Mind Rocket, LLC is currently involved in a Kickstarter campaign to produce the Sleep Shepherd sleep hat for a better night’s sleep. The Colorado Springs startup is attempting to make its idea a reality and introduce the first at-home sleep device that monitors brainwaves to determine the wearer’s state and uses that information in a biofeedback loop to help wearers fall asleep quickly and move to a deeper sleep state through binaural tones.
The Sleep Shepherd assists the wearer in getting to sleep by slowing the brain down. Dr. Michael Larson, Ph.D., mechanical engineering professor at M.I.T, created the Virtual Hammock Technology that induces a rhythmic sensation of “side-to-side swaying” by employing the natural workings of the brain’s auditory center. Nerves that are hard-wired in the human brain stem are stimulated by signals from the ears; when wearing the Sleep Shepherd, a person “hears” a rhythmic pulse which is actually the brain interpreting the difference in frequency between the two tones that are played into each ear. This gives off the sensation that the wearer is in a hammock.
The sensors within the hat monitor the wearer’s brainwaves and adjust as brain activity slows. It automatically shuts off specialized tones when the brain has reached a “sleepy state”. The hat will continue to monitor the wearer’s brainwaves and movement throughout the night—ready to come back on whenever necessary. It does not alter the brain’s chemistry or create dependency, unlike pharmaceutical approaches.
Currently, Mind Rocket, LLC has raised $27,953 of its $50,000 goal through the Kickstarter campaign. The deadline to meet the goal is October 30, 2014. If all goes well, the Sleep Shepherd is set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this January. More information about the Kickstarter campaign can be found here.