“The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.”
― W.C. Fields
A growing body of research is showing the important link between quality sleep and longevity and health. A study published in 2014 titled, “Human longevity is associated with regular sleep patterns, maintenance of slow wave sleep, and favorable lipid profile” concluded:
“…three major features were associated with longevity in this study: the maintenance of slow wave sleep in oldest old individuals when compared to older adults, the existence of strictly regular sleep patterns among oldest old individuals and the occurrence of a favorable lipid profile in these individuals.”
As more people begin to look at not only the amount of time they’re spending in bed – but also the quality of their sleep, an entire industry of wearable at-home sleep trackers have hit the market.
Eversleep is a new sleep wearable that takes a different approach than other devices currently on the market. And while most wearables rely on guesswork and mathematics to determine various sleep stages, Eversleep doesn’t provide sleep stage information. Could Eversleep become an essential tool in helping you optimize your sleep?
Early sleep tracking relied on simple wrist-worn accelerometers and rudimentary heart rate data. As demand for better and more accurate sleep tracking rose, manufacturers started including respiration rate. In the biohacking and human optimization circles, the Oura ring is currently a common recommendation due to its form factor and detailed biometric data.
As sleeker wearables that track sleep hit the market, but the question is whether these devices can reliably and accurately measure the quality of our sleep. Is the information about how much deep and REM sleep we’re getting from these tools truly helpful?
Eversleep uses continuous blood oxygen information combined with heart rate, movement and snoring to help detect fragmented sleep and insomnia. Eversleep sets itself apart in the wearable sleep technology space by also including actionable coaching tied to specific aspects of your overnight data.
It’s important to note that currently, Eversleep is only available in the United States. The product can be bought directly from the Eversleep website. In terms of cost, Eversleep is using a subscription-based pricing structure, as well as a lifetime single payment option.
Eversleep’s monthly subscription is $14.99 a month plus a one-time $49.99 activation fee. This brings the total to $64.98 USD for first-time users opting for the monthly plan. Users who choose the yearly plan can save a bit of money but must pay for an entire year upfront. The cost averages out to $11.99/month when selecting a yearly plan, with the subtotal (including activation) coming out to $192.88 USD. If you’d prefer to buy the product outright, a single payment of $299 USD can be made.
(Get a $50 discount on the Eversleep lifetime subscription with discount code FERGUS)
I looked at the company’s terms and conditions, and it appears that if you sign up with a monthly or yearly subscription you can cancel at any time. Eversleep will require you to send written notice (email) and device back to them, or you will be charged a $100 fee. Eversleep’s terms of service include a section on how users can go about canceling their subscription:
Nothing about those terms jumped out at me as being unusual.
The wearable space is seeing more and more manufactures moving to subscription-based services to offset and subsidize the cost of their hardware. In fact, the popular activity tracker Whoop has a similar subscription system for its product. For most people serious about their sleep, I suspect many will likely opt for the one-time lifetime $299 USD option.
The subscription option makes sense for people who want help with acute sleep problems and don’t see themselves needing to use the device longer than a few months or a year.
Eversleep arrived in a simple box that was easy to open. Inside the box the unit was neatly presented along with the included accessories: micro USB cable and 3M fabric tape (more on this later). The box also contained some basic literature on getting up and running, akin to a “quick start guide”. Considering that some users may opt for a subscription and be required to send the unit back, I found the box sturdy enough for that purpose, and could easily be taped back up and dropped in the mail.
The Eversleep devices consist of a wrist-worn microcomputer with a finger sensor (like those worn in a hospital) attached via a stiff and sturdy cable. Eversleep is unique in the fitness wearable space by utilizing a finger-worn sensor. Most devices that measure biometric data using PPG (photoplethysmogram) sensor do so from the wrist. The Eversleep is worn like a watch, with the finger sensor taped in place with included medical tape provided in the box.
The device looks akin to a digital watch, with a simple strap. The band appears to be soft silicone-like material that didn’t irritate my skin. The buckle-style closure and thin rubber did make me wonder how long I would be able to use the device before I found myself looking for a replacement watch band online.
The microcomputer unit sits on the wrist and didn’t feel uncomfortable. To charge the unit, a micro USB connector is used. When charging the device an LED indicator will glow green after about 90 minutes.
All in all, the design is simple. There are no external buttons or screens to fuss with. All the data the unit collects is cataloged and analyzed by the product’s mobile application, and all device settings are managed through the app itself.
Using Eversleep is a bit more involved than wearing a traditional activity tracker such as the Oura, Fitbit, or Biostrap. Users need to download the free Eversleep app on their mobile phone. Next, users must go into the phone’s settings to properly set things up so the app can run overnight.
On my iPhone I had to go into my Blueetooth settings and make sure it turned on. Next, I was instructed to go into the “Screen Time” settings and disable this function. Apparently, Apple’s Screen Time function will automatically close the application in the middle of the night, causing you to lose your sleep sessions. The last setting, I had to change in my iPhone was the low-power mode under the battery settings. When using Eversleep overnight, iPhone users must make sure and disable “Low Power Mode” because this feature will also shut down the Eversleep app overnight. Eversleep offers instructions on how to setup an Android phone for use as well.
The unit paired automatically with my phone, so I didn’t need to go into any additional settings and tell it to pair with the Eversleep. In fact, the company tells users not to manually pair the device under the Bluetooth settings. With this out of the way, I was free to put the unit on and begin tracking my sleep.
Just as with all wearable devices, Eversleep’s app is an important component to the device. The app has a minimalistic appearance and is easy to navigate:
The app first had me create a user profile with my height, weight, age, bedtime, sleep goal and answer about twelve questions on my current sleeping habits. An example of a question asked is whether I have pets that sleep in the room with me.
After answering all the questions to get my profile setup, I could begin using Eversleep. In order to initiate a session, the device is worn on the wrist with the finger sensor taped in place. Eversleep kindly includes a roll of 3M fabric tape for this purpose. Once the device is secured in place, the app’s “Record” function can be used to start an overnight recording session. The app will ask a survey about your day (any caffeine within 8 hours?). There are about twelve questions in total with an optional diary entry area to jot down any thoughts before turning out the lights:
The last thing I had to remember was to ensure my iPhone was plugged into a power source before bed. The app kindly reminds you to plug in your phone and won’t let you begin a sleep session until you do. I suspect this is to prevent sessions from being lost from a dying battery:
Because Eversleep continuously records data instead of recording every two or five minutes, I was interested in seeing what my graphs would look like. After waking up from a sleep session with Eversleep you can stop the session from recording and begin to look at your data. Eversleep has a an overview and “detailed” view for sleep sessions. The overview will give a summary breakdown of how your night went:
The summary shows breathing events, pulse events, motion events, snoring and ‘insomnia’. All these factors play a role in the quality of your sleep. Ideally, you’d want to have as few of these events as possible. The more disturbances, the higher probability you may have some type of obstructive sleep disorder. To take a deeper look at how your previous night went, you can click on the “details” screen and open up a landscape view of the night:
Eversleep’s graph is informative and unique. The graph doesn’t try to determine sleep stages at all, but rather tries to quantify the quality of the sleep the user achieved. This is a different approach to Oura, Biostrap, Fitbit and others.
A unique and possibly attractive feature for Eversleep is the ‘coaching’ that users receive from the data taken overnight. Eversleep uses the continuous data it gathers and extrapolates a series of actionable insights based on that data. For example, here is a screenshot of the coaching suggestions I received from an overnight session:
It looks like I had a pretty good night, but Eversleep noticed that my pulse was a bit low. That’s not surprising to me, however, as I’ve been tracking my overnight resting heart rate for quite some time. I was able to dismiss that warning, but wonder if users who weren’t as informed might worry?
The closest I’ve seen with health wearables to Eversleep’s coaching is Oura. Oura, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to go nearly as deep into the specific biometric factors. Oura’s suggestions are far broader and more generalized, simply pointing out factors that impact a person’s daily “readiness score”.
Eversleep goes to great lengths to differentiate itself from other wearable technologies. In the app, you can read more about why Eversleep is different:
Measuring biometrics like blood oxygen 30 times a second is a far cry from Oura and Biostrap offer! I suspect Eversleep would be a far more powerful diagnostic tool for obstructive sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
The Eversleep app also contains other educational resources for users to dive into to learn more about how the product works:
Since Eversleep is a data-driven device, it’s important that users fill out their profiles and nightly questionnaires. All the data is crunched to deliver the aforementioned coaching advice. At any time, you can always go back into your profile and update it, adding any medications or therapies, or recent diagnoses from a medical professional:
Eversleep is trying to go in a different direction compared with other sleep monitoring products on the market today. While I agree that devices such as Oura and Biostrap can’t truly measure sleep stages with the kind of clinical accuracy people might want, is Eversleep a truly compelling tool for biohackers?
Eversleep’s design is a bit cumbersome to wear overnight. The ritual of answering a gamut of questions, taping the sensor and leaving the phone plugged in each night require users to be very dedicated. The best tools are only the best if they’re correctly used.
The strap on Eversleep hasn’t broken for me, but I do worry that its construction won’t hold up long term. The good news is that it appears to be a standard watch strap, so a replacement might be easy to find online or even locally.
Some people may find the subscription model and pricing a bit disappointing. After more thinking, I believe Eversleep might be onto something. Eversleep is a great tool to determine if any acute sleep problems are occurring. If after using Eversleep you find that you don’t have any issues that require medical intervention, you might stop using the device due to the involved nightly ritual. At that time, it might be nice to return the unit and stop paying the monthly fee. A subscription model like this might work well for other devices like the Dreem 2.
I wish I could give a clear-cut yes or no answer for this device. Eversleep is excellent at what it does, but it clearly isn’t for everyone. I already knew that I didn’t have any obstructive sleep issues, so the data that I saw didn’t surprise me at all. I didn’t learn anything new that I didn’t already know from using both an Oura and Biostrap nightly.
In fact, Biostrap’s “Sleep Lab” does much of what Eversleep does. Granted, Biostrap’s Sleep Lab doesn’t capture data continuously at up to 30 times per second – but for most people, isn’t the every 2 minutes that Biostrap does good enough? With Biostrap you are getting a fitness tracker as well, and the ability to subscribe/unsubscribe from the Sleep Lab advanced biometric recording, and still keep the device itself.
If you suspect there’s something going on with your sleep that other wearables haven’t been able to catch, Eversleep may be a compelling option. The great news is that you don’t have to pay for the device outright; you can subscribe and send the unit back once you’re satisfied with using it.
(You can get a $50 discount on the Eversleep lifetime subscription with discount code FERGUS)
All in all, Eversleep is a solid product that delivers exactly what it claims to do – provide deep insights into sleep quality, instead of sleep stages. Fragmented sleep is a good indicator of underlying sleep disorders. Given the plethora of wearable devices on the market that claim to track sleep, it’s refreshing to see a unique take.
That said, I think that Eversleep is a niche product. Users that already have a pretty solid handle on their sleep might not find many useful insights from the data it provides. The product seems like something that a fitness enthusiast and biohacker might suggest for someone else who isn’t already using several biometric tools. I found myself thinking, “This is something I’d give my older uncle who snores badly and can’t ever seem to have the energy to workout”.
The fact that you must undergo a nightly ritual before using the device may cause some people to forget wearing it. Using Eversleep requires serious dedication, as it’s literally the last thing you can do before closing your eyes at night. With devices such as Oura and Biostrap, there’s nothing a user must do. The devices passively go into nighttime recording mode when they believe sleep has started.
In the future, I’d like to see an updated strap (perhaps a cloth/neoprene?) and a pressure-fit sensor that doesn’t require a roll of 3M medical tape.
I don’t see any way for Eversleep to have an “airplane mode” to lower overnight EMF readings, as the amount of data being gathered and sent to the app is so vast. This continuous use of the cell phone overnight may be a deciding factor for a lot of users.
Outside of paying thousands of dollars to visit an actual sleep clinic, I think Eversleep is an affordable option for those who suspect (but want more confirmation) that they may have a serious sleep disorder. Eversleep achieves what it sets out to do, and it does it well.
What do you think?
Is the health/fitness wearable for you? If not, what would you like to see in your dream health wearable? Be sure to leave your comments below.
This blog post was written by David Baker. David has years of biohacking experience with an emphasis on testing gadgets. He's also got 15 years of amateur bodybuilding involvement.
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