How Do You Measure Sleep Quality?

edited February 2014 in Sleep Hacking

Dave wrote this:


 


  • The number of hours you sleep is not as important as the quality of sleep.
  • Eating the right foods improves your sleep.
  • Supplementing with vitamins can better your sleep.
  • Bulletproofing your sleep can reduce headaches

 


Is more deep sleep better? Do I try to increase deep sleep or Is there a ratio of deep to light sleep that's optimal? Do I need to track REM sleep? Is there something else to keep track of?


Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com

Comments

  • Dave recommends using the SleepCycle app to measure & optimize sleep, but he doesn't say which metrics are important. And here's what the SleepCycle website has to say about sleep quality:


     


    The Sleep Quality is affected by two factors:

     

    * Total time asleep

    * Amount of movement

     

    In short, the more you sleep and the less you move, the higher Sleep Quality.

     

    On the how it works page page of SleepCycle they basically tell you that waking up during light sleep is the key to feeling alert all day.

     

    If all you need to get the most out of sleep is to wake up while in a light sleep, then all the other metrics of the app (and similar apps & devices) are pointless. 

     

    What am I missing?

     

    I'm going to listen to the sleep podcast with Jonathan Wisor. Hopefully, Dr. Wisor has actual metrics to measure & optimize sleep.

    Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com
  • In the podcast with Dr. Wisor, he mentioned how sleep can become more efficient, but never said how or what was measured.


     


    Obviously, I'm either insane or an idiot (both?) because I can't find a way to actually measure sleep quality.


    Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com
  • Zeo was the best way to measure sleep quality, but they went out of business unfortunately. Zeo measures REM sleep, deep sleep and light sleep, and was very accurate as best as I can tell. The problem is that Zeo requires headband sensors that need to be replaced once a year or so, and nobody is making them anymore. You can find them on ebay, but they're ridiculously expensive now. I still use Zeo nightly, but I only have a few headband sensors left.


     


    I've looked around everywhere for a decent alternative, but none has emerged yet. I tried Beddit through their indiegogo campaign, but it appears to be garbage -- mine doesn't work at all. The only other alternatives are iphone apps like sleepcycle, or fitness trackers like fitbit or jawbone up. I don't use any of these, but my understanding is that they all track sleep cycles indirectly by measuring your amount of movement in bed. So I think these are probably not as reliable as Zeo.


  • Unplug the Zeo from the headband.  Fill up your bathroom sink with water and add some Woolite.  Dampen a sponge in the solution and gently clean the pads.  Let completely dry out.  Use a paperclip to reset the headband to default.


  • Seriously, that works? Thanks man!!


  • edited February 2014

    Everything I've read says that measuring your brain activity / EEG is the only way to accurately identify deep, light, REM sleep. (Which makes fitbit, jawbone up, etc largely ineffective. It sounds like the Zeo got it right.


     


    So what's the next best / most accurate option if I can't get a Zeo?


    Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com
  • If you'd read or the other threads there's nothing out there at the moment.


    Katolotus

    MMA Fighter

     

    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • edited March 2014

    I use the "sleep as android app" on my android phone. It is similar to Dave's suggested sleep cycle app except it is awesomer! It measures out your deep sleep, REM, and light sleep,  based upon your movements during sleep. In addition it has addons that come in handy as far as analyzing and advising you on sleeping habits custom to your sleep patterns. It has an alarm feature that wakes you up during your light sleep. This is the primary feature of the app. Over all, it's been pretty helpful with its semi-accurate quantifiable data that it provides and has helped me gain a better understanding of my sleep and how to have more control over its quality.  


  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    Just saw this, thanks. Do you know how many wash cycles you can get out of it?


     


    Also how to build a new one from scratch.


     


    ---




    Unplug the Zeo from the headband.  Fill up your bathroom sink with water and add some Woolite.  Dampen a sponge in the solution and gently clean the pads.  Let completely dry out.  Use a paperclip to reset the headband to default.



  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    Since your question wasn't answered in the thread... I try to increase deep sleep which is where growth hormone and testosterone are released, and where a lot of physical repair happens. I have trouble getting past 50 minutes, but would definitely like more, and other people's Zeo data I've seen has more deep sleep than me. But most of what I saw while researching this showed 1:15 or 1:30 as examples of good deep sleep. REM is more for mental function the next day, and I maxed out at 3:25, but that was sleeping in after being low on sleep for a few days. Based on my data I'd be very happy with 1 hour of deep and 3 of REM. Light sleep doesn't mean much as far as I can tell. 


     


    I think SleepCycle is using lack of movement as a proxy for deep sleep, but you can fool it by doing deep breathing and laying very still. If you don't have trouble falling asleep (or you toss and turn while trying to fall asleep) I suspect most of the movement-based tools are reasonably good at calculating deep sleep. 


     




    Is more deep sleep better? Do I try to increase deep sleep or Is there a ratio of deep to light sleep that's optimal? Do I need to track REM sleep? Is there something else to keep track of?



  • I use the Jawbone UP, which is great for reminding me to move around and I love the option to wake me up during light sleep. However, it's a movement-based solution for tracking sleep. That's why I'm not sure if it can accurately track sleep quality. It only measures "light" and "deep" sleep. 


     


    It still seems like Zeo was the best tool to measure sleep quality. Maybe I'll try to find a used one.


     


     




    Since your question wasn't answered in the thread... I try to increase deep sleep which is where growth hormone and testosterone are released, and where a lot of physical repair happens. I have trouble getting past 50 minutes, but would definitely like more, and other people's Zeo data I've seen has more deep sleep than me. But most of what I saw while researching this showed 1:15 or 1:30 as examples of good deep sleep. REM is more for mental function the next day, and I maxed out at 3:25, but that was sleeping in after being low on sleep for a few days. Based on my data I'd be very happy with 1 hour of deep and 3 of REM. Light sleep doesn't mean much as far as I can tell. 


     


    I think SleepCycle is using lack of movement as a proxy for deep sleep, but you can fool it by doing deep breathing and laying very still. If you don't have trouble falling asleep (or you toss and turn while trying to fall asleep) I suspect most of the movement-based tools are reasonably good at calculating deep sleep. 



    Personal blog: http://SoSoDynamo.com
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