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Managing And Improving Sleep

Juggling three jobs, a 2year-old and a husband while maintaining our household doesn’t make it easy to get some quality sleep, which is why Zeo’s booth at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) caught my attention. I know I need to improve my sleep habits, but I was too much of a germaphobe to use their SleepLab at the booth so I tested the device in the comfort of my own bed this past week.

The Zeo is a revolutionary sleep device that analyzes your sleep and helps improve it. You wear a lightweight headband equipped with SoftWave sensor technology that tracks your sleep stages throughout the night and sends the data to your iPhone. When you wake up, take a peek at your iPhone to see your total time asleep, time in REM sleep, time in deep sleep and time in wake. Your sleep quality is summarized into a single number, called ZQ, which is a unique way to both measure and understand your sleep. The data is synced with your free Zeo account, which you can access on the Web as well.

Using the device is very simple. Take it out of the box, put it on the charger for a couple hours, then pair it via Bluetooth to your iPhone. I thought wearing that headband would be uncomfortable, but the part that touches your forehead is very soft rubber and the headband is elastic. I adjusted it to the loosest setting, strapped it on my head and passed out with no problem.

We take it for granted, but your sleep matters since it is the key to health, wellness, cell growth, memory formation, mental agility, physical performance and peace of mind. As you’re probably aware, it’s not a uniform thing, and is broken into four stages: wake, deep, light and REM. Each does something different for your body, and combined it’s a necessary mix for your good health.

This Zeo Sleep Manager is the only consumer system that tracks all of these sleep phases and offers sciencebased solutions to your everyday sleep issues. Zeo’s tools allow you to analyze your sleep data in depth and obtain advice from the experts. Here you can figure out how your lifestyle factors (i.e., caffeine consumption, stress, your bedroom environment) affect your sleep quality with the Cause & Effect tool.

Your ZQ number summarizes how you slept based on your Total Z, restorative REM, deep sleep and disrupted time spent in wake. The ZQ scale can range anywhere from 0 to 120, but a higher ZQ isn’t necessarily better. The key to an optimal ZQ is all about how you feel during the day. Apparently I need to work on mine. I’ve been averaging about 54, and that’s with four to five hours of sleep a night, and always feeling tired and drained during the day. I somehow need to get more sleep.

In addition, Zeo has a seven-step plan to coach you on your sleep needs and goals. Each time you upload/sync your data, you can opt to include them into any ongoing coaching step. Here are the seven steps:

1) Evaluate Your Sleep Fitness: Review how you currently view your sleep, what your sleep strengths and weaknesses are, and what your sleep goals are (i.e., I’d kill to sleep through the night).

2) Relax Your Way to Sleep: Learn how to relax your mind and body before bedtime so as to get a night of undisturbed sleep.

3) Build Your Bedroom Sanctuary: Prepare your bedroom for sleep; light, noise, comfort and even room temperature can make a big difference.

4) Optimize Your Sleep Schedule: Help maintain your body’s internal clock by getting into the groove of the right bedtime and rise time for you and your lifestyle.

5) Adopt the Power Down Hour: Prepare your body and mind for sleep by cutting down on overstimulating activities before bedtime.

6) Eat and Drink Smart for Sleep: Discover the right foods to eat and the ones to avoid for a better night’s sleep.

7) Harmonize with your Housemates: Learn how to sleep better when sharing a bed and living space with others.

Also a nice added touch: Instead of that really loud, annoying alarm that you’re used to, the Zeo Sleep Manager has a built-in SmartWake alarm that gently wakes you at the optimal point in your sleep cycle. You can choose from a selection of soothing music. It will never wake you up late and you’ll always feel refreshed.

Find the Zeo-Mobile for $99.99 at your nearest Best Buy, The Sharper Image (Zeo Bedside only) or Amazon.com. If you don’t have an iPhone or don’t want to use the app, the Bedside model retails for $199.99.