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Can a $350 headband deliver better sleep?

Sleep is the next battleground on which the crusade for wearable health will be waged. Smartwatch and fitness strap creators have been dipping their collective toes in the sea for a few years now, but there’s only so much that can be done from the wrist.

I wrote a CES trend piece earlier this week that examined what the category is going to look like in the upcoming years. It’s understandably reasonably scattershot at the moment, with everything from smart beds to alarm clocks to gel cooling headbands. It’s a lot of different firms with different form ingredients presenting different solutions to the same simple problem: help your tech-addicted, stress-plagued brain get a decent night’s sleep for formerly in your life.

The Muse S was — and continues to be — the one I’m most energized about. That’s due in part to the fact that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the company’s first-generation project. As a self-diagnosed Dude Who Is Bad at Meditation, I encountered the brain-scanning tech legitimately helpful. If musing is akin to flexing a muscle, the Muse headband is quite good at helping you define which muscle to flex.

The S promises to extend that technology up to and beyond bedtime. Moves impression. Sleep is certainly a logical jumping from mindfulness rehearsal — and certainly the two things feed into each other nicely. Better meditation generally leads to better sleep, and vice versa.

I was able to pick up the new headset for CES and began use it at the indicate — talk about a trial by fire. Because I was using it on the road, certain aspects have really hurried out at me. The is removed from a strict plastic material to fabric with a modular sensor unit is big beyond the obvious ability to wear the headset to bed( sleeping with it is another story, depending on your own attires ).

The win for me here is portability. A manoeuvre I can take apart and safely stick in my crate is a big deal for me. I’m on the road a lot these days, and between the plane and the hotel rooms, it can be tough to set aside time to meditate. The constant pinball machine of go regions has also severely mucked up my already iffy sleep habits. Putting on the headband, depositing in my AirPods and only being still for a while is a good ritual to cultivate.

The Muse app pieces a number of guided reflection and sleep periods available via due( suppose Calm/ Headspace ). Seems like it would be a win-win to partner with one of the existing services, but these days every hardware startup needs a content play. The furnishes are generally pretty solid, if a bit restraint, though I located myself more drawn to ambient soundscapes rather than speak guides.

One annoyance that carries over from earlier copies is the required calibration before meditation. It’s not the worst thing, but it does add an extra minute or so to your morning routine.

The original reflection is still my favorite flake now. The more the Muse smells your judgment wandering, the more the bang of rainwater mounts. Once you regain focus, the flood dies down and fledglings have begun to sing. There’s a gamified( an annoying command that is even more annoying in the context of meditation) characteristic where you’re given a tally of birds at the end. It’s a silly little Portlandian appearance, but it’s beneficial in an era when Fitbit and the like have improved us to quantify our own health and habits.

The jury is still out on the sleep side for me. I’d love to revisit the topic in a few weeks and let you know if things have improved. I’m still reasonably restless, and using a headband takes going used to. There also are some practical things to deal with. For one thing, the band appears to work best when the sensor is positioned with the superpower light-colored facing down, but then the illuminate is glowing in your eyes. I’ve taken to frame on a sleep mask. I’m gradually turning myself into Darth Vader each night before berthed. It’s fine; I’m sure he slept like a baby.

The Muse S shall be granted for a not insignificant $350. A time of the guided musing assistance will extend you close to $ 100( though that’s rejected to $55 right now ). The pricing is still prohibitively expensive for most consumers. I will, however, be continuing my experience with the maneuver. If it helps me sleep well without self-medication, it’s a small cost to pay.

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