If you need a better night’s sleep you can either kick the chickens out of your bed (true story) or try something like the NeuroOn. Designed to work as a sleep mask and neural sensor, the system knows when you are in deep REM sleep and slowly wakes you when you will be most alert and refreshed. It also allows DIY sleep experimenters to take cat naps during the day, opening up whole new vistas of unexplored work time between 2 am and the crack of dawn.
The NeuroOn is primarily designed to enable polyphasic sleep. By cutting sleep into chunks – Da Vinci tended to sleep 20 minutes every four hours, it is said – you can reduce the amount of bed time you need. The founder, Kamil Adamczyk, created the device when he was studying and trying to start a company.
“It was terrible experience switching,” he said. “But the results were amazing.” He had more time to study and work. Using the skills he learned he built a prototype NeuroOn mask. The system currently measures a number of things including EEG, EOG and EMG as well as eye tracking. Using low-energy Bluetooth it connects to your phone and will vibrate and light when it’s time to wake up. It fits snugly on the head like a sleep mask and keeps light out completely.
I’ve used a number of prototypes of this device and was quite impressed with the verve with which Adamczyk expressed his love of the product and his mission. While I was never able to actually sleep with this thing on, he does promise that it will start you on the road to Tesla-like productivity – provided you’re willing to wear it with other people in the room. I first met the team in Warsaw and they subsequently showed up at Disrupt in SF and Berlin, presumably doing all this while sleeping a few hours a day.
You can get the mask for a pledge of $225 and they expect to deliver by May of next year. While I can’t see all of us hitting the polyphasic trail, the mask is also a good sleep aid and will wake you gently and without much fuss when you need to be woken.
“People should buy it if they’re working really hard and sleeping irregularly,” said Adamczyk. Sounds like all of us.