Muse S is a tool that uses advanced EEG technology (electro encephalography) and biofeedback to help you refocus during the day and recover each night. The technology pairs a free app that you download to your smartphone from either the Google Play Store or Apple’s Store and a headband device. Communication between the app and the headband device is performed via Bluetooth.
Once communication is established you then put on your favorite headphones and sit or sleep in a comfortable position, or if your training, you proceed as you normally would.
You can select between two modes – Sleep or Meditation. The technology will then produce in your ears some soothing sounds that respond to the fluctuations of your mind & body.
One of the best descriptions of the experience is that given by Konia:
“The Muse S is a fantastic device, beautifully designed, and the first sleep headband I’ve tried that’s actually comfortable enough to wear to bed…it’s useful not only for falling asleep, but also for general meditation purposes… The device itself looks and feels super-premium… You could wear this in public without attracting much attention…Most importantly, it’s super comfortable to wear. It feels like you’re wearing a normal headband I often forget I have it on, and have worn it all day without any problems, no headaches or anything.”
“I’m also able to sleep comfortably while wearing it, which makes it the first sleep headband I’ve tried that’s actually comfortable enough to use for its intended purpose.”
The big downside with the technology at the time was that the app wasn’t much good, it was pretty bad in fact. It didn’t support any sleep tracking features, so it was only useful for falling asleep, not monitoring your sleep.
The good news though is that a new app is still in beta testing, plus, Interaxon, the company behind the technology, is a solid company that’s been around for a while and considered the industry leader in this space. What this means is that it’s unlikely you’ll get stuck with a useless paperweight, as happens so often with products sold on Kickstarter.
What can the Muse S do for you
- The technology can teach you to tune in and relax your mind and body. It uses soundscapes to guide you in a way that enables you to find your focus during the day – or to lull you to sleep at night.
- If you wear the headband overnight you’ll be able to review sleep insights including a personalized sleep efficiency score, sleep staging, deep sleep insights and points, sleep positioning, heart rate and stillness.
- You can also use the technology to set reminders and goals, to level up with challenges, and measure your progress in the Muse app to stay on track with your sleep routine and your meditation practice.
The Muse S does not come with speakers, so if you’re buying it to help you sleep, it will be a good idea to look into what audio device you use with it. Headphones may not be the best option in this case. But you can buy a Dreampad sleep pillow. The Dreampad sleep pillow delivers sound via bone induction rather than conventional speakers. This means that when your head is on the pillow, you’re immersed in the sound, without the discomfort of speakers or ear buds.
Why are these things above important and how does the Muse S help?
- For those with high blood pressure the technology used in this device (breathing meditation) has been proved scientifically to bring big benefits. Plus, the Muse S achieves this benefit without using a pressure sensor to detect your breathing or wired ear buds, something that makes similar technologies that use sensors and ear buds very inconvenient to use.
- The Muse S is specifically designed as a sleep aid. So, if you’re the kind of person that often has trouble falling asleep, the Muse S will come in handy, especially given that it super-comfortable to sleep with it on.
- The Muse S is especially helpful if you have both these conditions above – high blood pressure and sleep problems. Plus, it could replace the high blood pressure medication as Konia testifies in this review. The body has a way of getting used to some of these high blood pressure pills, which means you have to switch to a different drug, or to take a higher dose. Konia lowered blood pressure from 140/90 to 100/70, and “the effect is both cumulative and persistent thought the day and will actually last for several days without meditating.”
Summary: A lot of us have sleep problems these days, what with our minds getting over-stimulated throughout the day from using devices a lot, from overworking sometimes, etc. The Muse S will help you to leverage the benefits of meditation and help you sleep better at nigh days when you have trouble sleeping. You can also use the device to reduce anxiety and stress.
Is the Muse S worth the money?
Some reviewers think it’s over-priced, but if it can potentially take you off of expensive high blood pressure medication, I would say it’s worth the price! If you’re into high endurance training, it might boost your performance with its meditation enhancing and and mind-control features.
If you have a serious sleep problem, the Muse S looks like a high-performance tool that will be worth every penny in my opinion – because it works really well by all accounts.
Can the Muse S help with sleep problems such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome?
Sleep apnea is the condition where you fail to get enough rest, although you’re “asleep” most of the night – meaning you’re not aware that you’re sleepless. What happens is that you go from fully asleep to half asleep many more times than is normal and by the morning you have had less than your recommended hours of full sleep.
With such a condition, yes, the technology will help, if you keep the technology running all night.
As for restless leg syndrome, your guess is as good as mine, but given that the technology uses biofeedback, it stands a good chance! Restless leg syndrome basically is caused by what scientists call “venous backflow” which means that blood that should flow back to the arteries in your lower leg area and on to the heart and lungs doesn’t do that. Instead it flows back into the veins – or something like that.
This means it fails to get oxygenated, which means it stresses the nerves in your lower legs, by starving them of much needed oxygen, a situation that manifests as heat or paralysis or asphyxiation in these parts (or something similar – I’m not a doctor!)
But, biofeedback basically consists of measuring a person’s level of stress while thinking of, or experiencing, various things. The current stress level is then fed back to the person in real time, usually by some form of measurable indicator signal.
You can then discover the mental exercises that aid in reducing the stress factor – through trial and error. Eventually you get to use those exercises in everyday situations without biofeedback assistance.
It could be that with restless leg syndrome some physical and emotional stress factors are at work that could benefit from this sort of biofeedback. This is just my opinion and I haven’t tried the Muse S to relieve restless leg syndrome! I’m not a doctor but I have suffered from restless leg syndrome and I can attest that it can deprive you of a good night’s sleep. But I realized that it yields to massage and relaxation in the lower leg area.
Progressive muscular relaxation is something the Muse S looks like it can help a lot with.
And this concludes our review of the Muse S by Interaxon, a technology that promises to help you with managing stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, also to super-charge your mediation sessions and to guarantee a good night’s sleep. I don’t know about you but just for guaranteeing a good night’s sleep, in these hectic times, it’s worth every penny in my humble opinion!