Monday, 6 August 2012

Review of the Zeo Sleep Manager Pro+

Nothing beats a cat nap.  A disco nap.  Or any kind of nap really.  Sleeping is one of life's most amazing things.  I also quite like being awake too.  I think this conflict of interests is why I stay up as late as possible, and lay in bed the next day for as long as possible.  This unfortunate trait leaves me constantly tired, except at weekends when I can finally switch off the alarm.

So when I was given the opportunity to test out a Zeo Sleep Manager Pro+ complete with magical Zeo Headband, I thought I'd give it a go to see how bad my sleeping actually is.

The Zeo Headband sitting in its charger

I now have had a few weeks of wearing the headbands I have taken a look back at my results. Wearing the headset itself was a bit of an alien idea to me.  Wearing a band around your head with a plastic device on your forehead.  It does sound and look strange.  But its not particularly uncomfortable.  In a way it was almost soothing to have a little pressure on your head.

The device links by bluetooth to your mobile device.  It is apparently designed to work with the iPhone but works fine with my Android devices.  Pairing the devices is dead simple.  All you do is activate bluetooth on your phone and then press the one and only button on the headband and they connect.  All you need to do from there is download the app.  The app lets you know that the device is connected and when you are wearing the headband it reassures you that you can now go to sleep.  Everything is ready.

At first I didnt get on too well with the device.  Having read the instructions it says to charge for at least 3 hours before your first use.  I charged for nearly 8 hours, but the morning results told me that the battery had died in the night, so I wasnt too impressed.  On the second night the headband fell off part way through the night.  So again I didnt have a full nights sleep results.  Perhaps in my semi-consciousness I had taken it off as it still felt alien.  But by night 3 I had it sussed.  It was fully charged, I had tightened the headband a little, and the nights results were complete.

For the next 2 weeks I didnt seem to have any such issues with the battery, so I can only assume it was my error that caused the first nights battery disappointment.  And I woke with the headband on my head each morning.  Looking back at my results, they are very much as I expected.  I go to bed too late.  I typically go to bed between 12 and 1am.  I average around 6.5 hours sleep a night.  I dream every night (except 1, apparently).  But some of the results were interesting.

The app links to a website which shows you a lot of trends with your sleep such as what your average sleep score is.  It shows you your total sleep, your time in REM, your time in deep sleep.  It also shows you other things like how many times you are woken in the night, and how long you spend awake.  It seems I am woke every night around 2-3 times.  I blame The Mrs.  I think she must punch and kick me when I start snoring.

The website looks great and gives you the opportunity to add extra detail such as how much caffeine you had that day, to how you felt the next day etc, to help you identify what things affect your sleep to help you put together a plan on how to improve your sleep.  As I am fairly happy with my sleep, I didnt have the urge to go to that level of detail.  But if you are looking to improve your sleep then this looks like it will be a great help.

The app also has a smart alarm.  It is intended to wake you between a set time period at what the device thinks is the best time for you to wake, depending on your sleep cycles.  The idea is that the alarm goes off when you are naturally more inclined to be awake, rather that being rudely awoken mid dream, thus helping you get out of bed on the right side.

My stats for the last few weeks.  I should be getting reaching 80's on the score for my age

If you are not sure whether or not to purchase a sleep monitor, I suggest you sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning.  If you feel tired, then perhaps its worth considering.

It retails for £119 on their website

If you have used this or something similar, please comment below to let me know how you found it.

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