Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Zeo and Insomnia

I've had a few patients with insomnia try the Zeo. I've even tried it myself. For those unfamiliar, the Zeo is an EEG monitor worn around the head like a headband while trying to sleep. The device will analyze EEG patterns and display your sleep stages for you to review.

I found the headband comfortable enough and the report interesting. I can see where the Zeo could be helpful in some patients. For example, I've had some tell me how their sleep stages changed in response to medication adjustments I made. Some slept deeper or had less dream sleep. I could also see the Zeo help people understand that they might be sleeping more or better than they think they are, as all of us have an imperfect perception of our sleep duration.

The Zeo could also cause more focus on getting the "gold standard" eight hours of sleep per night. I could see some insomniacs becoming more anxious because the Zeo only confirms that they are not sleeping as well or as long as they think they should.

I could see the Zeo being an important tool for diagnosing other sleep disorders in the home as well, especially sleep apnea. A Zeo along with a portable device to measure breathing would be helpful. The entire area of ambulatory monitoring is very exciting to me, as it opens up the possibility of measuring sleep over multiple nights in a patients home environment.

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