Insomnia: How Technology and Neurostimulation Might Go Mainstream Soon


Can’t sleep? Neurostimulation will be the answer to your woes.

Moreover, technology will be a key player in this method of overcoming the dreaded insomnia. Insomnia affects around one in three of the population at some time in our lives. One in eight will be in a permanent state of insomnia.

Sufferers will have difficulty falling asleep, waking up regularly during the night, getting up too early in the morning and feeling tired or lethargic throughout the day. Chronic insomnia is characterised by a person who experiencing three restless nights per week within a month. 

We have seen a number of self-help apps hit the market and many of these are designed to help relieve stress, encourage weight loss and boost learning skills. When these factors improve, the sleep patterns are improved and insomnia has a much greater chance of being tackled.

What is Neuro-Stimulation?

Apparently stimulating neurons to help patients suffering sleep deprivation is only be tried and tested under laboratory conditions. They have passed and the clinical trials and the next stage of development is to deliver this onto the market. Neuro-stimulation – it seems – is going to go mainstream.

Neurostimulation is where currents (of a very low voltage) are used to stimulate the brain. When you stimulate these neurons you can begin to see noticeable changes in the way you feel, sleep and think. It can be used to treat depression, anxiety disorders and sleep problems. 

Companies like Khosla Ventures has already funded a start-up business THYNC, which involves the patient sporting a wearable on their temple to target specific neural pathways. These neural pathways determine the nature of many diseases including inflammatory issues.

The business has already seen many positive results going forward. The THYNC wearable has already helped several patients with skin conditions such as psoriasis as well as other inflammatory disorders.  

Read also: HomeKit Devices that are Beyond Amazing

So, what kind of things were these tests designed to expose? How did they discover that sleep disorders could become a thing of the past, just by stimulating neurons in the brain? Research was used on armed forces personnel while they played video games of a battle or war nature. 

The research allowed each member to be wired up to test the transcranial direct stimulus provided by the current. One group received 2 milliamps of stimulation, while the other group (as unbeknownst to them) received a mere 0.1 milliamps.

It goes without saying the group that received the higher dosage of stimulation fared much better in the battle simulation games as the group receiving just 0.1 milliamps. 

However, it is not simply insomnia that can be cured by neuro-stimulus; apps are already being designed to help with things like quitting smoking, weight loss and de-stressing. The app works by stimulating the vestibular nerve (located bottom behind the ear). 

The results in trials have been promising. More than 3,000 users began a weight-loss program in September 2017 and lost 4kg each on average in just two and half months.

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