Zeo Sleep Manager (fka Personal Sleep Coach)
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- Zeo tells you how you really sleep, and helps you find ways to improve your sleep.
- Accurately measure your sleep quality and sleep quanity at home
- Discover factors that are stealing your Deep, REM & total sleep
- Analyze your sleep patterns using online tools and journals
- Add sleep coaching for a customized sleep improvement program tailored just for you
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Your quality of sleep is central to your quality of life. Zeo is designed to help you analyse your sleep and improve it, so you can be your best every day. Zeo tells you how you really sleep, and helps you find ways to improve your sleep. It's composed of a lightweight wireless headband, a bedside display, a set of analytical online tools, and a personalised coaching program. Every morning, the Zeo bedside personal sleep coach will show you a break-down of the various sleep stages you cycled through that night as well as your "ZQ". With a touch of a button you get additional statistics; % spent awake, time it took to fall asleep, % spent in light, REM and deep sleep as well as total sleep time. If that is not enough for you, register on the Zeo website for free, upload the data stored on the included SD card and see in-depth graphs. Within a few clicks you can spot trends, investigate cause & effect and access personalised sleep coaching to improve your sleep. On top of a standard alarm, Zeo also features SmartWake, a clever system which allows you to set a window in which you allow Zeo to wake you up more naturally. It will pick a moment which will make it a little bit easier to get out of bed, by avoiding deep sleep. It will never go beyond your maximum must-wake time though! As Zeo is designed to help you sleep better, it has a display which can be dimmed to be completely off; you are in full control of its brightness. The UK version of Zeo ships with a universal power adapter that allows Zeo to be used in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and several other EU countries. SD memory card and USB SD card reader are all included too, both work on Mac and PC. Zeo Sleep Manager (formerly called Zeo Personal Sleep Coach) - Take control of your sleep.
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It works extremly well no marks on my forehead or just very slight marks some days with the same tension all the time.
I have returned for a refund. It's a shame as otherwise it looks like a great idea. I hope the manufacturer improves the design of the headband and I'll try it again when they do.
FIrst, I hope that Amazon are willing to publish this negative but completely honest review.
I don't submit many reviews as I buy so much from Amazon, but the Zeo was such a bitter disappointment that I thought I had to publish this review to help other people make an informed decision on whether to buy.
I'm an experienced embedded hardware/firmware engineer with a pretty good idea of what the Zeo is doing, in detail, so I think I can comment from a position of experience.
There a three key problems with the Zeo that prevent it being a BRILLIANT device that would probably work as advertised for more people:
1) The headband has to be so tight to pick up a good signal that it a) gives me a headache, and b) does indeed leave deep depressions in the forehead after a nightimes wear. I did experiment briefly with ECG electrodes wired via 'poppers' to just the 'module' on an insulated headband, and this did solve these problem, but at a cost of 3 ECG electrodes a night. I'd suggest that Zeo supply and recommend the use of a conductive gel applied as just a small spot on each of the 3 standard electrodes as, whilst I didn't try it, I think this would enable the headband to be loosened and relieve the headache and forehead marks problem. The supplied module/headband is also problematic if you have a large head (I'm 7 1/8 UK sizing) and may explain why I had to tighten it quite so much to get good contact on all three electrodes.
2) For both my girlfriend and I, the Zeo simply did not show the correct sleep phases, so had no chance whatsoever of performing its 'smartwake' function of waking you during the 'best period - Light/REM sleep' in a user defined window before the alarm time. For me, unless I was actually walking around, the Zeo said I was in REM sleep if I purposely lay quietly in bed watching the display, within a minute of me laying down, despite beeng fully awake throughout (I tried this check several times for up to 20 minutes and always got the same result) . For my girlfriend, it said she was awake most of the night, when she actually slept extremely well and awoke refreshed in the morning.
3) On to the crux of the problem, and also my suggested solution: Zeo customer support are totally defensive of their product, and, despite MANY emails, said that the data files I sent them from my girlfriend and I were normal, when they blatantly weren't. I believe I know what is needed to fix the bug with the Zeo, and that is a calibration routine (I'll explain in a moment), which I suggested to Zeo and was told they had no plans to implement such a thing, and, possibly typical of their attitude, that "maybe Zeo is not for you", so I have had to return it, which I have now done, as it is basically defective.
Going on to my proposed solution: The Zeo seperates the minute EEG voltages into Alpha, Beta-1 2 and 3, Delta and Gamma waves by means of Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithms before passing them to their "marketing speak' named "neural network" for processing. This can only possibly work if the decoded signals are in a range and of an amplitude that the Zeo's "neural network" regards as "normal". Anything else is certain to give incorrect results. My suggested solution was and is a simple calibration routine whereby the individual user lies quietly, but awake, in bed, and the Zeo measures the average and deviation of each of the different rhythms, and then "normalises" them in amplitude and deviation to what the "neural network" expects. I don't believe this would take any more than 1-2 man days in total (I think I could do it in that time if I already had their knowledge of the firmware and the programmable signal processing chip used). This would probably suffice for 90% of cases, but ideally the algorithm would also be made adaptive and adjust its multiplying and scaling factors based on ongoing data for an even better result.
Now, I know Zeo appears to work for some people, but, for many others, I suggest it doesn't, and either gets returned, or more likely ends up being kept as an expensive alarm clock (which doesn't even have stero sound or adequate volume, and also doesn't allow the download of your own MP3 music files from the SD card for the 'wake-up' music - you can update the firmware from the SD card so the capability exists). As a result, Zeo are losing their key 'word of mouth' advertising that will sell an expensive product like this, and must be losing out on at least 50% of possible sales in my opinion as people will pass on the bad results rather than being able to recommend the device to their friends.
Sorry for the long review, but I wanted it to be as accurate and informative as possible.
Until at least a calibration routine is added (I've asked then to inform me if they do so, when I may re-purchase from Amazon to see if it does then work), I simply cannot recommend this device to anyone.
There are two main areas to review - the hardware and the software.
The hardware consists of a wireless headband and a bedside monitor. I found the headband surprisingly comfortable to wear. The band is very soft material with adjustable velvet for added comfort in the area of headband that sits behind your ears. I have experimented with tightness of the band and found it doesn't need to be tight in order to function accurately. If it is too loose, it will likely come off in the night, and if it is too tight, it will leave little indents in your forehead from the silver sensor pads, but these have faded by the time I have a shower. It is so comfortable that I don't notice it is there.
The bedside monitor has a large display which provides live feedback of the various sleep phases you have throughout the night and the data is recorded to an SD card. I have had difficulty getting to sleep and difficulty staying asleep, so through the night I can see what sleep I have been getting and how much wake period I have had. I have not found any inaccuracies with reporting of time to sleep or wake times, i.e. it has always reported me as being awake when I am awake, and when I wake in the night from a bad dream, and it shows that I was in REM prior to wakening. Interestingly, on the mornings that I wake up and feel completely sledge-hammered with exhaustion, I have been awoken from a long REM phase. When I wake from light sleep, I never feel so rough. Zeo has a tool for that problem though, with the "SmartWake" function; it lets me set a window in which it is ok to wake up (e.g. between 6 and 6.30am) and it will avoid waking me during deep or REM sleep and will find a window when waking is easier, such as transitioning between sleep phases. The bedside monitor also has all the functions of a normal alarm clock and a battery backup incase of power failure. I can review my sleep data on the bedside monitor, or use the SD card to upload the data to MyZeo online.
The `software' is the data from the SD card uploaded to a suite of analytical tools via an account with MyZeo. This has two parts to it - a coaching program and a bundle of analytical tools. The coaching program is absolutely brilliant! It is a 7 stage program, which I have taken my time to use and learn from it, and it has really helped educate me on sleep-stealers and the steps to take that will improve sleep quality and time asleep. I like the fact it has educated me as well as helped me change behaviours that affected my sleep. Despite having a sleep disorder, the coaching program definitely helped improve my sleep.
The analytical tools are very informative; for example, showing you things you think help your sleep actually make it worse - such as drinking alcohol, exercising too close to bedtime, eating too close to bedtime, having a bedroom full of gadgets etc. The tools can help identify patterns, trends as well as cause & effect. You can also print out a variety of reports to take to a health professional if required. The website also has a Knowledge Centre giving you access to loads of articles, research and knowledge documents, I found these really helpful in helping me change behaviours necessary to improve my sleep.
The Zeo has completely changed my attitude towards sleep through education, coaching, and knowledge of my sleep phases, quality, and duration. It is so helpful I am continuing to use it on a nightly basis as part of my ongoing health monitoring.
If you have sleep challenges and want help to improve your sleep, I really recommend the Zeo. It's not a quick fix though, I found to get most value from the data, tools and coaching, it is worth using it long-term and making it part of your nightly bed-time routine.
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