Are you getting enough sleep at night? More importantly, are you getting enough quality sleep at night?  I’m willing to bet that most of you readers could do much better in the forty winks department.  I know I could.  Now, I have a handy tool to tell me just how well I rested last night and for how long.  It’s called Zeo Sleep Manager and it’s changed the way I live…  Well, at least the way I sleep.

I need to tell you what exactly a Zeo Sleep Manager is before advising how it works.  Simply put, the device is a Bluetooth accessory that is worn over your forehead with little sensors that read your sleep levels.  You take it apart and charge it on the night stand each day and then snap it back together before nodding off.  Zeo also has a free Android application which pairs to the headband-like monitor and keeps track of your sleeping habits.  Between the hardware and the software the two work to comprise your ZQ, or sleep score.

I’ll admit that I was a bit leery of putting such a “weird” thing on my head at night before going to sleep.  It took me about two days to get over the idea that I had this thin headband on with a rectangle sensor right over my forehead.  My fear was that I would awake the next morning and have three little dots on my brow or a red mark that took forever to go away.  I’m happy to say that that neither of these happened and sleeping was much easier than expected.  Thanks to a very light weight and thin band, the Zeo never gets in the way or obstructs normal sleep.

Being that I am a “take it out of the box and figure it out on my own” kind of guy, I was pleased to see how easily the Zeo paired with my phone and recognized the application.  I didn’t bother logging online to create an account or sign up for anything detailed as I wanted to jump right in.  Putting it on while watching television, I ended up going to bed a half hour later.

When I awoke, I could see exactly how long I has slept, when I was in R.E.M. sleep, deep sleep, and light sleep.  I could even see the time when I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom.  It stunned me to learn that I had barely more than 4 hours of sleep.  Sitting front and center of my app screen was a ZQ number or sleep score, which was 52.  According to Zeo, this is an objective number that is compiled based on the quality of sleep.

Over the next few days I became acutely aware that I should be going to bed earlier and getting more sleep.  Instead of getting the proper 6-8 hours I thought I needed, I was finding that I really did better with 7-9 hours.  Not only did I start to sleep more at night, but my body responded by getting a better quality of sleep.  With 52 being my baseline or low score, I was pleased to see my ZQ shoot up into the 60’s and 70’s after no time.

One of the features that I enjoy most about Zeo is the ability to set a smart alarm called SmartWake.  Let’s say I want to wake up at 7:00am tomorrow.  I can tell Zeo to wake me up at the most optimal time, within my own reasoning, before 7:00am.  If Zeo detects that it would be better to wake me at 6:38 instead, it will do just that.  Even though I would expect to feel more refreshed with that extra 20 minutes of sleep, that’s not the case.  Depending on how deep I am sleeping, it might be better to get me up earlier rather than an abrupt alarm a half hour later. And in case you are wondering, the device will never go beyond the time you’ve set – you’ll always be on time.

After a few weeks of putting in a 30-minute wake window, I find myself getting up feeling better than normal, and at completely different times each day.  And because it’s so smart, the more Zeo gets to know me, the more I trust it to wake me up.

There are a number of additional features and options available to Zeo users, including the ability to get personalized guidance, an online coaching program, and other tools.  I’ve only dabbled in them at this point, but I already see the improvements.  I can’t wait to take this with me on my next trip just so I can have proof that I don’t sleep as soundly in hotels as in my own bed.

I no longer think twice about putting on the Zeo headband at night and will even do so once I know I’m not going anywhere else for the night.  Whereas my son and wife gave me silly looks the first week or so, neither of them give me a second look when I come downstairs wearing my “sleep thing”.  On a fun note, I like to see how quickly I will nod off watching television as Zeo will graph things in 5 minute intervals.

Zeo Sleep Manager can be found online at Amazon and other retailers typically with a $99 sticker price.  I’ve found that this would be a good asking price, especially for those of you who are looking to improve your lifestyle and health.  I tell my son all the time “get good sleep tonight” and now I see what that really means.


What’s in the box?

  • Zeo Mobile Bluetooth Headband
  • Power Adapter
  • International Adapters
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Headband Basics Guide
  • ZQ Context Wheel
  • Free Online Tools
  • Free Email Coaching
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  1. If it knows when you’re in REM then it could wake you at the end of a dream cycle to allow you to record your dreams. That would be cool.

    • It doesn’t know you’re in REM since the readings are totally inaccurate! Mine said I was asleep, while I was looking at it!

  2. This worked great on my Atrix but it has issues with Galaxy Nexus and ICS. It installs and runs the first time but after exiting and returning, the screen stays black.. Uninstalling and re installing produces the same thing. So far I haven’t gotten any response from Zeo’s tech support.

  3. i’m confused..  What alarm clock?  On ur phone ?
    I mean, ur normal alarm clock wont wake u up like that.  It has to be either on the phone or some other Zeo clock ??

  4. Loved the review! Have been researching this product and now feel confident I know what I’m getting into. I only hope I don’t have pairing issues with my moto rzr maxx. Thanks for a great post!

  5. SmartWake never works for me. Maybe it’s due to the recent update. I legitimately haven’t had it work… even once. I have the 40 minute (max) window chosen. No matter what happens, Light -> REM, REM -> Light, Deep rising, SmartWake still waits until the end of the window. Zeo support has been sorta helpful, and they admit that there’s a problem, but haven’t offered a refund or anything to actually fix it.

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