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Novel Wearable Device Improves Sleep Quality Of Users

Jun, 2022

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The new wearable device is designed to play specific sounds to improve deep sleep as it detects brain waves related to deep sleep cycle and emits a clicking audio signal for helping its wearer maintaining the state

Many people all over the world go through abnormal sleeping patterns, or disturbed sleep. Especially elder people suffer from such sleep as the deep sleep phase continues to grow shorter with age. Now a team of researchers at ETH Zurich Research Institute developed a wearable device that is designed to play specific sounds to improve deep sleep. When tested in a clinical study, the new device was proven to be effective, however, with different levels of effectiveness for different people.

In this new research, the researchers developed novel device named SleepLoop that was inspired by past studies indicating accurately timed sounds that are played through headphones help increase brain waves called slow waves occurring through the deep sleep cycle. The new device consists a headband section that contains electrodes and a microchip, which constantly monitors the electrical activity of brain of the person wearing the device. When the devices detects slow waves it starts emitting a short clicking auditory signal. The wearer cannot heart this sound consciously, yet the signals improve the slow waves as they help synchronizing the activity if neurons. The team tested the technology on 16 subjects aging between 62 and 78 years. The subjects used SleepLoop every night at home for four weeks. The device kept emitting the sleep boosting signal for only two weeks out of four, where these two weeks were not identified neither by scientists nor the subjects.

Furthermore, when the team studied the recorded data, it found that using SleepLoop enhanced the slow waves in some subjects, while it did not show any effects on others. From these results, the team is not focusing on finding a new method to develop a device that would work on particular individuals, in order to improve its performance.

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