Improving Sleep with NeuroLight

By reproducing optimal brain states for sleep, NeuroLight can improve quality of sleep.

Lack of sleep is a public health crisis. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than a third of American adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. And adults who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to report 10 chronic health conditions, including heart attacks, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression and more.1 100,000 deaths can be attributed to medical errors due to sleep deprivation.2 20% of car crash accidents and injuries are associated with sleepiness.3 7 of the 15 leading causes of death in the U.S. have been linked to reduced sleep duration.4 NeuroLight works on improving people’s ability to sleep — as well as the quality of their sleep — by recording sleep brain states in healthy sleepers and reproducing those states through neuromodulation and brain entrainment.

Sleep Brain States & Circadian Rhythms

While it may not appear so, sleep is an active and complex biological process. While in a sleep state, the brain and body perform a range of important tasks to keep a person healthy and functional.5
The sleep-wake cycle is regulated by the body’s circadian rhythms, the daily cycles synchronized with a master clock in the brain. This master clock is directly influenced by environmental stimuli — such as daylight.
When an individual’s circadian rhythms get out of sync, the person may experience significant sleeping problems including insomnia.6 By reproducing an optimal sleep state, NeuroLight may realign the sleep-wake cycle to promote the consistent, restorative sleep the body needs.

The Science of Sleep States

Wakefulness and sleep states have their own characteristic signatures. Sleep states are of particular interest, because each stage of sleep is (at least partially) defined by prominent rhythmic network activity in specific frequency bands. Sleep occurs in cycles, during which sleep alternates between two distinct modes: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. There are several (three or four, depending on classification) recognized stages of sleep each associated with specific bands of neural oscillations—brainwaves.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) divides NREM into three stages: N1, N2, and N3. (An older classification used to recognize four stages where N3 was subdivided into “delta sleep,” N3, and “slow-wave sleep,” N4. The sleep cycle proceeds as a succession of the non-REM sleep stages followed by the REM sleep: N1 → N2 → N3 → N2 → REM. REM sleep occurs as a person returns to stage 2 or 1 from a deep sleep.

First Stage
of Sleep

The first non-REM stage of sleep, N1, is referred to as relaxed wakefulness. During this transitional stage of falling asleep, the alpha waves (8–13 Hz) are dominant and are replaced with the theta waves (5–7 Hz) as the person is falling asleep.

Second Stage
of Sleep

The second non-REM stage of sleep, N2, is characterized by the dominance of the theta waves (5–7 Hz) and by the appearance of sleep spindles and K-complexes (single long delta waves that last for only a second).

Third Stage
of Sleep

The third non-REM stage of sleep, N3, is deep sleep, during which theta waves are replaced with delta waves (4 Hz and below). Classification of sleep stages is not based exclusively on the detection of a single, dominant frequency, but rather accounts for a series of criteria about frequency, amplitude, waveform shape, the occurrence of transient synchronized events (such as spindles and K-complexes), auxiliary signals about muscle tone and eye movements, and so forth.

Non-REM Slow-Save Deep Sleep

Some researchers recognize another stage of deep sleep, the non-REM slow-wave deep sleep, which is characterized by slow waves of 1 Hz and below. This stage is believed to be particularly important for consolidating short-term memory into long-term memory. Erosion of the slow-wave sleep is associated with memory loss and could be indicative — or, indeed, lead to — the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Sleep is regulated by two processes: circadian rhythms and sleep homeostasis.

Circadian rhythm is a 25-hour endogenous rhythm that regulates the waking-sleeping cycle. Sunlight entrains the brain to shorten the endogenous 25-hour cycle to a 24-hour cycle and synchronize it with the local time so that people sleep during the night and are awake during the day.

Sleep homeostasis is the healthy balance of sleep. When a person does not sleep enough, sleep deficit accumulates making the person sleepy, increasing the duration of total sleep time as well as increasing deep sleep periods. This catch-up continues until the person makes up lost hours of sleep. If a person sleeps too much, this pushes the pendulum in the other direction so that people sleep less.

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Future Applications for NeuroLight

Our promising neuromodulation technology and unique approach brain entrainment has a wide range of potential uses in medicine and other industries.

Reproducing optimal brain states can be beneficial in numerous applications.

Through future clinical studies, we hope to demonstrate how NeuroLight can provide benefits to other areas of health care, increase productivity for commercial spaces, and even provide new means of entertainment.

Potential Future Medical Applications for NeuroLight

  • Insomnia
  • Other sleep disorders
  • Neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia)
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Addiction
  • Mood disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety)
  • Obesity

Potential Future Non-Medical Applications for NeuroLight

Accelerated Learning
  • Motor Functions
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Fine motor skills
  • Cognitive Functions
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Neuroplasticity
Emotional Enhancement
  • Cinema
  • Media
  • Computer Games
  • VR
  • AR
  • Metaverse
  • Advertising

Attention & Concentration

The Flow State

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