Review of: Dodow
Used for: Getting to sleep faster
The Dodow is a simple device that helps train your brain to go to sleep faster. I have found it to be very effective and in the long run, extremely affordable. It’s only one component of an overall strategy for getting more and better sleep, but it’s an excellent addition. Nearly anyone can use it, with one important exception noted in the article below.
Why You May Need a Sleep Aid Device
Insomnia sucks. I know…I’ve been there many, many times.
Nothing is a bigger waste of time than laying in bed and staring at the ceiling. And insomnia isn’t just an annoyance at night, it wrecks your productivity and enjoyment of the next day.
Worse, the impact on your overall health is far greater than that. Adequate sleep is every bit as important as good nutrition. Your body requires sleep in order to stay healthy.
Seven to eight hours of restful sleep is necessary for cell regeneration throughout your body. Going without enough sleep for extended periods of time can lead to new health problems and make chronic conditions worse.
I am always looking for a good solution, or at least an addition to my arsenal of sleeping tools, and I kept seeing this device mentioned all over the web:
Turns out that the Dodow device has been proven to help you fall into a deep, restful, regenerative sleep more quickly and stay asleep longer. It does this in part by helping you slow down your busy mind.
So I decided to buy one, see if it helps me fall asleep and write this Dodow review to share my results. I don’t expect it to otherwise affect the quality of my sleep really, but just being able to get to sleep on a reasonable schedule solves a big part of the problem for me.
How the Dodow Sleep Light Works
The Dodow shines a circular light on the ceiling that increases and decreases in size rhythmically, similar to a metronome. Focusing on the rhythmic light while controlling your breathing calms the mind and helps your body relax so that you can quickly fall into a deep, restful sleep.
All you have to do is stare at the ceiling, something most sleepless people find themselves doing naturally. It’s not wasted time if it’s putting you to sleep.
Inhale when the light expands and exhale when it contracts. While focusing on the light your mind is less prone to thinking about things that cause stress.
Worry over events of the day, upcoming deadlines or troublesome personal interactions is naturally reduced and eventually completely eliminated, making it much easier to relax and quickly fall asleep.
Controlling the duration of your inhales and exhales also helps you fall asleep by triggering your baroreflex which in turn balances the autonomic nervous system.
The baroreflex is triggered after your breathing slows from 11 breaths per minute to 6 breaths per minute with the inhale lasting 4 seconds and the exhale lasting 6 seconds. The video below shows the device in action.
The Dodow light helps you effortlessly control your breathing to trigger the baroreflex without even thinking about what you’re doing.You won’t need to count to 4 while inhaling then count to 6 while exhaling. Simply time your breathing with the fluctuating blue light.
Is the Dodow Smart Light Easy to Use?
Dodow is easy to use, but not necessarily intuitive to use. When a device only has one button, it matters how you tap it. So just read through the simple instructions once and you’ll be all set.
It can be tricky to get it open to install the batteries. The first Dodow device, or version 1, appears to be the most difficult one to get open for battery installation. The company seems to have fixed the problem with the second or version 2 device. Once the batteries are installed, it is very easy to use.
The button below will take you to the official Dodow site, which has the best price available as of August 26, 2020.
Who Is Dodow For?
With one exception (detailed below), anyone who wants to get to sleep faster can benefit from using the Dodow. Particularly if you’re prone to racing thoughts like I am, it’s a helpful tool for calming the mind and getting to sleep.
Who Should NOT Use Dodow?
Photosensitive epilepsy causes people with this disorder to experience seizures when exposed to flickering or strobing light. Unfortunately, blue light can be a significant problem for people with this type of epilepsy who are also visually impaired. Such people commonly can’t watch television due to the blue light that all televisions produce.
Fortunately, the Dodow blue light is much weaker than the blue light that emanates from televisions. People have not reported having seizures while using Dodow, but, if you have photosensitive epilepsy, it may be a good idea to avoid it. At the very least, consult with your medical professional before using Dodow if you have photosensitive epilepsy.
Is the Dodow Device Effective?
To see if the Dodow lives up to the hype, I tested it with the help of my significant other. Why did I need help? Because it’s pretty hard to time how long it takes you to fall asleep without an observer.
So I took a little time to set it up and read the directions, then I used the device per the instructions. It typically takes me about half an hour to wind down and fall asleep once my body hits the bed, which is longer than I’d like. I’d rather be clocking some sleep cycles in that time.
The first night I was getting used to it and it didn’t seem to shorten my time to sleep, but I think that was just training. Each night for a week after that I was able to fall asleep in 10 minutes or less; it took less than 5 minutes in one case.
Below you can see the Dodow in action as I was testing the light against the headboard.
For better or worse, I was also able to test it as a way to get back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night. This was the bigger test in my mind because I’m typically up for 2 hours when that happens. Dodow was effective for this as well, putting me back to sleep in 15 minutes max. That was a big win because while I know that meditation helps me sleep faster, I have trouble disciplining myself to actually do that. This had roughly the same effect and was much easier to execute.
All in all, at least for me the device did what it was supposed to in two different contexts.
Your Questions Answered
Below are questions we’ve gotten from readers about the Dodow device. If you have other questions that aren’t addressed here, leave them in the comments section and we’ll add the answers.
Q: Can the Dodow sleep light cause headaches?
A: There is no evidence to suggest that Dodow causes headaches. There have been no harmful side effects reported. Dodow causes sleepiness with nothing more than a rhythmically flashing light. It is non-addictive and non-toxic
Q: Doesn’t blue light at night cause sleeplessness?
A: The blue light produced by televisions and computer screens has been shown to suppress melatonin secretions which makes it more difficult to fall asleep. In fact, experts will tell you to turn off your television and computer at least an hour before going to bed.
The most common advice is to read a boring book while the body’s melatonin levels recover from exposure to blue light. The blue light produced by Dodow is not nearly as intense as the blue light produced by your television. Such a dim blue light has not been shown to cause sleeplessness.
Blue light has, in fact, been clinically proven to naturally relax people. Researchers at the Brain-Computer Interface Lab at the University of Granada proved that exposure to blue light for 10 minutes relaxed stressed participants.
This stress reduction when combined with controlled breathing actually helps you fall into a deep sleep.
Q: Can the Dodow light intensity be adjusted?
A: The intensity of the blue light can be adjusted easily and should be, depending on the height of your bedroom ceiling. Use a brighter setting if you have high ceilings in your bedroom. Dim it down if your ceiling is lower. You can also dim it if the blue light bothers your partner. The light shouldn’t bother him or her. It should actually help your partner relax and fall asleep more quickly, too. If he or she doesn’t like it, though, simply turn down the light intensity.
Q: Does the Dodow light stay on all night?
A: There is no need for the Dodow light to remain on all night long. It works by helping you fall into a deep sleep, then its job is done. Two settings allow you to choose how long you want the light to stay on. You can turn it on for 8 minutes or 20 minutes. For an 8-minute session, simply tap the surface of the Dodow once. If you want it to stay on for 20 minutes, just tap the device twice. The 20-minute setting is best for the first few sessions.
Q: Will I have to use the Dodow for the rest of my life?
A: Dodow literally trains your brain to relax and fall asleep more quickly. You may be able to fall asleep without the Dodow device after using it for only a few months.
Q: Does the Dodow help with jet lag?
A: Sleeplessness due to jet lag can be easily remedied with Dodow. This is a completely portable device that uses batteries. You can even use it while you’re travelling in Europe without bothering with an electrical adapter.
Q: Will Dodow help me fall asleep when there are noisy people in the house?
A: Yes, Dodow will help you fall asleep even if you are trying to sleep in a house where people are still moving about and making noise, a hotel where there is normal activity around you or even an apartment with noisy neighbors.
It works by drawing your focus and attention away from the noise and triggering your baroreflex. When you’ve triggered your baroreflex and autonomic nervous system, the noise will be much less likely to get your attention and keep you awake.
Q: Are there other devices similar to Dodow?
A: No, there really aren’t. Dodow is currently the only device like it on the market.
Our Recommendation About Dodow
The Dodow seems to be immediately effective about 50% of the time. For those who don’t get immediate relief, the company recommends giving the device a little more time.
The minds of people who have a long history of insomnia or difficulty falling asleep can take time to become trained to fall asleep quickly. It isn’t as easy as just flipping a switch. It takes time for the mind to break a long-standing cycle of sleeplessness.
The button below will take you to the official Dodow site, which has the best price available: