My name is Christina, and I am a sleepoholic. I will never be able to check “pull an all-nighter” off the list of 101 Things to Do Before You Graduate from MIT and I will always be snickered at by bleary-eyed friends when I complain of “getting only 7 hours.” The truth is, despite being an MIT student, I get an average of 8+ hours of sleep every single night. I’ve never felt this was my own choice, but rather my brain’s choice, as getting less than 7 hours of sleep results in nodding off in all of my classes and on top of my books. In fact, I have skipped many morning classes in the past after not sleeping enough, knowing that sitting in class would be useless, as I would most certainly fall asleep.
After a lecture on sleep and hypnotics in a Psychopharmacology course I took last year (at that school down the street, aka Harvard), I sheepishly approached the lecturer and asked bluntly if there might be something wrong with a person who needs 8-9 hours of sleep. He chuckled and said it was perfectly normal.
But I still wondered. Was I waking up in the middle of the night and sleepwalking to Newbury Street? Were my sleep cycles abnormal? Did I ever actually enter restorative deep sleep? And if any of these were true, could I be doing something to definitively improve my sleep? I decided these were questions I would probably never get answers to, lest I wanted to spend time in a sleep lab, which I didn’t.
Until a few weeks ago, when I received an email from my friend Mollie ’06 (Course 7 & 9) who told me about the Zeo, a device that records your sleep cycles as you slumber. I was amazed at the premise and decided to write a post about this device created with the help of a few MIT alums, but decided I had to see it to believe it. So I wrote to the company and asked to try the product. I didn’t actually expect a reply, but sure enough, one week later a package was waiting for me at Baker Desk.