monitor my sleep cycles and when I'm in a REM sleep cycle trigger subtle lights or sounds that might allow me to experience lucid dreaming.  I found this Android API which may aid me in doing that.

Update: I tried the alarm feature last night and it is amazing!  It delayed my wakeup time by about 15 minutes to wait for the REM cycle I was in to end.  I woke up feeling fantastic!  I may have to start using it every night.

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