Three innovative products that monitor, analyze, and improve your hours of shut-eye, straight from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.
LAS VEGAS—You probably already know the scary findings about the costs of sleep deprivation on the job. You know, like how after too little shut-eye, your brain basically starts to act like you're drunk.
Want to know something even scarier? Try measuring—in minute detail—how many minutes you're really sleeping. The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show offered a slew of products to analyze everything you've ever wanted to know about your sleep patterns. Here are three that caught my attention:
Zeo | $99.99
Arguably the most high tech of the bunch. A band you wear around your head wirelessly monitors your brain waves to detect when you're in a state of wakefulness, light sleep, deep sleep, or REM sleep. A bedside alarm wakes you up at the best time during your sleep cycle. In the morning, check out all of your sleep stats using detailed charts and graphs on iPhone or Android devices. You'll also get a "ZQ"—a number that summarizes the quality of your sleep.
Downsides: You will look like a dork in the headband—and if you're not careful, you'll wake up with an imprint of the sucker on your forehead, warns Inc.com columnist Christina DesMarais, who's currently testing the system. I'm told sticky sensors (sans headband) are coming in the spring.
Fitbit | $99.95
Fitbit takes a more comprehensive approach by offering a fitness and sleep tracker in one system. The fitbit is a small wireless device that can be worn beneath or on top of your clothes. It uses a 3D motion sensor, accelerometer, and altimeter to measure physical activity and number of stairs climbed. When you sleep, you insert the fitbit into a wristband. The motion sensor detects how many times you wake up during the night.
It's not as sophisticated as brainwave analysis, so the sleep data isn't quite as detailed (it can't pick up REM), but the device is less intrusive and you get fitness data to boot on fitbit.com, and iPhone and Android devices. At CES Fitbit launched a new scale for tracking your weight that syncs with the whole fitbit system wirelessly. It retails for $129.95.
Gear4's Renew Sleep Clock | $199
If the idea of wearing any kind of sensor when you sleep sounds uncomfortable, Gear4's Sleep Clock might be a better option. This bedside clock measures your respiration and movement using a doppler radar. Like Fitbit, the Sleep Clock can't pick up REM but it does detect light and deep sleep and promises to wake you at the best possible time. Also, you can be up to one meter away from the device. The mobile app will chart your sleep patterns, including number of hours in bed, time it took you to fall asleep, and total minutes slept broken down by light and deep sleep.
The Sleep Clock can be found at Apple Stores. Android compatibility is still in development.