According to NPR, approximately 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year. While there are plenty of medications on the market designed to help this issue, Dr. Michael Larson was inspired to create a drug-free alternative.
The Sleep Shepherd Blue headband is a wearable device that tracks brain waves and uses binaural beats to help users relax into a deeper sleep at night. Binaural beats are created when two separate signals of varying frequencies are fed into each ear and the brain tries to compensate for the difference by producing a third signal. Dr. Larson was inspired to create his product by studies that suggest these pulsations can give listeners a better perceived night's sleep.
There are other devices for sale that claim to use binaural beats to improve sleep, but this one is unique in that it also monitors brain waves. The band starts by steadily playing the beats into each ear, and then gradually slows them until it senses that you've fallen asleep. Even after the signals have stopped, the headband continues to track your brain waves through built-in sensors. If it senses that you're about to wake up, the beats begin to play again until you've fallen back into a deep slumber.
The headband also records your sleep patterns, the amount of time spent asleep, and the position of your head throughout the night. After the device gently wakes you up (oh yeah, it has an alarm function as well), you can check out an analysis of your sleep habits on the companion app. Sleep Shepherd Blue is currently available for preorder on Kickstarter, where the campaign has already surpassed its goal of $25,000 more than 10 times over. Delivery is estimated for May of this year.