A new study provides evidence that closed-loop acoustic stimulation can improve both sleep quality and work performance.Findings published in Journal of Applied Psychologysheds light on some of the real-world impacts of wearable sleep-enhancing devices.
Closed-loop acoustic stimulation is a technique used to enhance slow brain wave patterns during sleep. This involves the use of algorithms that acquire electroencephalogram (EEG) data from a sleeping person and plan out precisely timed auditory tones. These tones are played through headphones in a feedback loop to deepen your sleep.
“I’ve long been interested in the relationship between sleep and work,” said the study authors. Christopher M. BurnsProfessor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Management.
“As this research progressed, my interest shifted from simply pointing out the problems of poor sleep and poor sleep quality to considering partial solutions to these problems. The solution is to re-prioritize your life to ensure you get the sleep you need, but if you don’t have that solution, smaller, more practical solutions may help.”
Researchers conducted a longitudinal intrapersonal field experiment in 81 full-time employees from two organizations, a large university and a large data analysis firm, to find that closed-loop acoustic stimulation was associated with sleep quality and daytime activity. tested its effectiveness in improving job performance.
This sample consisted of full-time employees between the ages of 18 and 40 who self-selected from the study if they were aware of their hearing loss. Researchers randomly assigned participants to one of two conditions: treatment-first or control-first. Researchers turned the headband’s acoustic stimulation feature on (treatment) or off (control) while keeping everything else about the study the same.
The study was conducted for 20 consecutive days, 10 days in the treated condition and then 10 days in the control condition. The participant completed two daily surveys during data collection. The study authors sent out the morning survey at 6:00 AM each day. This survey included items to determine whether participants were adhering to sleep duration and quality procedures and measures. Daily afternoon surveys at 4:00 pm measured daily work engagement, task performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and unproductive work behavior.
Researchers found that closed-loop acoustic stimulation improved slow-wave sleep and positively impacted engagement, performance, and civic behavior (such as helping co-workers) the next day at work.
Burns told PsyPost, “Wearable devices such as these closed-loop acoustic stimulation headbands have the potential to improve sleep quality for some people.” This is especially helpful when there is no viable way to get more sleep.
Closed-loop acoustic stimulation tended to be more effective in younger employees, but was relatively ineffective in older employees. It shows that age is an important factor to consider when trying to get you to sleep.
“The biggest caveat is that these headbands don’t work for older people,” Barnes said. “The biggest question is what can be done to improve the quality of sleep for older people. As technology continues to advance, future versions of devices like this will eventually work for older people as well.” I hope you will.”
the study, “Use wearable technology (closed-loop acoustic stimulation) to improve sleep quality and work performancewas written by Chris M. Barnes, Cristiano Guarana, Jaewook Lee, and Ekonkar Kaur.