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Michael R

Dreem Headband Tracks Sleep and Enhances Slow-Wave Sleep

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For the sake of argument, let us assume that the band will give you 100% accuracy in measuring sleep time and phases.

Why is good passive recoding of sleep important without therapeutic effect? Because there are dozens of known ways to influence sleep quality (blue-light blocking glasses, get bright light during the day, don't eat late, keep bedroom dark, keep bedroom cool, just go to bed earlier, etc.---just Google sleep hygiene, or if more time read Why We Sleep by Walker). A tool to measure how you are doing and track that over the years as you age and sleep quality naturally gets worse with age is useful to help dose doing all of these things.

But this assumes several things, which are by no means obvious - in fact, they are highly disputable:

1) Science today, in 2019 fully understands the function of each phase of sleep. Simply untrue - there's more that we don't know, than we do know.

2) Science today can tell us exactly which pattern of sleep is optimal for a given individual. Absurdly obvious that we know no such thing. We can't even figure out the major components of sleep function overall, let alone individual variation and the optimal mix of sleep phases.

3) Any given individual can in fact influence the time/phases of their sleep. Sorry, but that is just not true for vast numbers of people. If it were as simple as sleep hygiene, there would be no sleep problems in the population - instead, there are vast numbers of people who do all they can, but it is of no help, and I put myself into the same category. I dare say I know more about sleep hygiene and indeed about sleep itself (from reading books and papers), and yet my sleep continues to be quite fragmented, as it has increasingly been for me in the last 20 years. I don't even know if that is deleterious in my case, as I as yet don't experience any negative effects that I noticed (such as being tired during the day, or functioning subpar) - but I suspect (without proof), that eventually it will be negative and uninterrupted sleep is superior, which is why I've tried to change it.

The original objection to the band has been:

1) It does not measure anything accurately enough. For the sake of argument, let us say it measures it with platonic ideal of 100% accuracy - I grant this, simply because we are in no position to say one way or another.

2) The numbers it comes up with mean nothing to us, because we don't know their meaning (see my points above) - since we don't know what sleeping patterns are optimal, it's data whose meaning is unknown

3) Even if the meaning were known, there are vast numbers of people who are unable to affect those numbers by voluntary actions.

4) Lacking in the ability to affect those numbers, the band's utility is reduced to nothing.

As far as I can see, the last three objections still obtain: the headband does nothing except measure numbers the meaning of which we don't understand and can't influence anyway. To me - 100% platonic ideal of useless. YMMV. 

  

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On 9/18/2019 at 8:10 PM, TomBAvoider said:

The original objection to the band has been:

1) It does not measure anything accurately enough. For the sake of argument, let us say it measures it with platonic ideal of 100% accuracy - I grant this, simply because we are in no position to say one way or another.

2) The numbers it comes up with mean nothing to us, because we don't know their meaning (see my points above) - since we don't know what sleeping patterns are optimal, it's data whose meaning is unknown

3) Even if the meaning were known, there are vast numbers of people who are unable to affect those numbers by voluntary actions.

4) Lacking in the ability to affect those numbers, the band's utility is reduced to nothing.

As far as I can see, the last three objections still obtain: the headband does nothing except measure numbers the meaning of which we don't understand and can't influence anyway. To me - 100% platonic ideal of useless. YMMV. 

Tomb, in my view the main concerns are the reliability of the results and their interpretation, the successive improvement scheme would seem straightforward. If it doesn't work, then amen, it means we exhibit sleeping patterns which are apparently unhealthy but to which we have adapted in a successful way, since we seem to enjoy reasonably good health. 

I've been having the same fragmented sleep since birth. I'm almost 60, did not die, the health markers are good so far but if there is an advantage to be gained by optimizing sleep, I'm going to pursue that.

A possible scheme:

  1. Start the measurements with the Dreemband and collect a representative sample (in the hypothesis that the measurements are reliable)
  2. Compare the polysomnographs with ideal polysomnographs drawn from the literature
  3. IF the patterns are similar to the proposed optimum, then END, we can spend our time optimizing other aspects. We can maybe sell our dreemband to others.
  4. IF the patterns exhibit significant deviations, try and correct them as the literature suggests.

In my case, for example, I can a priori hypothesize that I may have problems in stage 4 deep sleep. Probably not in REM sleep, since I can remember I dream so much. So I'd be going to analyze mainly stage 4 sleep, its duration, its frequency, if it complies with the optimum as exposed by credible sources like Matthew Walker (his credentials are indisputably huge) but also others.

AFAIK, there are many possible interventions, from excluding excitants after 12:00, to excluding blue light in the evening, to relaxing, to eat little at night and so on.

The results of any single intervention or combination of interventions can be checked, always if the measurements are reliable.

If we do not measure, analyze, compare, how can be sure that the intervention was not successful?

 

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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This is a substantially positive review on dreem2.

https://sleepgadgets.io/dreem-2-headband-review/

Also, the related app can provide an hypnogram, which can be compared to a standardized 'healthy' hypnogram for the same age class.

The hypno is basic in that portrays Wake, REM, NR-light, NR-deep phases, but to the practical purposes that would seem to be enough. 

 

image.thumb.png.2826103d7213d5ad09b3e7abe3742463.png

I didn't find yet an example of 

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Another interesting remark from MW's book. Sleep fragmentation (multiple awakenings) is negative since awakenings add up to subtract an amount of time to sleep while we are in bed.

But, if the awakenings are of short or very short duration, their total contribution may not be significant at all.

In my case: I have a very fragmented sleep in that I wake up 5 to 20 times, but it also takes me a few seconds to sleep again. The total waking state may add up to a few minutes, which is perhaps 1% of total sleep time. 

Previously I was wondering if my sleep has always been utterly unhealthy with so many episodes of awakenings and how I could be still alive in apparent reasonable good health, but now the perspective is different, fragmentation appears not to be necessarily disruptive.

Quantifying exactly the total duration of such wakeups is another useful feature of the Dreem band. 

 

 

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