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  • Anca Petre

Tracking and improving your sleep - Dreem 2 review



Why monitor my sleep?


Ever since I read the book Why We Sleep by Professor Matthew Walker, I started to take more and more interest in my sleep. One of the most interesting things I learnt from the book is that there is no such thing as “catching up on some sleep”. Humans — and in fact, all species, can never sleep back that which they have previously lost. In order words, our sleep is like a burning candle : the lost hours of sleep are gone forever.


It didn’t take me long to realize that my sleeping habits were not as good as they should be: I spent way too much time on screens before going to bed (I still do — hard habit to change!), I went to bed and woke up at irregular times and I lived under the (wrong) impression that it was ok not to get enough sleep during the week because I could compensate on the weekends. I had it all wrong.


The one positive thing about my sleep was (and still is) that I didn’t suffer from any disorder, so my only challenge was to change my habits. So I started looking into the different devices available on the market that could help me improve my sleep. My most important criteria was that I wanted the device to be a scientifically validated medical device. That means that the device was tested in a clinical setting and approved by health authorities, insuring the customer that the information it provides is reliable. This is how I discovered the company Dreem and their Dreem 2 headband.

The science and technology behind the Dreem headband


In a clinical environment, sleep is measured through your brain activity. This is done by using a polysomnograph that also captures heart rate, respiratory rate and movement. The Dreem headband uses EEG sensors, a pulse oxymeter and an accelerometer to capture this same information. The data is analyzed by an internal CPU that is stored in the upper part of the headband. While you sleep, the data is stored locally and only when you remove the device does it connect to you phone through Bluetooth or WiFi. No waves while you sleep!

Dreem has an impressive list of scientific papers and clinical studies that make it the most reliable sleep monitoring device on the market. The headband is not only available for consumer use, it can also be included in medical research. Oh, and the company is also advised by world renown sleep experts, in case you still had doubts about its credibility.

More information about the science behind the Dreem headband is available on their website along with the results from their clinical studies: https://dreem.com/research


Sleeping with the Dreem 2 headband


Comfort


Comfort was one of my main concerns when I purchased the headband. I was really worried I wasn’t going to be able to sleep with the device on my head. The truth is, it takes some getting used to. I took me about 3–4 days no not notice the headband anymore. Although it can be a little bit weird at first, it doesn’t not bother you during your sleep and it stays in place all night long, no matter how much you move in your sleep. In fact, the headband comes with 3 size adjusters so it works for everyone.

Also, if you have long hair, make sure you put it in a high bun so that the sensors at the back of the headband can be in direct contact with your skull. But it’s all explained when you first install the app.


App and data


Talking about the app, it is very user-friendly and helps you get started with the headband. Each morning, when you take the headband off, it automatically connects to the app and allows you to visualize your data.

During the first week, the headband will collect information about your sleep. You will be asked to fill some questionnaires on the app about your lifestyle and sleeping habits to help the algorithm provide personalized recommendations. At the end of the first week, you will get a full report about the quality of your sleep, you optimal sleep duration and recommendations on the program you should be following to improve your sleep.


The good

  • The most reliable consumer sleep tracker with solid scientific evidence

  • Soft, comfortable and easy to sleep with

  • User-friendly app with a lot of data about you sleep

  • Rituals to make you fall asleep faster work incredibly well

  • Can be used for naps or relaxation


The less good

  • The smart alarm never woke me up at a good time

  • You can’t turn off the alarm directly from the headband, it just snoozes it

  • Unable to launch the night directly through the headband, I had to always go through the app


Where to buy?


You can purchase the device on the Dreem website for 399€. You can use code 6E2DD0F7 for 40€ off.

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