How Apple Neglected Sleep

by Admin 20, October 2014
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Apple is launching its newest innovative product in 4 years, the Apple Watch, the companies’ first wearable device. This watch is water-proof and comes in 3 different styles (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition) with 2 different touch screen sizes (1.5 for women and 1.7 for men).

What’s even more special about this Apple Watch is the potential to “revolutionize” personal healthcare, via the devices pairing with Apples’ new iPhone and health kit software. With health data monitoring becoming a worldwide trend; Apple has reportedly hired experts in sleep research, fitness and nutrition. “Apple Watch gives us the ability to motivate people to be more active and healthy,” Apple CEO Tim Cook stated. The watch can track movement and your heart rate with its sensors on the back of the device. There will be two apps specifically dedicated to fitness.

Among the experts hired to work on Apples highly anticipated project, is Roy J.E.M Raymann. Roy is an expert researcher on sleep, who has extensive experience on wearables, sensors, and non-pharmacological methods of improving sleep quality.  Unfortunately, CEO, Tim Cook was quoted saying “…We think that based on our experience of wearing these (The Apple Watch) that the usage of them will be really significant throughout the day. So we think you’ll want to charge them every night, similar to what a lot of people do with their phone.” 

Tracking sleep patterns has been a major area of focus for popular fitness tracking products on the market. However, the Apple Watch does not track sleep. Almost every wrist-worn activity tracking device offers sleep tracking.  Misfit, Fitbit, & Withings Pulse O2 to name a few, are some of the top sleep and fitness tracking modules.

Because of its advanced features and demanding power requirements, it is expected that users will charge the Apple Watch at night while asleep. The Watch is also a bit bulky and can be uncomfortable to sleep in.  We believe Apple will undoubtedly do a great job at tracking your conscious health, yet it’s lack of data tracking ability in regards to sleep, is a real let down.  Once again Apple’s battery life gets called into question, and this time, it’s the reason 1/3 of your life will not be tracked by Apple’s health kit software. We’re unsure why Apple would go through the hassle and expense to hire a sleep expert but we’re hoping this is proof that they will implement some form of sleep tracking in the near future.

What are your thoughts? 

Will you buy the Apple Watch because of its “revolutionary” health kit or do you believe that the health kit is not complete without a practical sleep tracker?

 

The Power of the Brain During Sleep

by Admin 18, September 2014
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Many of us thought our minds completely shut down during sleep; incapable of processing information and making informed decisions.  Recent studies have proven otherwise.

A study published in Current Biology, showed that complex stimuli can not only be processed while we sleep but that this information can also be used to make decisions; similar to being awake. When we’re asleep, the brain regions critical for paying attention or implementing instructions are shut down, which makes it impossible to start performing a task.  The study, instead, tested for a continuance of decision making in the brain after sleep onset; by providing participants with an automatized task just before falling asleep.

Participants in the study were asked to categorize words in two specific groups by pressing a left or right button.  One category had “real words” such as hammer, cat, hat etc.  The other category contained pseudo-words.   A pseudo-word is one that could exist in a language in that all of its sounds and combinations are permitted, but it has no meaning whatsoever such as fabu, and piggle.  Once the task of identifying the word and categorizing it became almost automatic, participants were asked to continue to respond to the words, but were permitted to fall asleep.  Participants were being hosted in a dark room in a laying down position, which ushered most participants to close their eyes and fall asleep.

EEG electrodes were placed on participant’s heads to monitor their state of vigilance.  Once they were asleep, participants were given new words from the same categories.  While asleep, participants stopped pressing buttons, BUT their brains were still responding to the words.  Researchers looked at the activity in the motor areas of the brain, as it is possible to see whether someone is preparing a response and toward which side. Applying this method to the sleeping participants showed that even during sleep, participants’ brains continued to routinely prepare for right and left responses.

As the participants awoke and the experiment came to an end the participants who fell asleep had no memory of the words they heard during their sleep.  Participants confidently recalled the words they heard while they were awake.  So not only did the test subjects process complex information while being completely asleep, but they did it unconsciously, with no memory of the decision making occurring.

As studies continue to come out on the impact of sleep and the brain, it is easy to see we still have much to learn.  We know that good sleep has great mental, physical and emotional benefits and bad sleep has the exact opposite, but the effects of good and bad sleep on the brain is still being studied and researched.  We are excited to see the advancements in sleep research and are happy to bestow this information onto our friends, customers, followers and other sleep enthusiasts.

 

Sleep Deprivation can cause a decline in Brain Volume

by Admin 9, September 2014
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Sleep Deprivation can cause a decline in Brain Volume:

According to a University of Oxford study researchers said, “Sleep repairs and restores the brain.” They surveyed 147 adults, aged between 20 and 84 years, about sleep habits to determine the relationship between sleep difficulties and brain volume. The survey pertained to sleep duration, how long it took subjects to fall asleep, and the use of sleeping medications. All participants also underwent two brain scans.

 Researchers found that sleep difficulties caused a rapid decline in brain volume in frontal, temporal and parietal areas. The impact was higher in participants above the age of 60.

Author Claire E. Sexton, in a press release stated, "It is not yet known whether poor sleep quality is a cause or consequence of changes in brain structure, There are effective treatments for sleep problems, so future research needs to test whether improving people's quality of sleep could slow the rate of brain volume loss." If that is the case, improving people's sleep habits could be an important way to improve brain health."

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