The Eight Sleep Pod Pro is the ‘It bed’ of Silicon Valley

“I sleep when I’m dead” is out. “I sleep eight to nine hours a night” is in.

Just a few years ago the hustle and bustle dictated that work should take precedence over rest, and if you spent a third of your life sleeping it was a waste of time. CEOs and entrepreneurs bragged about only spending four hours a night in bed, and that mindset affected anyone seeking success. To quote Nas, the bard of venture capitalists: “I never sleep because sleep is the cousin of death.”

Several factors have led to healthier attitudes towards sleep – and with it, the rise of the Eight Sleep Pod Pro. (The company doesn’t call it bed, but that’s not a nut milk thing that a traditional trading group is trying to stop them or anything. It’s a bed.) The iPhone quickly led to quantified self-movement as apps and sensor-based accessories made people, those interested in managing their own health provided some basic tools to do so. Those body hackers started out with exercise – remember when step counting was all the rage? – and then optimized their food intake, made the paleo and keto diets as well as intermittent fasting popular (which you followed through an app, of course). .

After optimizing your fitness and diet, there is only one aspect of life to optimize and maximize: sleep. Combine this with COVID-19, which has caused even the most die-hard guys to rethink their lifestyles and focus more on their overall health. Geoffrey Woo, co-founder and CEO of HVMN, a nutrition startup, bought his Eight Pod in 2020. “I’ve been tracking all of these things anyway,” he says, referring to metrics like resting heart rate and heart rate variability, which Eight measures. “Preventing me from dying in a global pandemic could help.”

The sleep technology trend started in earnest in 2015 when the first generation of whoop activity tape was released and the Oura ring, as well as the Eight Sleep Tracker and Smart Bed Cover, had successful crowdfunding campaigns. Each of these products has its benefits and followers, but Eight Sleep and its army of tech influencers lead the way. Its fully optimized bed has inspired more than two dozen tech founder clients to invest in the company, which has raised over $ 150 million. A Queen starts at $ 2,995, although I’ve been told that the company’s most popular product is the queen-sized Pod Pro cover, which sells for $ 1,795.

Why is eight the one? I spoke to four of these over 24 technicians to get the answer.

Temperature control is a very cool feature

“It’s the cooling that drew me in,” admits Patrick O’Shaughnessy, partner at VC firm Positive Sum, CEO of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management and host of the popular Invest like the best Podcast. When I ask Anthony Pompliano, the investor and digital media creator, about his favorite feature, he doesn’t hesitate. “The temperature control, for sure. . . the ability to make it cold. ”The way the Eight Pod works is that each bed has two zones – so partners can personalize their experience – and the water circulates through a grid system to regulate the temperature. Users can adjust it between 55 and 110 degrees. (The pod simplifies it to a -10 to +10 scale, which is reflected in this temperature range. All temperatures listed here are approximate equivalents based on the company’s scale.)

O’Shaughnessy, who has been using the Eight Pod for about a year and a half, is dozing off at a brisk 65 degrees. “Apparently I like to sleep in an iceberg,” he says with a laugh, noting that the temperature rises slightly to around 70 during the night. He estimates he slept about seven to seven and a half hours a night before he got the eight pod and now sleeps about eight to eight and a half.

It knows when you are sleeping, it knows when you are awake

Sensors in bed measure the resting heart rate, the heart rate variability and the time spent in sleep phases (light, REM, deep). Users can analyze their data. “My heart rate and deep sleep got much better over time,” says Pompliano, who has made a decision to focus on a healthier life by 2020 and set a goal of eight hours of sleep a night. He stopped drinking, controlled lights and sound in his bedroom, but soon the Eight became “a breeze” and said he could see the “quantifiable and qualitative” difference. He starts the night at around 70 degrees, then drops to around 67 before rising to 75 when he wakes up – and his sleep is now between eight and eight and a half hours a night.

The Eight Pod also gives users the ability to view their data over time to evaluate their performance. “I can look back on times in my life when work was stressful and my resting heart rate was significantly higher,” says Ankur Nagpal, founder of the online course platform Teachable, who now invests through his VC company Vibe Capital. He starts the night at 70 or 71 degrees, wakes up at 79 – and he now also spends an average of eight hours a night. “No device can fix the root causes of stress, but it reflects your habits and lifestyle and says, ‘You have to deal with this.'”

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Eight Sleep uses individual data to calculate a nightly sleep fitness score between 1 and 100. “It helps to have quantitative feedback, a number that says you did a better job today,” says Woo. “Gamify is helpful.” The longtime biohacker was curious about Eight after trying out competitors and playing with Oura and Whoop. He lies in an 84-degree bed, which drops to 78 degrees during deep sleep and then rises to 87 degrees when waking up. “I’m a worse person with no sleep,” admits Woo, but now he gets eight to nine hours a night.

Like everyone else, Woo can’t help but reveal these details. Pompliano says: “You sleep well, you have to tell everyone that. When you have a bad night you have to tell everyone. Massive word of mouth. “It is this irresistible element of the Eight experience – users are naturally motivated to share their sleep stories – that apparently was a key driver in making these tech creators want to be eight investors, not just customers.

When I ask “Pomp,” as he’s called, how he prioritizes sleep with his job responsibilities for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, which are traded 24/7, he says our always-on environment means, “You need more rest. Better sleep is part of fitness. ”The stresses of hyperconnected life can affect sleep – even if you’re not a startup founder, even if you don’t buy the decline in a bitcoin sell-off. Woo laments the compromise we are making for life in “super dense, noisy cities”. But, he adds, this bed takes “the best of modernity to mitigate the worst”.

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