We can clearly see the strides that health-tech has made in the past decade; accurate heart-rate monitors, cutting edge environment sensors, blood-pressure analytics, and various acoustics now lie within the palms of our hands!
More recently, health-tech is innovating brain-health devices to make sleep, mood, and learning analytics more accessible, accurate, and meaningful. In fact, a range of sleep-tech companies at CES 2020 exhibited devices and sensors that not only monitor your sleep but also evaluate whether or not your surrounding environment is conducive to a good night’s sleep. In my opinion, the most noteworthy of these products were the wearable EEG headbands, which are taking brain-health & sleep analysis to the next level. Dynamic companies such as BrainBit, Rhythm, Urgonight, Emotiv, and NeuroSky operate within this space, with a mission to tailor EEG headbands for lifestyle & wellness purposes versus just for medical use.
One of the leading sleep monitoring devices is the Dreem headband, which is made of a slim, breathable fabric that wraps around the head, with a separate arch extending over the top. Seven electrodes line the inner portion in order to monitor the electrical activity of the brain upon contact with the scalp. The headband also tracks head movement, heart rate, and respiration via a miniature accelerometer like those found in smartphones. Built-in artificial intelligence analyzes the data on the fly, tracking the various stages of sleep the person is experiencing and collecting nearly all the same data as a traditional sleep lab study. The question of interest, however, is: can these EEG headbands help you sleep better?
In short, the answer is yes! The Dreem Headband, for instance, sends little signals in the form of noises via bone conduction that reset the flow of brain waves during one’s sleep, just enough to keep deep sleep cycles longer. In much the same way, sleep-tech products such as the Urgonight Headband — which was on display at CES 2020 — offer this groundbreaking solution in their own unique and innovative ways. The Urgonight, for example, uses games to teach you how to control the brain waves that impact sleep. In clinical trials, the device’s “neurofeedback method helped people fall asleep 40% faster, and cut nighttime sleep interruptions by half”. Like all recent brain-health technology, the Urgonight allows you to take advantage of this method at home, instead of in a sleep lab.
The Dreem and Urgonight headbands are just two examples out of the many multi-purpose EEG wearable innovations that exist today. While research on the effectiveness of EEG headset technology is still in its infancy, there is growing evidence to support that such wearables can live up to their promise.