Plenty of people struggle with sleep disorders. The most common one? Insomnia, which involves difficulties falling and/or staying asleep. Sleep deprivation is no joke; it can increase the risk of serious medical conditions like stroke or diabetes. That makes addressing any underlying sleep disorders a health priority. Now, people researching how to sleep faster have probably come across the Dodow sleep aid.
Just what is it? Well, this device claims to help people optimize their breathing rate for better sleep. In fact, the sellers say that, out of 300 surveyed users, 74% were satisfied with their results from using this product. But does this machine really work as well as it claims? You’ve come to the right place to find out; we’re breaking down the science behind this increasingly popular sleep aid in this Dodow review.
What is Dodow?
Are you wondering, What is a Dodow? Well, it’s not an extinct flightless bird. Rather, it’s a metronome with a built-in blue light system. Now, a metronome is a device that counts intervals of time. Typically, metronomes mark passage of time with small sounds; Dodow, however, lights up with a soothing glow periodically instead of creating noise. The Dodow sleep aid is a palm-sized disc that features a small blue light that projects onto your bedroom ceiling. The unit is powered by three AAA batteries.
How Does Dodow Work?
Dodow uses these dim lights to guide users through breathing exercises that may create a calm state conducive to sleep. Specifically, this machine aims to reduce users’ respiratory rate to 6 breaths per minute to achieve this goal. To reduce their respiratory rate, users will stare at the Dodow’s emitted light and breathe in synch with it. As the exercise continues, users will gradually reduce the number of breaths they take every minute until they hit the 6-breath mark. After hitting this mark, users will continue slow, deep breathing to enter a relaxed state. The ultimate hope is to reduce sleep latency, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
How to Use Dodow
Users start by tapping the device once to begin an 8-minute session; tapping twice will start a 20-minute session. Importantly, beginners should start with shorter sessions. After tapping, users will rest face-up and stare up. The Dodow sleep device will then begin emitting a dim blue light. As the light increases in diameter, users should inhale. Conversely, as the light size decreases, users should exhale. Dodow claims that when used regularly syncing up your breathing to the blue light will help you fall asleep faster.
Does Dodow Work?
The science behind Dodow’s design is actually pretty sound.
Before we can break that science down, though, we’ll have to discuss a few key terms. Namely, we’ll need to define heart rate variability and cardiac coherence. Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to any variation between heartbeat intervals. Cardiac coherence refers to a systematic HRV that helps influence parts of the nervous system.
Now, Dodow’s basic principles rest on cardiac coherence. That’s because research suggests that increased cardiac coherence can induce a positive emotional experience. Furthermore, studies found that increased coherence correlated with reduced aggression. So, this coherence and resulting emotional state notably may help reduce stress.
How Do People Increase Cardiac Coherence?
Studies say that heart-focused breathing exercises, or cardiac coherence exercises, may help. Dodow itself encourages users to complete cardiac coherence exercises. Research suggests that regularly practicing such exercises are important for creating a connection between calmness and coherence. In other words, practicing heart-focused breathing exercises may help people associate such practices with calmness. So, these techniques may become more effective in creating positive emotions over time.
Now, a key part of heart-focused breathing is to breathe “a little slower and deeper than usual.” The ideal respiratory rate for increasing cardiac coherence? 6 breaths a minute, or a 10-second rhythm — the same rate that the blue light emitted from the Dodow encourages.
Who Won’t Enjoy this Sleep Aid?
In the end, science does back up the basic principles of Dodow. It’s important to note, though, that it won’t work for everyone. For starters, using breathing techniques to regulate heart rhythm is difficult. In fact, studies show that most people experience difficulties maintaining this rhythm for more than a minute.
Additionally, certain people should also steer clear of this aid. For instance, those with certain heart and lung conditions should especially be cautious of this device. Talking with a doctor before practicing new, rigorous breathing exercises is always recommended.
Furthermore, this aid is specifically designed to reduce sleep latency. So, those who have problems falling asleep may like this product. Those who have issues staying asleep, though, might not find much use for the Dodow. Many Dodow reviews state this as a downside but the product is not designed for this issue.
Have more questions about this device? We’ll try and answer them all below.
Where do you put Dodow when you go to sleep?
Ideally, you should put the Dodow on a surface like a nightstand. A flat surface is optimal, as it best allows the device to emit light to the ceiling. This placement will therefore allow you to more comfortably complete your breathing exercises on your back.
How to turn off my Dodow?
The blue light should turn off on its own; after all, if the breathing exercises work, you won’t be awake to turn it off anyway. If the device does not turn off at the end of the session, the manufacturer recommends removing the batteries for a moment.
How much is a Dodow / Where to buy?
This sleep device currently costs around $59. You can visit Amazon or go to the official site, MyDodow.com, to check out this machine for yourself.
What is the difference in Dodow version 1 and 2?
There are older and newer versions of this device, appropriately called versions 1 and 2. There’s not much differences between the two, including price. The main differences? The Dodow 2 is a little sturdier and makes it easier to change its AAA batteries.
Does Dodow Help You Stay Asleep?
No, this device is only designed to help you fall asleep faster and those that use Dodow may find that the blue light will help you get back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night but it does not help keep you asleep.
Plenty of people are searching for ways to help them get some shut-eye. Currently, the market is flooded with sleep aids that all claim to help with this issue. While many don’t work, there is some science to back up the basic principles of the Dodow sleep device. Unfortunately, it won’t work for everyone, particularly those who have issues staying asleep. For people who have issues falling asleep or frequently wake up in the middle of the night, it might be a worthwhile investment with many users falling asleep quickly, usually within 20 minutes.
Disclaimer: Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. This article / Dodow review is not to replace the advice of a licensed professional. This device may not work for everyone. Everyone should consult with a doctor prior to engaging in new breathing exercises.
- Cardiac coherence: A systematic heart rate variability that specifically helps influence parts of the nervous system.
- Heart rate variability (HRV): Variation between heartbeat intervals.
- Respiratory rate: How many breaths someone takes a minute. The average adult respiratory rate is 12-20 breaths per minute.
- Sleep latency: How long it takes to fall asleep.
[4,7]Alabdulgader A. A. (2012). Coherence: a novel nonpharmacological modality for lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Global advances in health and medicine, 1(2), 56–64. doi:10.7453/gahmj.2012.1.2.011
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html
[3,5,6]McCraty, R., & Zayas, M. A. (2014). Cardiac coherence, self-regulation, autonomic stability, and psychosocial well-being. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 1090. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01090
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.) Sleep disorders. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/sleepdisorders.html