This is a repost from the "Other" forum where I posted this message a week ago. I plan on starting experiments this week and hope to entice a bit more discussion related to that and the below original post:
I've been using the Zeo for a little over 3 months now and am satisfied that I have a reliable baseline. It's actually remarkable how steady my results have been (hopefully proof that the Zeo works!)
On average, my sleep is 35% REM (2-3hrs), 8-10% Deep (45-60min) and the rest is light sleep. I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night and my average Z score is 85-95. Right off the bat, it's evident that I'm above average on REM sleep and below average for Deep sleep (given the numbers for a 27yr old male). The reason why I bought the Zeo in the first place was because most of my life, I've felt like my sleep hasn't been as fulfilling as it should be. I'm regularly sleepy during the day and sometimes flat out exhausted. After finally getting fed up with feeling this way, I went to a sleep lab. Unfortunately, the results revealed nothing was wrong with me (weird to actually WANT something to be wrong, right?). Honestly, I don't know how they think they can get an accurate result with 30 wires hooked into the patient while he/she tries to sleep on a tiny prison sized bed that plastic sheets on it.
So anyways, upon seeing from the Zeo that my sleep composition was a bit abnormal, I thought I finally had an explanation. Well, as most of you reading this probably have figured out by now, it's not so simple from here. I've done my fair share of research which has yielded few answers. Admittedly, I've been super busy lately and haven't been able to experiment as much as I'd like, but still nothing has jumped out at me from reading these forums and other sources that seem like easy answers.
So I'd like to try to unite some of the forum readers and Zeo staff to get some relief to us sleepy folk! First though, we need to answer some basic questions. As I said, I have read the forums and some of the blog articles, but I might've missed or forgotten something so forgive me if any of these questions have already been addressed.
- Is all sleep created equal? It is apparent that we all have different sleep compositions to some degree, but is our body's reaction to a sleep composition also different? ie, do different people require different amounts of deep sleep to feel rested? Would my 45 minutes of deep sleep feel glorious instead of unsatisfying to someone else? Are there people out there currently receiving my 45 minute avg but feel fine during the day instead of unrested (like I do)? If so, what are some of the determinants for these differences? As a related anecdote, my girlfriend scored 90minutes and 2 hours of sleep from using the Zeo twice and hasn't really ever complained of sleep problems or daytime fatigue. Could this support the thought that we do all need a minimum amount of deep sleep, etc?
- Are there any correlations between sleep composition profiles and personality types/living conditions? ie, do people who are more stressed get less deep sleep? People more creative get more REM?
- Are our sleep ratios tied together in any fashion? For example, if I managed to increase my deep sleep by 30 minutes, is it more likely the 30 minutes would come from decreased REM or light sleep? Or would I need to sleep 30 more minutes total to obtain an increase?
- What impact does sleep length play on our ratios? Some have mentioned that they need a certain amount of sleep to experience 2 deep sleep cycles instead of 1.
- Finally, what can we do to tweek our sleep composition? Thus far it seems like supplements have had little effect, or even negative effects. Whether exercise has an impact is a topic of debate, and perhaps needs to be explored further. I know Zeo recommends a series of coaching tips that help in the areas of sleep ettiquette, but I'm not sure these are designed to change your sleep composition, and rather to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. If we pool our experiments together and share our experiences, the results could be literally life changing. So feel free to chime in with anything that has or hasn't improved your sleep and we can build a little database.
With this technology and community we have an incredible opportunity to be on the forefront of answering some of sleep's most important questions. Everywhere I look, I see sleepy people who have simply accepted that this condition is just part of life and the presence of so many other tired people has convinced them that it's even normal. America has already tackled the obesity epidemic, I think it's time sleep gets some love!