URGOnight is a novel sleep training device designed to improve your ability to get to sleep, and stay asleep, through the use of neurofeedback and brain training. The system, comprising an EEG headset and accompanying mobile app, is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo.
Consumer electroencephalography (EEG) headsets have been around in various forms for several years and are generally based around a psychophysiological principle called neurofeedback. This involves a subject watching some kind of brain activity display in real-time, and using certain exercises to try to directly regulate specific brain functions.
In the past we have seen neurofeedback EEG headsets designed to help you relax, improve focus, and even enhance one's ability to lucid dream. URGOnight, the latest iteration of the technology, promises to improve your sleep by training you to better control your SMR, or sensorimotor rhythm – an idle brainwave rhythm thought to engender deep relaxation and ultimately enhance sleep quality.
The URGOnight is claimed to help a user better generate SMR brainwave states on demand, with the headset comprising four electrodes that measure brain activity. The headset pairs with a smartphone app that guides the user through different exercises geared towards helping induce the ideal SMR state for relaxation and sleep. The company claims after around one month of 20-minute sessions, three times per week, a user should begin to notice the results.
And those results are claimed to be an ability to fall asleep faster, and sleep more solidly through the night without frequent waking. Since the device is a training system it does not need to be worn at night or in bed. Instead, the goal of the system is to teach a user effective techniques that can be used at night when falling asleep.
There is not a large volume of scientific research to suggest this kind of SMR neurofeedback training actually works to improve sleeping habits. The company behind URGOnight does quote two studies to back up its claims, although it is worth noting both studies are relatively small and were not testing this particular URGOnight system.
Still, these consumer-grade EEG-based neurofeedback devices are fascinating, offering individuals compelling ways to try and biohack their own brainwaves. The URGOnight certainly looks to be one of the more sophisticated units made to date but that sleek design will come at a price. The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is offering the device at an earlybird rate of US$249, moving up to $299 soon, before ending up at a retail price of $500.