A company called Axon Sleep Research Laboratories has developed a headband alarm clock that awakens you when you are not in a deep stage of sleep.
Have you ever felt that you have had a full night’s sleep, but you still feel tired when your alarm rings? When we sleep, we repeatedly move through several cycles of brain activity. It is incorrectly believed that an extra 15 minutes of sleep would make us feel better. What actually makes us feel alert and energetic, however, is being awoken out of the right sleep cycle.
The scientific community has known about this phenomenon for decades, but the technology has not existed to take advantage of it — until now. Enter SleepSmart: an intelligent alarm clock that monitors your sleep cycles as you sleep, waking you at the ideal moment from the optimal stage of sleep. This optimal moment might be several minutes prior to your set alarm time. However, when you wake up, you will be refreshed and ready for action — just as if you had awoken naturally.
The device is worn on your head and it analyses your EEG brain wave to decide when to awaken you. The device does not appear to be on sale yet.
SleepSmart’s technology is based on the existence of sleep cycles. For the sake of simplicity, we will classify the cycles into 3 categories: light, deep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Recent scientific research has learned that the way one feels after waking up is determined not by the length of sleep, but rather the sleep cycle from which that person awakens. When awoken from deep sleep, the sleeper feels groggy, tired, and grumpy. However, if someone wakes up from a lighter stage of sleep, no matter how many hours they slept, they still wake up recharged, invigorated, energetic and alert.
SleepSmart capitalizes on this finding by waking people only from light sleep. In order to do this, users wear a soft headband that passively monitors the brain. The end result is the aversion of sleep inertia and the production of a more energetic, attentive and happy morning.
The headband is the idea of a group of Brown University students.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2005 April 17 03:19 PM Brain Sleep|