On a quiet Wednesday night in April, an unusual group has assembled in a garage nestled in a student-dominated neighborhood outside Boston. Those gathered here—mostly in their 20s or 30s and mostly male—are united by a deep interest in themselves. They have come to share the results of their latest self-experiments: monthlong tests of the Zeo, a device designed to analyze sleep.
The group is part of a rapidly growing movement of fitness buffs, techno-geeks, and people with chronic conditions who obsessively monitor various personal metrics. At the center of the movement is a loosely organized group known as the Quantified Self, whose members are driven by the idea that collecting detailed data can help them make better choices about their health and behavior. In meetings held all over the world, self-trackers discuss how they use a combination of spreadsheets, smartphone apps, and various devices to monitor patterns of food intake, sleep, fatigue, mood, and heart rate.
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