In the modern world, it is hard to get eight hours of sleep even when we have the time. Gadget manufacturers have noted this and produced different sleep devices, with the promise of better sleep. One of the latest devices comes from Xuan Yao, a Chinese designer, whose company FitSleep has introduced a device called FitSleep α that uses alpha waves to beam us into better sleep.
FitSleep α is similar and different to other options already in the market. Just like Misfit, it monitors sleeping performance with data and timeline visualization. Like Juvo it has sensors that pick up user’s bio-data including breathing patterns, heart rate so that it can customize a remedy. What makes FitSleep α unique is the use of alpha wave to allegedly fast-track a user to deep stage of sleep. Alpha waves are brain oscillations that have functions in the wake-sleep cycle.
To support their claim, FitSleep carried out research in conjunction with Sleep Research Center of Peking University in China. The two monitored the sleep of 800 people aged 15-80 for 60 days. The results revealed that for the first ten days those with an active and inactive FitSleep α took on average the same time to fall asleep. They had a similar proportion of deep sleep and quality sleep score. This was before the alpha waves were turned on. When turned on, participants exhibited a reduced time to fall asleep, an increase in deep sleep that results in a better quality sleep score. In comparison, participants using devices without alpha-wave function showed no noticeable difference in those parameters.
Based on the results from the research and other related studies, the company claims that there is evidence that alpha waves could be effective in improving sleep. On the other hand, experts have noted that there is little evidence supporting this claim. Mark Boulos, a neurology researcher at the University of Toronto, notes that he is not aware of any research that supports the use of alpha waves to help someone fall asleep.
In any case, the device works in the following manner: Users places the device under the pillow just as they are going to sleep. The device emits a range of electromagnetic waves that ranges from 0-13 Hz and scans how the body reacts. It picks up changes in the breathing patterns and heart rate and tune to the most efficient frequency, sending out alpha waves meant to lull users into deep sleep. The device itself is small and includes vibration, infrared and pressure sensors to gather information on the user. After the data is collected, it is sent to a server to run through FitSleep’s sleep algorithm so asleep report can be generated. With all this information, FitSleep will design customized tips for the user so that they can improve their sleeping patterns.
FitSleep α also has an alarm that avoids deep sleep phases to only wake user during lighter sleeping phases. The app can also be paired with a mobile device so that a user’s biodata can be monitored and any abnormalities detected and solved
FitSleep has noted that it will work with specialized professionals and scholars to provide sleep advice