Dodow Review: Can Breathwork Improve Sleep?

Dodow Review: Can Breathwork Improve Sleep?


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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 blue light claims

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 Clean Sleep Picks

There are sleep products with ingredients and materials clinically shown to improve sleep quality.

Sleep Mode from Bulletproof is our top value sleep supplement.

It contains melatonin which is arguably the most well-studied sleep inducer, along with l-ornithine which is an amino acid that's clinically shown to reduce cortisol and improve sleep quality at the same dose as in Sleep Mode.

Beam Dream Capsules is our top premium sleep supplement.

These multi-action capsules provide melatonin, magnesium, THC-free hemp and Reishi mushroom which is clinically described as possessing an "anti-insomnia mechanism."

Nolah Weighted Bamboo Blanket is a great option for consumers who prefer non-supplement 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.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients or materials that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Pros and Cons of Dodow

Here are the pros and cons of Dodow in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Drug-free
  • Breathing exercises are clinically shown to improve sleep quality
  • Affordable compared to drugs or pills

Cons:

  • 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
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We consider Dodow somewhat likely to improve sleep quality, because it's a guided breathing device, and this type of technology is clinically shown to induce relaxation and improve sleep quality.

That being said, the Dodow doesn't appear to have been clinically tested, and it has a major design flaw in our opinion.

Dodow emits blue light, which is the wavelength of light that appears to have the worst effects on sleep quality based on the research we surveyed.

Blue light is so well-established for ruining sleep that there are physical blue light blocking devices and software tools to reduce blue light exposure from electronics.

Dodow claims that the intensity of blue light emitted by their device is so low that it's not a concern, but provides no proof or evidence of this claim.

We consider Dodow to be a waste of money because all of the benefits seem to come from the guided breathing feature, and this same functionality can be had for free through a phone or web app.

The average customer review for Dodow is only 3.3 stars on Amazon currently.

For consumers intent on purchasing Dodow, we would recommend doing so on Amazon rather than on the brand's website, because you may save money on shipping.