Start-up launches intelligent sleep mask to fight jet lag
May 3, 2016
By combining brain wave and pulse measurement technology with a comfortable sleeping mask commonly used in air travel, Polish-USA start-up Inteliclinic has used bright light therapy to improve sleep efficiency and alleviate jet lag.
Using built-in biometric sensors, the Neuroon system monitors the user's sleep architecture, providing advanced sleep analysis, calculates a sleep efficiency score, and offers optimisation advice.
It tracks light, deep, REM and sleep interruptions, conveniently displaying the totals in a daily dashboard.
Neuroon is comprised of three components – a comfortable mask made of soft, hypoallergenic material, the Smartpack, which contains the device's sensors and electronics encased in medically certified silicone, and an app that controls the mask wirelessly using Bluetooth.
Jet lag blocker is one of the main features. This helps combat the sleep problems associated with rapid time zone changes. After setting the travel destination in the mobile app, the mask automatically fine-tunes the appropriate light therapy during sleep without interfering with it and offers a number of recommendations to help the user optimise their circadian rhythm while travelling.
For the best results, users should start the therapy several days before travelling. By adjusting a person's biorhythm before their travel, the Neuroon can effectively reduce the effects of a long-distance trip before they occur.
As the demand for air transport continues to grow and long-distance flights become increasingly commonplace, travellers are looking to technology to help combat the sleep disruption, fatigue and poor concentration that often accompanies jet lag. A recent study at Stanford University demonstrated how exposing a person to short flashes of light during sleep could be the secret to reducing these effects.
Through manipulating levels of melatonin in the body, there was a significant speed-up in the process of the body adjusting to its rescheduled circadian rhythm. Using this principle, Neuroon is a wearable device providing jet lag therapy for its users.
“We need to remember that sleep makes up a third of our lifetime, so we should analyse it and improve its effectiveness,” said Kamil Adamczyk, CEO of Inteliclinic. “With that in mind, we have created a consumer device that is not yet another gadget but a product that actually monitors your sleep like medical devices and helps you improve its quality.”
Originally funded through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, the project aimed at creating a device that would analyse users’ sleeping patterns and provide tips to people who want to sleep polyphasically, that is take a few shorter naps instead of a single nightly sleep episode. After over a year of consultations with leading authorities on sleep medicine, including Christopher Drake, director of sleep research at Henry Ford Hospital, Project Neuroon grew beyond sleep monitoring to include pulse tracking and light therapy. The core functionality of the device is nearly medical-grade sleep measurements and helping people who work shifts, suffer jet lags or have problems falling asleep. The device does not support polyphasic sleep.