zeo headband
The Zeo Personal Sleep Coach uses a headband to measure brain activity and record how you slept.

Having a machine watch you while you sleep may seem a bit creepy, but it might be the best way to help you get the Zzzz you need. Massachusetts based Zeo, Inc is selling a system that monitors brain activity while you rest and then gives you detailed information about how the night went for you. The Zeo Personal Sleep Coach uses a headband (measuring brain activity through skin surface electrical signals) and a bedside monitor that looks like an alarm clock to track how long you spent in REM, light, and deep sleep. The system allows you to critique your sleep habits and even gives you a score (called your “ZQ”) rating how you slept. Zeo PSG comes with online analytical tools to help you further decide the best way to improve your rest. Best of all, the Zeo bedside monitor can wake you up at the time that coincides with your natural cycle, hopefully avoiding that groggy morning feeling. Price tag starts at $250, with extra online coaching available at $8 per month (or $80/year or $100 lifetime service). It’s a pretty neat device, and another example of how continuous health monitoring will improve the way we live in the future. Check out the promotional video from Zeo below.

Health monitoring has started to come into its own in recent years. Toumaz Technologies and WIN both have wearable vital sign monitoring devices that transmit information wirelessly. GE is even developing a portable ultrasound machine the size of a mobile phone. These tools will allow individuals to personally track their own health 24/7/365. That information feed will help us detect serious illnesses before they happen as well as fine tune our bodies day to day.

The Zeo PSG is unique among these devices by focusing on our sleep. Of course, I’m pretty sure most of us already know when we haven’t gotten a good night’s rest, and I’m not sure the sleep journals, ZQ scores, and guided coaching it offers can actually improve your sleep once you realize how bad it is. Still, the more information you have at your disposal the more likely you will be to pinpoint those things you can change to help you snooze better.

zeo bedside display
Right now the Zeo bedside display will just wake you up when you're least groggy. What if it could perform other cool functions to improve your sleep?

The most promising feature I can see in this system is the SmartWake application – the program that improves upon a traditional clock alarm by waking you up when you’re out of deep sleep. I’d like to see more technology like this. Maybe a system that generates white noise when it detects ambient sounds that might make you lose deep sleep. Or a program that plays interesting sounds and lights while you’re in REM to affect your dreams.

No matter how Zeo improves upon its system, it’s going to serve as another data feed we can use to guide our health habits. Hopefully the future will see all these different health monitoring devices combined into one super monitor that tracks all the pertinent medical data at once. That sort of diagnostic tool will help convert our bodies from mysteries into free floating sources of digital information. When that happens, expect doctors (or implants, or computer programs) to guide your health in real time. Yep, with all this data to analyze the future’s going to be awful busy. Better make sure to get some sleep.

*You can find more Zeo promotional videos, and testimonials on the Zeo YouTube Channel.

[image and video credit: Zeo]
[Sources: Zeo]