Could We Manage Our Energy Like Machines?

Remember the last time when you lacked energy before an important event? An exam, job interview, or a big presentation. Now imagine how it could have gone if only you were well-rested and alert.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an application or a device that could manage your alertness and sleep schedule so that you stay on top of your performance during that Monday call at 11:00 AM? Or imagine having an extremely important exam in the next few days and a lot to review. Would you rather give up on getting enough sleep or risk not doing your best when? Nowadays we can easily kill two birds with one stone.

Changes in the global economy have resulted in a change in work schedules. Working until very late or having to be available to one’s employee virtually 24/7 were rare if not, for technological reasons, impossible just a hundred years ago. This “flexibility” when it comes to work hours is the main factor behind the modern problem of work-induced fatigue. Although there are many different types of fatigue (muscular, mental, psychomotor, or chronic), there is still no universally accepted definition of it. The consequences of fatigue, however, understood as “sleepiness resulting from neurobiological processes regulating sleep and circadian rhythms,” vary from minor ailments to severe conditions, such as burnout, overstrain, and chronic fatigue syndrome. What is even more worrisome is that the correlation between fatigue and increased psychological distress, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes have been widely documented. Are there any effective remedies for this problem?

Starting from 1960, with a presentation of Colin Pittendrigh, an American biologist at the Cold Spring Harbour Symposium on circadian biology, the world turned its interest towards the possible biomathematical models of rest and activity schedules. The algorithms in these models attempt to predict employee efficiency based on different work patterns and the connection between work hours, sleep, and performance. There are multiple models in common use, but they are all more or less derived from the major two or three process models of alertness.

The issue of fatigue and its long-term effects on the human body will be often tackled on our blog, but what we can say now is that the Neuroon team is working on relevant algorithms to give the mask another very important feature: an energy consumption manager. We will be updating you on its functionality in later updates.

Did you know that:

  • Does short-term sleep deprivation have similar effects on waking time performance as moderate alcohol consumption?
  • chronic partial restriction of sleep time can have a greater negative influence on cognitive performance than much longer acute sleep deprivation?

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