At first the technology looks intriguing:
- Softwave™ Sensor Technology (wireless)
- Bedside Display
- Web and Database Technology
So far so good. Then you get:
- Personalized Sleep Coaching Program
- SmartWake™ Alarm (optional)
and the Zeo 7 Steps to Sleep Fitness are:
- Evaluate your Sleep Fitness
- Relax your way to sleep
- Build your bedroom sanctuary
- Optimize your sleep schedule
- Adopt the Power Down Hour™
- Eat and drink smart for sleep
- Harmonize with your housemates
All for only $399 (with free shipping).
Now the fine print:
Zeo Personal Sleep Coach is neither a medical device nor a medical program and is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of sleep disorders. If you suspect that you may have a sleep disorder, consult your physician.
Is this for real? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised — No FDA approval.
I can believe that these sensors are capable of collecting EEG that could be used for sleep staging. But even that hasn’t been proven true. An abstract accepted for presentation is interesting but is not validation. The technology here is the confidence part of the trick.
They claim to use the sleep histogram (personal sleep score or “ZQ”) along with on-line analysis as a metric for determining if any of the 7 “Sleep Fitness” steps are actually helping. Based on normal ranges of sleep stage percentages during the night these metrics may well tell you if a person slept “normally”, but can ZQ changes really be attributed to some lifestyle alteration? Where’s the clinical validation for this?
Also, the technology is supposed to:
find what could be a “natural awakening point” – when it could be a little easier to get out of bed in the morning.
It could, huh?
Anyone that would shell out money for a product like this probably has a real sleep disorder and should see a medical professional for evaluation.
Most sleep disorders are caused by apnea events anyway. A real ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) system (e.g. the Somté) includes EEG, EOG, and a full complement of breathing parameters (airflows, pressures, and SaO2).
To me anyway, the Zeo device and program will help very few people and appears to be another direct-to-consumer rip-off.
UPDATE (1/17/2010): More on the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach