Muse, the creator of the original meditation headband, which analyses your mind using a research-grade EEG device and plays sounds that are tailor-made for you, has come up with a sleep device.
The Softband as it has been called will act in much the same way to the original headband but will tailor the experience for sleep. Sounds will be softer, and the device will automatically turn off once it detects that the user is no longer awake. It will also measure and analyse sleep patterns, make recommendations and show progress to the user – in a sense, turning sleep into a competitive sport, or at least a measurable activity.
The concept is based on sleep meditation and competitors in the app space such as Calm and Headspace both offer what they claim to be advanced sleep meditations. The sales pitch for Muse is that the headband removes the guesswork and allows users to see their progress at a tangible level. The band itself resembles a traditional sweatband and is said to be comfortable enough during sleep once you get used to it.
The cynic would say, and many have, that meditation and mindfulness products are reaching a level of ridiculousness. Not unlike toothbrushes during the mid to late 1990s, products are being improved for no other reason than to give consumers something else to purchase. But the Muse Softband does create an interesting subcategory that will no doubt be of interest to many people. Those who can’t sleep and as a result suffer from medical issues such as nervous exhaustion may potentially benefit from a product like this. Understanding why natural sleep isn’t occurring, and knowing what measures work and which ones don’t will no doubt be useful information not only to the sufferer but also their doctor. The most important factor will be whether the information itself sheds useful light on the inputs required for a restful night’s sleep.