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THE EIGHT SLEEP POD PRO COVER FOR INSOMNIA
(an actual and very thorough review from a true sleep-maintenance insomniac)
(TL;DR: DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A COOLING MATTRESS COVER)

(started Feb 1, 2021 and updating every day until trial expires or I get fed up - Feb 13, 2021; updated May 2021)

There are plenty of useless reviews around the internet regarding the Eight Sleep technology that have nothing to do with whether or not the Eight Sleep technology does what it claims. These reviews tend to focus solely on the mattress comfort. They are reviewed by people who admit to having no insomnia problems - is it odd to anyone else that these perfect sleepers have this job? I am a firefighter, so I sleep in random, "cost-effective" beds on a regular basis. I have also owned some nice mattresses and have slept on some very nice mattresses of ex-girlfriends. Not one of those beds has ever improved or worsened my overall sleep quality. I will admit, they can feel better and affect my body soreness, but not my sleep. My point is, those reviews rate the Eight Sleep mattress purely on the reviewer's specific personal comfort needs (or what they beleive others might like), not the Pod Pro Cover which is the key element and a very unique technology designed to use a crowd-sourced algorithm to improve sleep for everyone. I will bet money that no one is paying the price of an Eight Sleep Pod just so they can get the mattress. If you want to skip to my thoughts on the function of the Eight Sleep unit, skip about halfway down to "TRIAL RESULTS" to review my running journal of the bed's inaccuracies. Or skip to the very bottom to read why this bed doesn't do for insomniacs what it claims.

My Story and Sleep Issues:
It is currently February 2021, I am 45yo, and have been battling insomnia for ten years. I first noticed the issue of broken or intermittent sleep after I fractured my hip in 2010 from a dirt bike accident. This came in the form of waking frequently throughout the night to urinate (aka nocturia). At the time, I thought I had a bladder infection or STD - I tested negative. I figured at the time, the constant urination may have been due to being sedentary while I recovered?* Then I got hired to the fire department in early 2012, where I worked 24hr shifts, two to three times a week, in a busy station for the next eight years. As time progressed, my sleep worsened. I could only improve it marginally - any progress was quickly reversed on a call-filled night. I have co-workers that don't seem to have the severity of issues I have, with many claiming no ill effects at all. There are also a few that have problems more severe than mine. Occasionally, I will have issues falling asleep, but there are steps I have taken to consistently alleviate that problem most nights. However, nothing I have done has fixed my interrupted sleep. As a result, I don't feel like the real me because I am exhausted out all the time.

* After a week into my Eight Sleep Trial (Feb 6, 2021), I considered that I may have an overactive bladder (OAB) or enlarged prostate. My PSA blood work indicates no problems with my prostate. Though I have not had a digital exam, I believe I get an ultrasound of it yearly through my job physical. I did some research and one study believes that bladder issues to be common following hip fracture. Coincidence? I will add noctuia remedies in "What I've Tried" below.

My current station assignment (assigned June 2020) provides me with a call-free night many more times than not. However, the past eight months there have not helped to break the awful cycle so that I may sleep straight through to morning. I tend to wake 30-60mins before my alarm, and once I am up between 5am and 7am, there's little chance of going back to sleep. Sleeping-in just hasn't been an option for many years for me. If I am lucky, I will get five total hours of disjointed sleep. I have noticed that when I am waking frequently (which, for me, is two to five times every night), I usually wake with the immediate and strong urge to urinate - I sometimes wonder if this is a trigger that wakes me. On the rare occasion when I sleep through the night (one to two times a year; six hours uninterrupted), I will wake with minimal urge to urinate and be able to lie in bed for awhile before feeling like I have to go. The day after those good nights, I feel amazing and I feel like my old self. The bathroom needs tell me that my body is not properly resting and that my kidneys are running as if I was awake. I assume that all of my organs are doing the same, like ticking up excessive mileage on a leased car.

I'm a light sleeper. This is very problematic for someone sleeping in an environment with multiple persons that may not be on the same sleep schedule, not as courteous, and may be responding to other fire or EMS calls. If I wasn't such a light sleeper, I think I'd have little problem resolving this. For that reason, I use a sound machine and earplugs at home and work, which do help greatly. However, my body (and brain) still wakes itself up at home, with no outside interference.

I have a feeling that cortisol is also playing a role in my problem. Cortisol is a stress hormone that aids in fight-or-flight, or a "survival hormone." My body has become so adjusted to the perceived need to be awake all the time, despite my lack of quality sleep, that it may be dumping more cortisol than the average person, and doing it at the wrong times of the day. I'd wager that anyone that is a light sleeper with insomnia has the same issue as I do: even though we're worn out and not aware of any mental stress that might keep us up, we are unable to nap for more than five minutes. I used to sleep-in and nap like a champ when I was thirty years old. Being in a different sleep environment may also be causing me minor stress due to the body's desire for sleep consistency and routine. Once cortisol secretion is out of sync with our circadian rhythm (the body's internal clock that makes us awake during the day while also inducing sleep after sunset), it can cause a negative feedback loop where lack of sleep causes more lack of sleep.

My body seems to have developed a temperature regulation problem. This was not the case in my younger years when I would barely sweat - my body was able to regulate itself easily. It seems, that not long after I first started having sleep issues, I would sweat more profusely. This became noticeable between 2012 and 2014. There are times now when I look drenched under minor exertion. I believe this has to due with my blood vessels losing their ability to dilate properly and allow my body to release heat. This may be caused from loss of elasticity in my blood vessels*, which could be a result from my lack of reparative deep sleep. I slowly developed mild hypertension (high blood pressure) in the past few years, which adds some merit to my idea that poor sleep causes arterial hardening. I have noticed that a lot of the times when I wake up at night, I am feeling too warm, or even sweating - my body is not letting off the heat as well as it should. Science tells us that lower body temperature is more conducive to our deep sleep cycle. Lowering the ambient temperature doesn't always work when we like to sleep under heavy blankets, next to someone, or on a foam or low-quality mattress. This is another negative feedback loop where lack of sleep causes more lack of sleep. Manipulating core body temperature to promote more effiecient sleep cycles and reduce awakenings is the key area that the Eight Sleep algorithm claims to focuses on.

* Arteriosclerosis is generally blamed on old age. But data has shown this is worsened by "cholesterol issues." We must remember that cholesterol problems are actually caused by sugar interfering with the way cholesterol functions in the body. I gave up sugar and simple carbohydrates at least three years ago, and my cholesterol numbers are exemplary, so this eliminates sugar consumption as the cause of my supposed arteriosclerosis.

Beta-amyloid/Amyloid beta. Studies for Alzheimer's have discovered that the build up of this protein may be the root cause of the disease. Throughout our nightly slow-wave sleep cycles, this waste product is flushed from our brain by cerebral spinal fluid. If our sleep is interrupted, the flush fails to occur completely and the amyloid beta builds up to eventually form plaque. This plaque damages and destroys neural connections in our brain, making it difficult to form, retain, and access memories. It also may attribute to irritability. I have always had short and long term memory issues (my mother recently told me that I had sleep problems when I was young), as well as irritability in the last few years. Unfortunately, this also seems to be a very dangerous negative feedback loop: the more plaque you build up, the more difficult getting the proper sleep needed to flush these amyloids away becomes. It has yet to be determined if this built-up plaque can be flushed away once it has formed. However, one study that I read suggested that the brain can build new neural pathways around the damage - this was theorized to occur most rapidly in the elderly subjects that never stopped learning new subjects or skills.

Sleep Myths:
People don't need as much sleep as they get older. False. There is no machine that gets more efficient as it approaches catastrophic shut down. My belief is that minor problems start piling up and the body does what it does (stated above) to cope with the lack of quality sleep and continue to survive. Every human, despite their age or misguided claims, needs about seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep to experience the necessary durations of the deep stage (think of this as muscle repair sleep) and the REM stage (think of this as memory repair sleep) of sleep to fully recuperate the body and the mind.

Some people only need five to six hours of sleep. False. Try telling that to an Olympic coach. Studies have shown that this is not really feasible for good health. Our sleep is divided up into stages of sleep (a transition stage from awake, light, deep, and REM) and our body cycles through them several times a night. Each cycle lasts 70-120mins and any interruptions obviously disrupt the order of the stages. Optimally, the goal is two hours of deep sleep plus two hours of REM sleep, which is not easy even for a person sleeping nine hours. Those two sleep stages together can average thirty minutes per cycle, so a person would need four cycles to reach that goal. My math says that if the subject slept six hours straight, they'd get 360mins of sleep. If the average cycle takes ninety minutes to complete, this person would require the full 360mins - they better be the most efficient sleeper on the planet. Note that this is just my rudimentary way to show that people need more sleep than they might think ...odd that these great sleepers tend to drink coffee and Red Bull. The body has mechanisms to help people make it through a day after inferior sleep and give them a false sense that they are fine. I function very, very well for someone that hasn't slept decently in ten years because I am used to it, but I know and feel that this is not healthy.

Sleep can be banked, or made-up over the weekend. True and false. Read more on the subject of beta-amyloids to understand why this theory is problematic. You may be able to physically recoup by sleeping-in over the weekend, but there might be damage occurring during the week that you may not notice until decades later.

Food is more important than sleep. False. You will die of total lack of sleep before you die of starvation. Even if you think you've been up for 48hrs, your mind is taking "micro-naps" that may last mere seconds, which you won't even notice. This is just enough time for it to extend the clock. If you were forced to stay completely awake, the last thing you will likely be concerned about is your caloric intake.

What I've Tried:
Prescription medications and over the counter sleep aids: nothing has proven consistent. I seem to have better luck with OTC stuff rather than doctor scripts. Mostly, they help me fall asleep, but nothing has helped me stay asleep. Also, prescription meds cannot properly manipulate and coordinate the sleep cycles.

Adderall (non-XR): to me, this is a miracle drug for those that feel tired during the day. As I mentioned, lack of sleep can cause me to be irritable and also give me a headache that lasts all day. Taking 10mg of this first thing in the morning after a terrible night of sleep will have me smiling and whistling while I clean the station toilets. Co-workers could tell when I didn't "take my meth today" as I feel close to my old self while on it. I would only take it first thing in the morning before a shift (and not every shift) to prevent it from negatively impacting sleep that night. This med is the only reason I didn't get fired, or outright quit, when I worked at a hell station for one year. Since the station transfer, I might use it once every four to six months.

TRT: I had my first testosterone blood work in 2013, at the age of 37yo. I do not know what my base line was, but at that time, my testosterone was 315ng/dl. Dependant on age and health, testosterone should range between 250-900ng/dl. I believe the lower end of the scale is skewed down due to the general unhealthiness of most American males today. At 37yo and despite my low result, I was in great shape, lean and muscular, quick and strong with high endurance. But I would feel sore for days, especially after very grueling leg days. I high-dosed Cypionate and hCG in early 2014 to improve my levels. For three months, my testosterone levels were between 2500-2700ng/dl, while also taking Arimidex to keep my estradial low. Now any doctor will tell you that high testosterone with low estrogen will do the following: improve mood, improve workouts, improve gains via lean mass, help maintain muscle mass, improve erections, and improve sleep. The only benefit I got was muscle recovery, so I would finish workouts psyched to do another the next day without being sore. I easily gained ten pounds of lean muscle, but my sleep never improved one bit and neither did my dreary demeanor from the continued lack of sleep. I currently like to hover around 900ng/dl and the only benefit I have is maintaining lean mass longer than without it.

I stopped taking my TRT (Cypionate and hCG) on January 24th. Why? I don't know, I just didn't feel like taking it anymore. I've been distracted with other things (like sleep), so I've been lazy with it. Due to my stricter bed times, with the help of the new blue/green blockers, I think I'm sleeping more (not better). I have felt my sleep is the root of my low testosterone, so I'm curious if my consistent bedtimes might be helping this issue. I have a physical coming up and am curious where my levels will be.

Blue blockers: this works to some degree, especially in helping me get to sleep quicker. I am currently using Sleep Savior blue/green blockers with red lenses ($60). The theory is that the blue spectrum (from the Sun) induces wakefullness - this helps set our circadian rhythm, which in turn, helps to release melatonin at the proper time. Wearing these lenses after sundown in the house helps to prevent the body's internal clock from being confused by harsh lighting, televisions, and cellphones. Be aware that, even though they are marketed as blue blockers, the clear lenses are for computer eye strain and the orange UV lenses do not block the entirety of the necessary spectrum. I also have The Sleep Aid Red LED night light ($18 for two) that I use in the bathroom that gives me enough light to wash my face, brush my teeth, and remove my contacts without wearing the red lenses. These are

Home apnea study and lab EEG: I am negative for sleep apnea (though my exes have said differently on occasion, but that might just be my neck posture that night) and microseizures. I do have nights where my co-workers say I snore, but it doesn't seem to be on a regular basis and I never wake myself up from it.

Dropping the room temperature: this seems to work a little, when the ambient temperature is 65-68*F. It is problematic though because I've been woken up too cold or still continue to overheat. Time of year, being under covers, or near a partner, can make ambient temperature a problematic variable. This is where the Eight Sleep algorithm claims to come into play, using your biometrics to adjust your core body temperature to promote proper sleep cycles and reduce awakenings.

THC and CBD: I was straight edge growing up, so first tried marijuana at 42yo to help me sleep. CBD seems to do nothing except dry my sinuses out - if anything, it may help calm people with racing minds. Though I do have racing thoughts a lot of times, I have not noticed a difference with CBD (blue blockers seem to work better). THC just causes me to be disoriented and stumble trying to stay upright while I piss several times a night. It likely disrupts sleep cycles. However, it induces mind-blowing sex.

Alcohol: I have never purposely tried to sleep better through drinking. It may help calm thoughts to fall asleep, but it simply doesn't work to improve restful sleep since it will negatively alter your sleep cycles. Also, I rarely drink alcohol as I only do so socially. If by chance I do, I will make note of it in my sleep log for that night.

Fiber: To stifle my nocturia, I started taking fiber before bed again as I had tried in 2010 by eating a bagel before bed. Well, I don't recall how well this worked back then and I no longer eat bagels. I initially started taking 1.5gram of psyllium husk caplets nightly, a couple weeks before my bed arrived. It seemed to only work the first few nights, so I tried doses of eight to ten grams via psyllium husk powder. The problem is that it needs to be mixed with water, which is counterproductive. I started noting the dosages in my trial diary below, on February 6, 2021. Fiber is something I am always conscious of, so it is unlikely that I am not getting enough fiber throughout my day.

Bladder health: relating to my nocturia and possible overactive bladder, I have tried short programs of Kegel exercises before, but I am now reading that results could take three to six months! Kegels seem to be important to everyone and I have female friends that are experiencing issues in their late thirties because these muscles seem to simply lose their tone over time, even in those that exercise regularly. Although I do not experience incontinence or flow issues, I will try to stick to a regiment of at least three sets a day and doing ten reps (one strategy is to do them while brushing teeth). I will also keep a journal to measure fluid intake, output, and frequency. A healthy bladder produces 800 to 2000milliliters per day with a normal intake of half a gallon. That's a pretty broad range, but a healthy bladder's capacity in an adult is normally 300 to 400ml. I try to drink 96ounces of water every day, so I should expect to excrete 1200 to 3000ml a day. This will likely be on the higher side on more sedentary days. That means that I should expect to urinate no more than ten times in 24hrs. That sounds like a lot, but there are times I will use the bathroom several times an hour if I am trying to drink a gallon in a day, so I will definitely be measuring output to gauge capacity. I did this back in 2010, and if I remember it correctly, I was able to occasionally hold 500ml. But I know there are times when a single output seems to be relatively much less than the urgency feeling. So here's the real question the journal should answer: is my insomnia causing my overactive bladder, or is my overactive bladder causing my insomnia?

My New Bed:
I chose a Tuft & Needle Original ($692 shipped) in the king size to wrap my Pod Pro Cover ($1785 shipped) around. One of my ex-girlfriends had a queen and I remember liking the comfort and the fact that it didn't transfer much motion.* She liked it so much that she bought a king two years later when she moved. It's also on the cheaper side of the name brand bed-in-a-boxes. Knowing that mattress comfort has done very little to help my sleep, I decided this would be a prudent purchase to place my Pod Pro Cover over. For the mattress foundation, I chose Nectar's most basic bed frame ($272 shipped). Made in the USA, I found this frame to be just adequate enough. This plastic foundation is not without it's minor fitment flaws, plus it flexes where the legs meet the frame and creaks when you put non-distributed pressure on the rails. It does have two support beams, each with a sturdy leg, running down the length of the frame, which is a nice feature. I tried adding 2" diameter Dura-Grip floor pads in an attempt to prevent it from sliding along my tiled bedroom - I don't like these pads because they are so thick (why?!), which causes additional stress to this light-weight bed frame. I doubt this sucker will hold up over time, if you know what I mean. So, I plan to build a solid-wood bed myself at some point because frames are either overpriced ($1000) or they just plain suck. Once the mattress had settled onto the frame, I laid down on it and was immediately happy with my purchase. The next few nights, I woke with a slightly sore lower back as my body adjusted to it. The Original is on the firmer side, and I understand the T&F Mint is softer with improved edge support. "Firm" can be a confusing word with bedding. The thing about foam mattresses is that they can be firm and supportive while also feeling very comfortable and soft because it kind of molds around you. I don't like to sink into a bed, so I tend to gravitate to firmer. The Original's edge support is not as bad as I was lead to believe by the reviews. I used the T&F Original for a week before the second Eight Sleep shipment arrived, and thought the mattress did a good job with body heat dissipation.

* Originally, I had noted throughout my trial that I felt the cover was causing my mattress to feel too firm. After I returned the Eight Sleep Cover, I realized this was from the mattress itself. This is not how I remember my ex's feeling years ago. Rather than return it towards a more expensive Mint (queen is +$230 than my Original king) that I would be stuck with, I ended up ordering a $100 SensorPedic 1.5" Coolest king topper to soften it up. This helped with comfort, though it doesn't seem to feel any cooler than the Tuft & Needle Original foam.

I've seen some forum reviews complaining that the Oura Ring is much more accurate than the Pod Pro Cover (PPC), while others say their data is almost identical. I always assume most people lack common sense, so my initial assumption is that the bed was not set up properly. And by that I mean, the coverings or fitted sheets that they placed on top of the PPC were likely loose or too thick, therefore interfering with the sensors' abilities to do their job properly. Initially, I only put a mattress protector over the mattress to protect it from leaks. I chose the COHOME Protector ($34 each, for king) because the pocket on it fits on the shallower side, reducing the possibility of bunching on my 11" T&N. Once I had installed the PPC, I decided to add a second one on top of that to prevent dander and mites getting into the grid area which cannot be cleaned. These covers a thin and fit rather tight, which should allow the PPC more accurate readings. For sheets, I chose Threadmill Home 100% ELS Cotton Sheets ($70 for king) which fit up to a 16" deep mattress, so there wouldn't be a lot of bunching. To allow the sensors to work best, I figure a tightly fitted sheet is optimal, so added Dericeedic Sheet Straps ($12 for four). I do not have pets and will be diligent in making my bed every morning to protect it from the few mishaps I have read about online: poking holes in the PPC bladder. My twenty-five pound ZZZhen Wieghted Blanket that I bought for my california king ($125 in 2019; 80"x87") fit on my new king bed very well.

Note: I will be referring to the sides of the bed as the Eight Sleep does, where you are looking at the bed from the foot of the bed.

The Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover:
The mattress encasement (this tightly anchors the Active Grid to a non-Eight mattress) arrived in about a week, but the second shipment (HUB and Active Grid) didn't arrive until eighteen days later. Important: a week prior, I was told by a rep that the day all parts have arrived is when the thirty night trial begins. Packaging and presentation of the unit is top notch and the pieces all look to be high quality. It took about three hours to set up and make the bed. The encasement instructions are incorrect, stating and illustrating to place the bed on it's left side. The "8" logo needs to go at the left-foot of every bed, which for my encasement, meant placing my bed on it's right side. The Active Grid went on very easily and fit very snugly (possibly perfectly) on my 11" mattress. I laid on it and although I could feel the grid with my hands, I did not really notice it on my body and the mattress felt about the same comfort level with it.

The priming directions are a bit confusing as well. The app kind of leads you through the process. For my king, I ended up using 1.5gallons of distilled water with 1/8cup of hydrogen peroxide. After filling the tank with water, I initiated the first priming phase. About 10mins later, the unit stopped making noise and the tank was near empty: this was the end of the first phase. Confused, I refilled the tank and tried to figure out what to do next. That's when I got the delayed notification that the first phase was over, then I figured out that it was now time to move on to the "temperature phase" of the setup, for some reason. I believe the temperatures are set relative to ambient (apparently they are not, but this isn't detailed anywhere), so you choose +/- the degrees you want the bed to be relative to the room. Right now, it's basically a guessing game. Once you set up these very basic parameters, it then instructs you to begin the second priming phases. The app told me this would take up to ninety minutes and I could walk away. However, it took at least two hours and I had to monitor the water level, filling it a few times (I just kept the lid loose and added while it ran).

Mattress rotating/flipping: Tuft & Needle recommends that owners rotate their mattresses every six months. This will require the enitre Eight Sleep system to be removed and remounted.

Notes: I work for the fire department, so I am at the station for 24hrs, every third day and sleep there overnight. My times will be in the military format (ex: 2245 = 10:45pm). Eight Sleep recommends consistency for quality sleep, so I will be trying to be in bed by 2200 and set my alarm around 0630. Below each "Night #" I will list the four in-app temperature parameters that I set for that night. The ambient temperature (Fahrenhiet) and humidity level (percentage) will be at the time of me getting into bed, and according to the Hub unit. I sleep on the right side of the bed and am currently single, so no partner influence on data. While checking on some information, I noted that Eight Sleep claims that members experience 13% fewer wake-ups. Seriously?! That means if I normally wake five times a night, I will only wake four and half times, now? I hope this is a global average that includes perfect sleepers, that never had this issue, skewing the average way down.

*** SLEEP LOG ***
*** TRIAL RESULTS ***

Night 1 (Jan 27 - Jan 28, 2021):
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -3, Final: 0; Wake Up: +1 (0730; Vibration 5)
Ambient: 75 (outdoor low 67 over night); Humidity: 55
Bedtime: 2210 - Alarm: 0730
I put my blue/green blockers on at 2000 and felt tired at 2130. I forgot, so did not get the ambient room temperature down as far as I had planned to, prior to bed. When I got into bed, I cranked the app down on my side to make sure it was working properly. It had gotten to -3 when I could tell my back was cooler than my front (I try to sleep on my back), while the left side of the bed felt ambient. It seemed kind of chilly and I think I was probably at -2 when I fell asleep. The unit says I got into bed at 2210 (accurate) and that I fell asleep in twelve minutes. I am not sure I believe that, and it had said the average person in my "cohort" takes twenty-seven minutes to do so. My cohort is the demographic of males in their forties. I had been working on the habit of not looking at my phone at night, so I didn't pay too much attention to my awakenings. But I think I woke three or four times (twice I got up to use the bathroom) before waking in the morning around 0645. The app seems to imply that I only woke up twice. I laid awake in bed until my 0730 alarm went off so I could feel the warmth and vibration alarms. At first, the data said I woke up at 0732, but that's when I turned off the alarm. You also have to stop the data session in the app. I did not feel the slight increase in warmth but the vibration was nice and subtle, which should not disturb a partner. I could feel the cooler ambient temperature of the other side of the bed, though. After a few minutes, the app recalculated my awake time to 0700, which still isn't accurate. The app says "Time Slept" was 8hr20mins, which I don't believe to be accurate either and I don't think this changed when it recalculated - I'd wager I had no more than six to seven hours of broken sleep (not steady sleep, which I always feel better with). It also adjusted my sleep score twice (100 to 97 to 90) as I scrolled through my results. My HRV said that I was well-rested for any challenge today. Hmmm, though I can honestly say this was one of the better-feeling mornings that I tend to have (I usually only manage five hours of sleep), I know my body ...and my body does not feel to be in an optimal mode by any stretch. I have a headache that I tend to attribute mostly to poor sleep. But it's the first night and I'm still in the learning week, so I'm not judging it yet. I actually slept pretty well, but I'm not sure it was a fluke or if the subtle temperature changes are a small step in the right direction. I'm hoping that once I start to tolerate the cold better, I'll be able to maximize the sleep quality.

Note: The app recommends setting the bedroom's ambient temperature between 60*F and 70*F. It says this is what studies have shown to be optimal for sleep, and I am aware of this. However, none of the studies that I've read were using a cooling mattress. I will try to keep the house around the 68*F to 70*F mark because I feel the PPC should be doing most of the work.

Night 2 (Jan 28 - Jan 29, 2021):
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -4, Final: -1; Wake Up: 0 (0605; Vibration 6)
Ambient: 73 (outdoor low of 50 over night); Humidity: 50
Bedtime: 2200 - Alarm: 0605
On the ambient and humidity screen, the app suggested that I use a warmer temperature due to the outside weather. It seems silly that this is the best advice the app will give me right now, especially since I plan to run the air conditioning or heat for a more consistent ambient temperature throughout my tests. The app makes no other suggestions, but it is still early and I'm hoping this will change. I decided to try to run my settings cooler since I felt too warm at one point last night and set the bed to be ready at 2200. First of all, the notifications from the app are garbage in that they are nearly non-existent. During setup, the unit had a delay on letting me know the first phase of grid priming was done. Then never gave any notification regarding the tank needing refills or that the prime had completed during the second round. The afternoon following my second night, I opened the app to review the data and there was a pop-up that said: “Your first night [complete]! What are your first impression?” My review was not positive. Second, I do not trust the data. I will say that I feel slightly better today than usual, though I still have a headache which I have always attributed to poor sleep. The app says my Time Slept was 7h46m - there is simply no way that is possible! The app says I fell asleep at 2206 and woke at 0605, so I was capable of eight hours of solid sleep. The app implies that I only woke twice before I woke to my alarm. I believe I woke three times, but we’ll say it was twice. At one point, I am pretty certain that I was awake for at least 20mins, even though the app says I was only awake for a total of 14mins throughout the entire night. Also, the app’s sleep stage graph is indicating that I fell asleep and immediately went right into deep sleep, which looks as if the stage lasted about 35mins. So somehow, I skipped past the 10-60mins needed to move through Stage 1 and 2 of sleep, right into a full length of Stage 3 sleep? Here's a link that outlines stages and their duration. My gut feeling has been that I am never spending enough time in deep sleep, so this seems even more unlikely. By the way, there is no way to zoom in on the sleep stage graph, nor pull any stats from it other than a percentage of time spent in the three main stages of sleep. Unfortunately, the only accurate way to measure sleep stages is via an EEG with something like the Dreem 2 (and a home device may be inaccurate), which I was considering before I found the Eight Sleep. While some argue the Dreem isn’t accurate either, the non-USA models actually attempt to extend deep sleep intervals by using well-timed pink noise. Thirdly, let’s talk about the Sleep Fitness score. We’re led to believe this to be the most important piece of data because it is in a huge font at the top of the chart, but it actually seems to be the most useless piece of statistical info provided (reading into it, it appears more stats are calculated in as time goes on, so we’ll see). My sleep score for this session was 96 out of 100. I realized this morning that if you want to score a perfect 100 every session, all you have to do is be in bed at the same time, lie very still so the sensors think you’re asleep, and then physically get out of bed when the alarm goes off. Complete rubbish and is no way an indicator on the actual quality of sleep. Maybe if this was instead called the Sleep Hygiene score, I wouldn’t be so angry about this dumb stat? The one thing I did like was that I set the alarm vibration to 6, which seemed like the right amount, though my phone alarm went off at the same time. My last awakening before my alarm, I felt a little too cool, but not terribly bad. I also didn’t feel warm when I woke to my alarm, as I had done the morning before, due to my adjusted settings. Ambient temperature in my room upon waking was 68*F.

Regarding HRV (Heart Rate Variability), the app makes no attempt to explain what my numbers indicate other than it telling me I can do a “typical” day of physical and mental activity (whatever “typical” means), nor does it tell me what number I am trying to achieve or how to do so. There is a “Discovery” article link on the app that assists a little. Apparently, as the algorithm measures my trends, it will have a better reference of my goal and make suggestions (like the Sleep Fitness info suggests). However, there is no information regarding when this might occur, which is another issue I have with this system: most features are vague. Referencing the Whoop site’s stats of its users, my HRV of 64-65ms is at the male average of 64ms while the average for my age group is 48ms. According to their site, as we age, our optimal HRV normally decreases. A higher HRV usually indicates being more healthy, but we should track trends since optimal HRV can vary greatly among individuals, with some elite athletes having an HRV below the norm.

Night 3 (Station HR42):
Bedtime: 2145 - Alarm: 0640
No calls overnight. Went to sleep quickly, but woke at 0030, 0400, 0515 for no reason. Used bathroom twice. Could not fall back to sleep before my alarm went off. Estimated time asleep: maybe 6.5hrs of broken sleep. This isn't really all too bad of a result for me. I know sleep hygiene plays a large role in sleep, so trying to stick with a schedule (which the app kind of encourages by tracking you) might be helping? My body seems to like to wake up in the neighborhood of 0600-0630, probably due to work, so maybe I should start leaning that direction.

Night 4 (Jan 30 - Jan 31, 2021):
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -4, Final: -1; Wake Up: 0
Bedtime Ambient: 73; Humidity: 56
Bedtime: 2210 - Alarm: 0730
Awake Ambient: 71; Humidity: 52

Well, I slept terribly and woke irritable with a headache. Had my blocker lenses on before 2000. I got into bed around 2210 and the app says I fell asleep in twelve minutes. I believe I woke at 0020 and I even rolled over to check the time, but the app did not register this - I am going to start taking screenshots of my awake times to be sure. I also woke sometime around 0615, but that is also not indicated. If I fell asleep again, I was definitely awake by 0700 but the app says 0713. I have made it a point to move around more when awake to help this lousy bed know when I am actually awake (I do not have a mattress protector over the grid and my fitted sheet does not bunch). The sleep graph has blue dots on it, which indicate tosses and turns - some appear in spots where I believe I was awake. Again, the app says I went directly into deep sleep and says I spent 23% of my night in that phase, with 18% in REM. Time Slept says 8h21m. This is all laughable and the way I feel backs up my belief that the data is wrong. Being optimistic, I would guess I slept maybe six hours. This was horrible sleep where, according to the app, I woke three times within two hours during the middle of the night - actually, I'm not sure I was sleeping at all at this point of the night. Furthermore, my HRV is down to 58ms and the app recommends that I should try to get eight hours of sleep. Well, my Time Slept stat says that I just did. The app also says that my HRV indicates that my body is responding to or recovering from stress. Yes, the stress of not actually sleeping eight hours! So, my HRV is flat-out contradicting my Time Slept calculation. Really nice work there, Eight Sleep. My Sleep Fitness score has changed three times for the night, from 94, to 93, and then to 90 as I write this ...mainly because it took me so long to roll out of bed because I was Googling questions regarding the app's shoddy metrics. It says it will eventually add variables (like Tosses & Turns), but still no indication as to when. As for the temperature, when I was stuck awake around 0400, I felt I was too cold to fall back asleep. I adjusted the temp from -1 to +2 and then canceled my alarm, which I think nullifies the Wake Up temperature?

This all got me thinking: this bed is great for people that sleep through the night. However, what about those of us with not-perfect sleep, which this bed is very heavily marketed to? How am I supposed to take advantage of the temperature if the bed is only smart enough to run one series of temperatures in eight hours? I would think that someone like me would need the series to automatically adjust a little for when I wake up so I'm not trying to fall back asleep while feeling too cold (which has happened twice) or too hot? Which begs another question: when exactly does the Final temperature go into effect? Furthermore, the app implies that the overnight temps should influence my choice for the app's temperature settings, which are already difficult enough even without the weather's fluctuating temperatures. This has me wondering why the Active Grid doesn't instead have a sensor to detect body heat and then make adjustments according to that metric for more consistency, greater accuracy, and less user error? It's very vague, but their site implies that there is a body heat sensor. So, are my settings relative to body or ambient temperatures? And if it is body, then why does outdoor temps matter? I think I will be calling Eight Sleep sometime this coming week to voice my concerns, plus request a longer trial period since I am a first responder and away from this bed every three nights. At the moment, this thing is destined for a return and refund. A friend of mine brought this to my attention: Eight Sleep claims that the bed will help those of us with sleep issues. Now, not only is the unit failing to improve my sleep, but the data and app are implying that am getting good sleep. Total failure.

Note: from now on, I will date these like the Eight Sleep app, which stamps them according to the morning I wake up.

Night 5 (Feb 1, 2021):
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -4, Final: -1; Wake Up: 0 (Alarm 0605; Vibration 6)
Ambient: 75 (outdoor low 66 over night); Humidity: 55
Bedtime: 2150 - Alarm: 0605
Awake Ambient: 71; Humidity: 51

Blockers on by 2000 and feeling sleepy. The app says I fell asleep in eight minutes, so that left me 8h4m until my alarm and the app states that I slept 7h52m. This calculation is so off that it is comical. I actually woke up at 0520, and since I knew that my smart alarm range was set for 30mins (so it should wake me when I am most awake, between 0535 and 0605), I decided to just lie in bed awake to see how this worked. Well, it did not. My other alarm went off at 0604, and when I reached for it, that's when the Pod tried to wake me up - I had been lying there for thirty minutes and it had no clue that I was wide awake. Is this some sort of cruel joke Eight Sleep is playing on me? Anyways, subtracting that 45mins from the 8h4m, means I could have only slept a maximum of 7h19m ...BUT, I took screenshots and was also awake at 2249, 0217, and 0346. The app only acknowledges the first awakening and indicates that I was merely tossing and turning during the other two (I know I got out of bed during one of these two). Optimistically, let's say it only took me ten minutes to fall asleep each time, so now I'm down to 6h49m of total sleep. I'd wager the actual number is closer to six hours of broken sleep, but let's give this bed, which has repeatedly proven to be anything but accurate, the benefit of the doubt. If the bed doesn't even know that I got out of it or that I was awake for thirty minutes before my alarm, how am I to believe the time it took me to fall asleep to be accurate? How is anything it tells me accurate? Yesterday, I got a notification that said "[...in the past seven days, you've slept 11% better than other users...]" - weird that it knows that since I have only had the bed for four days! This thing is either a giant engineering disaster or it is messing with me. Maybe it's becoming sentient and it either hates me or has a sick sense of humor?

Every morning, the app asks how accurate the Sleep Stages chart looks, and every morning I tell them how inaccurate the results are in detail. Not one person in the company has reached out to me about these issues. So, I decided to send an email to support@eightsleep.com (Jan 31 at 4:17pm) requesting a user manual because the whole temperature choosing system is vague. I also commented on the poor Time Slept calculations and the HRV contradiction.
Saidy from Eight Sleep replied (Feb 1 at 12:01am) that there is no user manual, that the bed should be subtracting my awake times (not sure how it can do that if it doesn't even know I woke up and used the bathroom half the time?), that the sleep phase temps are based on body temp (so why does the app push the outdoor temp so much?), and that it is ultimately up to me to choose the temp settings (with no help from a manual?). Then she outlined the temperature phase schedule:
- Phase 1 (Bedtime): Starts one hour before the set Bedtime
- Phase 2 (Initial Sleep): Begins once the sensor detects you are asleep
- Phase 3 (Final Sleep): Initiates 4 hours after you fall asleep
- Thermo Alarm: Will adjust temperature about 30 minutes before the set Alarm Time
I replied to her email (Feb 1 at 0752am), asking her to explain why the outdoor temperatures are then implied to matter and reiterated how far off the actual Time Slept results were. I made it clear that there should be no interference between my Active Grid and my nearly-naked body to cause such large errors in data. As of Feb 2 at 1100am, Saidy had not replied back.

I'd especially like to note that the Eight Sleep's temperature phase schedule seems pointless to intermittent sleepers/insomniacs like myself (again, who this bed is marketed to), since it autopilots it's way along a linear temp schedule once it merely guesses that I've fallen asleep.

Night 6 (Station HR42):
Bedtime: 2150 - Alarm: 0640
So, after telling my crew what a joke my "techno bed" has been, one of the guys reminded me of an app I used to mock a few years ago. Everyone at my old station was using it and I ridiculed how inaccurate it was after trying it one night. Well, I downloaded it again and used it. It is called Sleep Cycle and it gauges your sleep quality using the microphone of your cellphone (I think it can also use the acceleromater). Blockers on around 1930 and very sleepy with no calls after bedtime. I was in bed from 2151 until 0611 (8h20m). The results, though not entirely accurate, seem to do a better job than the Eight Sleep unit. And it did this despite me running a fairly loud fan that has to be playing havoc with it's ability to hear me. This free app accruately knew that I was awake twice in the middle of the night. I didn't screenshot these times and it missed my pre-alarm awakening around 0545, but that still puts my retail price $1900 Eight Sleep to shame. I'm not sure if the total time slept feature will unlock after the five days it needs to learn me, or if I have to pay for it, or if it even has this feature? Either way, I might've still gotten somewhere around 6h30m of broken sleep despite not having the Active Grid cooling me off.

Looking through the Eight Sleep site's reviews today (all being incredibly positive), I am noticing a trend: most of these are from couples who are using the bed to solve the "I run hot, she runs cold" dilemma. Ugh. Not a lot of mentioning of sleep quality. Saving marriages should be Eight's marketing focus, rather than leading us to believe that the bed can improve sleep.

Night 7 (Feb 3, 2021):
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -3, Final: -1; Wake Up: -1 (Alarm 0630)
Ambient: 70; Humidity: 45
Bedtime: 2210 - Alarm: 0630
Awake Ambient: 68; Humidity: 45

Blockers on by 1930 and feeling very sleepy by 2100 - these things might be working to finally get my circadian rhythm in order, along with more-consistent bedtimes. The weather has been cooler, so I decided to take advantage of that and let the temps drop. I ran Sleep Cycle again with the microphone sensor (it recommends this over the accelerometer) - this app still isn't calculating time asleep. I was in bed for 8h20m. Eight says I fell asleep in twelve minutes, woke around 0300 and 0445, slept until 0630, and got a total of 7h57m of sleep. The sleep stage graph on Cycle implies I was awake around 0100, 0230, and 0530. I think I was awake around 0030, but am not sure because I realized at some point I may have to hit an extra button with the Sleep Cycle app running? I took screenshots at 0335, 0440, and woke early at 0600. Neither program was correct, but I would expect the bed to know better since it is in direct contact with me. Again, the Eight was unable to tell that I had been awake for thirty minutes before my alarm, even though I rolled over several times to get comfortable. This is just sad. Going on faith that Eight somehow judges one thing right by getting my falling asleep time correct, I estimate that I was awake for at least 70mins of the time I was in bed, which brings my maximum time slept down to about 7h10m. Not bad at all for me and I feel a little better than I usually do. Eight says my HRV is 1ms below range and that I should go to bed earlier to ensure eight hours of sleep - it seems the unit's very incorrect calculation of 7h57m just isn't going to cut it by three minutes. Again, I feel good, but this may be one of my occasional fluke nights where I think my body tries to recover a little from the frequent nights of it slowly killing me through sleep deprivation. So, I'm not sure where to place credit for last night's sleep. Maybe it was the lower ambient temperatures? Given the Eight's track record, I am inclined not to jump to the conclusion that it helped. Also to note, the unit's tower is supposed to brighten it's LED when you get out of bed to help you see. This is something I had initially forgotten about until, on the fourth night, I saw it light up the floor on the opposite side of the bed one time. Wow, cool! However, I have not noticed it doing this at any other moment. Well, if the sensors fail to recognize when I am out of bed half the time, I guess I shouldn't expect this feature to work.

Yesterday, I sent another email (Tues. Feb 2 @ 11:53am) to Eight's customer service advising them that I was reviewing the unit and asking them to take a look at this webpage, then let me know if my unit is malfunctioning since it was failing to do what their site claims. I got the auto-reply saying most emails will be answered within 12hours. So far (Wed. twenty hours, at this entry), there has been no response. Nor have I gotten a timely response back from my reply to Saidy (the same email address; 48hrs since I sent it) asking her to make sense of the Time Slept miscalculations and to clarify the importance of outside temperatures within a climate controlled house.

Eight still doesn't seem interested in my problems, so I will [harrass] them by phone another day. ChiliSleep makes a weighted blanket. Unfortunately, they only offer them in 45"x80" with a single temperature zone. I emailed chiliSleep today about their blanket, purely for comfort during the warm summers in Florida. I asked if they had plans for a dual-zone king blanket, which could use two chiliPAD or two OOLER units - they do not. I know BedJet makes a dual-zone sheet, but I'm looking for a weighted blanket. I'm also not sold on the BedJet's tech due to sheet bunching possibly preventing airflow, especially at the price they are asking for them.

I just want to add that I made the decision to try the Eight Sleep based on this interview with the CEO of Eight Sleep (Matteo Franceshetti, who is no longer with the company, which tells you how passionate he really is about this), this video review, and this page that outlines the "sleep fitness technology" that is supposed to make you sleep better. These links look promising, but the device did not meet my expectations. I used this link to get $250 off the cover.

Night 8 (Feb 4, 2021):
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -3, Final: -1; Wake Up: -1
Ambient: 70; Humidity: 44
Bedtime: 2242 - Alarm: 0605
Awake Ambient: ?; Humidity: ?

The Eight believes my Time Slept was 6h57m, saying I asleep in twelve minutes, though I am certain it took at least thirty minutes. I had put my blockers on around 1930 and was struggling to stay awake at 2100. Unfortunately, fighting this urge gave me a second wind before bedtime. The Eight says I only woke once before my alarm around 0415. The Sleep Cycle app says I woke at 015, 0230, and maybe 0415. Neither one was sure of the fact that I actually woke at 0500 and could not get back to sleep - the Eight is definitely failing to recognize tosses and turns here. My screenshots tell me I was awake at 2320, 0300, and 0410 (when I got up to use the bathroom). Yeah, I think I got five minutes before I woke the first time - that's my life right now. The Eight insists that I was in deep sleep for 24% of the night, which I know isn't the case. I have a very hard time recovering from intense leg workouts (even with exemplary testosterone numbers), and yet the Eight says I am usually getting as much, if not more, deep sleep than the average healthy sleeper. No way that is possible. Being generous, I estimate my total time asleep was no more than five full hours, so the Eight device is off by two full hours! I felt awful and relied on some Adderall to get through the day at work. This is typical for me: I will have a string of terrible nights of sleep, so my body will get one decent one in to make up the difference (the previous night), then it will feel like it can return the norm of deprivation (this past night). I feel like crap, but the Eight indicates that my HRV is good and that I am ready for a "typical" day of exertion.

Night 9 (Station HR42)
Bedtime: 2150 - Alarm: 0640
Blockers on by 1930 and feeling tired. I didn't fall right to sleep because there seemed to be a little more late activity in the station. I don't think I quite got to sleep before we got a call around 2220. The Sleep Cycle app says I fell asleep at 2300, which I think is accurate. I woke at 0050 and 0405 with the urgent feeling to urinate (even though I took 5grams of fiber at bedtime) and I kind of feel these urges were the cause of my waking. I don't think I got to sleep after that second time, even though I tried until 0630. That leaves me a bit shy of five possible hours of sleep. Again. Awesome. My body is just flat-out refusing to conform to this schedule that I am trying to impose on it.

This morning, I woke to an email from Eight's Saidy that arrived at 0200 overnight. She apologized for the delayed response and said she "would be happy to have my case reviewed by the Engineering team to make sure the sensors were working as intended." She requested that I give the team permission to access the device remotely. I replied with a thank you at 1120 (Feb 5), and gave them typed permission to review my data.

I also got a reply from chiliSleep saying they only had the one chiliBlanket size, but would forward my idea to management. I have to assume that someone in the company has already thought of this, so I will take the possibilty of a soon-to-be-released dual-zone king chiliBlanket as "extremely unlikely."

Night 10 (Feb 6, 2021):
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -3, Final: -1; Wake Up: -2
Ambient: 72; Humidity: 53
Approximate Fiber: 8g in 8oz
Bedtime: 2130 - 0630 Alarm
Awake Ambient: 72; Humidity: 55

Extremely awful night of sleep with very inaccurate data. According to the Eight, the ambient temperature didn't drop for some reason despite the house thermostat indicating 70*F at bedtime and then 67*F when I got up. Blockers on by 1930 and so tired that I decided to start getting ready for bed early. But once in bed, I felt like it took me awhile to fall asleep. The Eight says I fell asleep in nine minutes and Sleep Cycle agrees. I don't, but we'll give them the benefit as usual. Eight gave my Sleep Fitness a perfect score of 100, which is now on the seventh night but still only using the variables that tell me nothing about actual quality. Eight calculated my Time Slept to be 8h35m (I was in bed for nine hours), but yet again my "6ms below range" HRV contradicts the Eight by saying I should try to get eight hours of sleep tomorrow night. Eight says I was awake at 2330, 0415, and 0615 - it also says I went back to sleep around 0620 and got a few minutes of deep sleep before my alarm. Ugh, I was actually stuck awake since 0430. Although I may have dozed off for a couple minutes between 0500 and 0600, I was definitely awake after 0600. My screenshots tell me I was awake at 2350 (bathroom), 0110, 0230, 0340 (bathroom), and 0430. So, my estimate puts me at a maximum possible 6h30m of very broken sleep ...again, the Eight's calculation is two full hours off. Not surprisingly, I have a pretty bad headache - I feel so awful that I am considering Adderall on my day off. Today, I am starting to track my fluid intake versus urine output with a journal. Also, I took my first large dose of psyllium husk fiber before bed with no remarkable impact on overnight urination frequency. I'd like to note that I have only actually woken up once to my alarm, rather than before it, since receiving the Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover.

Follow-up email from Saidy stating that the engineers were running tests and she will check-in within the next few days. She said to contact her with any other questions or concerns in the meantime.

Feb 13, 20121: On Feb 7, I realized I needed to replace my Grand Cherokee, so I have been distracted with that and my sleep schedule has been affected from staying up late to research vehicle options. I was already in a downward spiral for Time Slept, and this kept that going. At this point, I stopped bothering to use the Wake Up feature of the Eight. Also, I may have slept wrong and started to experience neck and shoulder pain that has continued throughout the week - I may need adjusted. I am six days behind in this diary...

Night 11 (Feb 7, 2021)
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -3, Final: -1; Wake Up: -2
Ambient: 72; Humidity: 53
Approximate Fiber: unk
Bedtime: 2210 - 0605 Alarm
Awake Ambient: 71; Humidity: 51

This was one of the few "decent" nights of sleep for awhile due to the online research for car shopping. I believe I wore my blockers. The Eight says I fell asleep quickly and slept through the night until about 0530. In reality, I was awake at 0245 and then 0400. Once up at 0400, I stayed awake until 0520 before giving up and getting out of bed (I may have dozed off for five to ten minutes in that time). I know you are not supposed to stay in bed if you can't sleep, but I felt tired, like I should fall asleep. This happens with napping for me: I will feel tired in the afternoon and try to lay down, but I will hover on the edge of sleep indefinitely. If I do fall asleep, I will be up within five minutes. It's pointless and I don't even bother trying to nap anymore. The hour that I was awake, the Eight thought I was asleep for about ten minutes, but in deep sleep (not sure I buy that). The Eight put my Time Slept at 6h53m, which seems decent, but I estimate it was actually no more than 5h15m, if that. This is backed up by my incredibly poor, record low HRV of 37. Again, the Sleep Cycle app did a better job recognizing when I was awake (with only a cellular microphone), but corroborates that I did get a few minutes of sleep before getting out of bed.

Night 12 (Station HR42)
Bedtime: 2245 - Alarm: 0640
Sleep Cycle said I fell asleep in under twenty minutes. It says I was awake at 0100 and then slept until 0545. I have screen shots at 0245 (to use the restroom), 0320, 0415, and 0530. This is probably the worst Sleep Cycle has done. I have to physically bump/move the phone to take a screenshot - granted, it's not set for accelerometer, but I think it should recognize this. The app implies I got at least 6h30m of sleep, but I calculate it was less than six. At it's worst, it is still more accurate than the Eight Sleep.

Night 13 (Feb 9, 2021)
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -3, Final: -1; Wake Up: Off
Ambient: 74; Humidity: 65
Approximate Fiber: unk
Bedtime: 0130 - No Alarm
Awake Ambient: 71; Humidity: 51

Here's where my sleep started to get really bad. Admittedly, this is probably my fault because I was up late trying to figure out what kind of vehicle to buy (this went on for several nights). The Eight's Time to Fall Asleep stat said I fell asleep in eight minutes, but the graph shows me awake until 0250 - what the heck?! This thing kills me. According to my screenshots, I woke at 0513 and felt really cold, so I adjusted the Final Temp to +1 to help get back to sleep. I woke again at 0700 and stayed awake until I rolled out at 0740. The Eight has me briefly awake at 0515 and then says I slept until one minute before getting out of bed. The Eight calculated my Time Slept at 4h49m and I calculate it to be closer to be about five hours. Well, it actually got that right, but only because it screwed up the falling asleep time so badly. Ridiculous. HRV 43. (did not use Sleep Cycle)

Saidy from Eight Sleep contacted me the evening of February 9 to let me know that engineering needs feedback in the app regarding the data accuracy. I didn't bother to email her back for two reasons. One being I had my mind on other things and the other being that I have been doing this since day one. They should be able to figure it out from the old data. In any case, I did. But that has me thinking: what are they doing on their end? Either the sensors work or they do not. Unless, they are going to tweak my sensors ...and that has me wondering why and how? Why doesn't this thing come properly adjusted? How many people are using it with poorly set sensors? In any case, the bed seemed to become more accurate in the following days (still not close to perfect). However, this did nothing to improve my sleep and was only able to prove how accurate my own calculations were for the previous two weeks.

Night 14 (Feb 10, 2021)
Bedtime : -1; Initial: -3, Final: +1; Wake Up: Off
Ambient: 74; Humidity: 55
Approximate Fiber: unk
Bedtime: 2245 - 0605
Awake Ambient: unk; Humidity: unk

This was not too bad of a night. I decided to stick with the Final temp at +1. Even though the Eight literature implies cool should help promote restful sleep, I find that my disturbed sleep leaves me too cold to fall back to sleep. Nowhere is this explained within the Eight Sleep application. Eight says I fell asleep in eight minutes, again. The graph shows that I slept straight through until 0515 and then woke to my alarm at 0605. Screenshot says I woke at 0505, so the Eight got one right! Time Slept was 6h59m and I calculate it to be the same. Well, that is out of the ordinary! In any case...

CONCLUSION
...let me spend some time considering the Eight Sleep's website claiming to guide you towards perfect sleep: I took this as meaning that the app would figure out what temperatures work for me and what do not. In doing so, the Eight would learn on it's own how to improve my sleep. It's crowd sourced, and I took that as it collecting all of our biometrics and learning what the human body needs, then passing that temperature info onto me so I can fine tune my personal experience. This is simply not the case, and actually very far from it. Rather, the app merely tells you common things regarding sleep hygiene that you can find anywhere on the internet and apply on your own. You don't need bed sensors to figure out a sleep schedule, to use meditation to relax, or tell us we shouldn't look at our phones before bed. To me, what the Eight Sleep claims is false advertising. Ultimately, I am left guessing what my temperature settings should be and fumbling around with no clue if this will actually ever work. I feel this company is just collecting data for whatever new sleep device they are bringing to the market next, because I am not getting anything in return from being a part of the crowd sourced data.

Today is February 13, 2012 and I had planned to continue to log the remainder of the week (and finish out the two remaining weeks of my trial). But after that last paragraph, I really don't see the point. The bed is a failure. Granted, my bed is cool, but that alone has not helped to change my sleep in any way. It actually may have hurt it because in my naivety, I was setting it too cold (because I was led to believe this is what I needed from their website) and this caused me to have difficulty returning to sleep. Maybe a person that doesn't have broken sleep can benefit from this bed, but that doesn't seem to work in my situation. Furthermore, the bed has done nothing insightful to guide me to better sleep ...certainly nothing I didn't already know from years of battling with sleep-maintenance insomnia.

CrankyGypsy (established 2001)