Tuesday, 3 July 2012

How good am I in bed? - The Zeo Sleep Manager reveals all

If you didn’t see the Daily Express today, you will have missed a fetching picture of me looking grumpy sitting up in bed at 2am.

Not that I regularly get the Express’s photographic team round to my house in the small hours to take pictures of me.
It was actually part of a feature piece about sleep, and a device I have been trialling  which monitors individual sleep patterns.

It’s called the Zeo Sleep Manager, and comes in the form of a headband you wear at night.
By measuring subtle changes in facial muscles and movement, it tracks your night and in the morning gives you a breakdown of your deep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement), and light sleep.
It then syncs with your smart phone, in my case iPhone, and you wake up in the morning to a lovely colourful graph of your nighttime snoozings.
It tracks how many times you woke up and gives you an overall score, ZQ, telling you how good a sleeper you are.
I actually found the results very interesting, and not at all what I was expecting.
It claims I am quite a good sleeper, really?? Tell that to the pillow that gets thumped and turned and shaken and battered at 3 in the morning.
But apparently I am, I get around 7 hours a night, and most of it is good quality. 
I had a chat with a sleep expert about my readings and he gave me some tips on how to get a good night’s kip.
Again, what he had to say was very interesting.
Apparently my excess of REM sleep, or dream sleep is a sign of anxiety.
That makes sense as it is late at night, when I am not thinking about something to do with work, or preparing, or focussing on something, that my minds wanders off into worry street.
The result - too much REM, when my mind is frantically trying to unravel all the problems that probably don’t even exist.
I tend to go into it in the early hours just before waking at 6. The sleep doctor recommended I wake up earlier to cut my REM sleep time down, as getting too much of it is not good.
He also gave me some other pointers in terms of exercise and bedtime habits.
Being a gadget lover, I think this is a pretty snazzy bit of kit. 
I also think it would be really interesting to try it out in different situations, like after having a sugar rush before bed - one of my failings, or after coffee, just to see what it throws up.
So watch this space for more updates on my nocturnal sleep habits.


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