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Quantifying Myself: How Four-Legged Friends Disrupt Sleep

84 = average ZQ sleep score
June 17, 2011

The Zeo sleep monitor is the first consumer device that allows users to track their duration and stages of sleep—REM, deep, and light sleep—during the night. I had tested the Zeo for a few days when it first came out, but using it daily for a few weeks was more illuminating.

According to Zeo, my cat disrupts my sleep long before I wake up to feed her.

I found that sleeping in by an hour dramatically improved my ZQ score—a proprietary algorithm that incorporates sleep duration and quality to create a single number for the night’s sleep. That convinced me to give up on attempts to work out in the morning and embrace an evening gym routine.

I also discovered that my cat is wreaking more havoc on my sleep than I thought. She wakes me up for breakfast every morning at 5:30 a.m., but looking at my Zeo data showed that my sleep pattern is disturbed for the hour before that. (Apparently it takes her a while to wake me up.) So I bought an automatic feeder with a timer, which helps.

I’d love to know what she’s doing while I sleep and see how our patterns interact. (I briefly considered attaching my Fitbit to her collar.) But Green Goose, a startup that is developing stick-on sensors, says it is soon coming out with its first application, designed for pets. I don’t have any additional information at this point, but I will certainly try it out as soon as possible.

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