Dodow is a device which claims to help users fall asleep in 8 minutes through a guided breathing practice. The company suggests that their product is safer and more effective than traditional sleep therapies and sleeping pills.
But is Dodow proven to work in clinical studies or are these just marketing claims? Could the blue light emitted by Dodow actually worsen sleep quality? Which retailer sells Dodow for the best price? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Dodow?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we explain if Dodow is clinically proven to work and how the device works.
We'll share our thoughts on whether the blue light emitted by Dodow could actually decrease sleep quality, document which retailer sells Dodow for the best price, and feature real, unsponsored Dodow user reviews.
Is Dodow Proven to Work?
At the time of updating this article, the Dodow device does not appear to be clinically tested.
However, it's based on a simple, well-studied technology (guided breathing) that has been clinically tested.
Dodow helps users regulate (and slow down) their breathing rate, which induces relaxation.
The nervous system exists in two states: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system is fight-or-flight mode: heart rate and blood pressure are elevated and the body is in a state of heightened awareness due to chemical compounds like adrenaline and cortisol.
When the body is resting and recovering, the nervous system is in a parasympathetic state, which incudes relaxation and is ideal for sleep.
A medical review published in the Frontiers in Neuroscience journal analyzed over 100 clinical trials and documented that slow breathing techniques can shift nervous system function to a parasympathetic state and literally "change your life" and cause "positive psychological/behavioral effects."
A 2018 medical review found that self-regulation of breathing is an effective insomnia treatment.
Overall, Dodow is not clinically proven to work but we believe it's likely to work given that guided breathing is so well-established in clinical studies for inducing relaxation and improving sleep quality.
But will the device's blue light negate all of these potential benefits and worsen sleep quality? We'll answer in the next section.
Does Blue Light Ruin Sleep?
Dodow emits blue wavelengths of light, and this type of light has been shown in medical studies to disrupt sleep patterns and circadian rhythm.
A 2022 medical review on blue light's effect on sleep quality examined results from clinical trials on the topic and concluded the following:
"Blue light might also have negative effects such as the decrease in sleep quality and sleep duration".
Blocking blue light with physical devices like orange glasses can improve sleep, further suggesting that blue light is an illogical choice for a sleep device.
A clinical trial published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research reported that use of blue light blocking glasses for only one week improved sleep quality by 16%.
Dodow's website states that blue light was chosen because of the "generally accepted perception that blue is calming." The brand also claims that the intensity of the blue light their device emits is low enough to have no negative effects on sleep, but provides no proof of this claim.
We consider any exposure to blue light at night likely to worsen sleep quality, and the burden of proof is on Dodow to prove otherwise, given the numerous clinical trials showing that blue light can negatively impact sleep.
Until Dodow can prove that their specific device and the blue light it emits does not negatively impact sleep quality, we don't understand why anyone would buy this product.
There are free breathing apps (one is called Breathing Zone) that can reduce breathing rate without necessarily exposing a user to blue light, because blue light blocking glasses can be worn during setup and the phone could be placed face-down or with the screen off.
Unsponsored Dodow User Reviews
A YouTube creator named "Avocado on Everything" has an incredibly thorough Dodow review that includes everything from a product unboxing, her history of sleep struggles and her take on whether or not the device was effective:
A sleep-focused YouTube channel called "Go Back To Sleep" also reviewed the device:
Why Does Dodow Shut Itself Off?
One element of Dodow's design that we find highly confusing is that the device shuts off automatically after 8 or 20 minutes of use.
The company doesn’t share any research explaining these seemingly arbitrary time limits, and we haven’t seen any medical data suggesting that 8 or 20 minutes are optimal time frames to induce parasympathetic nervous system activity.
It seems like for those struggling with insomnia, it would be most beneficial for the device to continue uninterrupted for at least an hour.
It seems incredibly inconvenient to have to get out of bed and repeatedly turn the device on again after it shuts off, and this alone could counteract any potential sleep benefits from Dodow.
Where to Buy Dodow for the Best Price
Dodow is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown at the time of publishing this article:
Uncommon Goods: $60 (plus $9.95 shipping, link)
Brand website: $59.99 (plus $5.99 shipping, link)
Walmart: $59.00 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)
Amazon: $59.90 (free shipping – link to official Amazon listing)
While Dodow is listed by third-party sellers on both Walmart and Amazon, the Amazon listing appears to be from an official distributor because it has over 10,000 reviews.
The Walmart listing has only 3 reviews.
When considering shipping costs, Dodow is currently 9% cheaper on Amazon than on the brand's website.
Real Customers Review Dodow
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.
Dodow has been reviewed over 10,000 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Robert Bower" who claims that Dodow helps reduce time-to-sleep:
"I have a CPAP and an over active mind...I find the the breathing of the light and allowing myself to focus on the light and trying to match the breathing or pulsing of the light just allows me to relax, unfocus, and pass out. Just as the video portrays.
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Tara" who claims it's the worst product she's ever purchased in her life because of how bright it is:
"This device literally just shines a bright blue almost white light like a flashlight on your ceiling, then takes 5 seconds to fade out just a very tiny bit, brightens up again, and so on. It’s so bright that it lights up the room. It’s not even a distinct circle of light, it’s just a big blob of light...It provides no purpose except actually making it more difficult to sleep since it’s so bright."
Our Research-Backed Sleep Picks
There are sleep products with ingredients and materials clinically shown to improve sleep quality.
Bulletproof Sleep is our top sleep supplement pick. It contains an effective dose of melatonin (3 mg), and also passionflower extract which has been shown in a clinical trial to increase total sleep time and decrease wakefulness. This supplement is free of any questionable additive ingredients and costs less than $30.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Sleep at this link to its product page on the official brand website.
Nolah Weighted Bamboo Blanket is a great option for consumers who prefer pill-free solutions for sleep. Weighted blankets are clinically shown to improve sleep quality in both older adults and in children, and early research suggests they may also reduce anxiety.
Interested consumers can check out Nolah Weighted Bamboo Blanket at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
Manta Sleep Mask is the most cost-effective sleep solution, because it’s only $39 and will last for years. A 2021 clinical trial found that eye mask and ear plug use improved sleep quality in ICU patients. Manta’s mask comes with ear plugs.
We can't locate any medical studies on sleep mask use in healthy patients, but it seems logical that the same effects may hold given that light exposure during sleep negatively impacts sleep quality.
Interested consumers can check out Manta Sleep Mask at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
Pros and Cons of Dodow
Here are the pros and cons of Dodow in our opinion:
- Breathing exercises are clinically shown to improve sleep quality
- Affordable compared to drugs or pills
- Doesn't appear clinically tested
- Blue light may increase wakefulness
- Unimpressive Amazon reviews
- There are free guided breathing apps
- Arbitrary time limits
- Brand charges for shipping