I’m one of the estimated 40% of people who suffer from moderate to severe sleep deprivation so when I was offered the chance to review the ‘NightWave Sleep Assistant
Sleep deprivation is a terrible affliction that causes irritability, moodiness and judgment impairment so if anyone throws a new option my way to combat it; I’m not going to say no.
How Does It Work?
Ok, first we’ll start with what exactly is the NightWave Sleep Assistant and how does it work.
NightWave is a small box that emits a soft blue light into your darkened bedroom. As the blue light is projected, its brightness gently increases and decreases. What you do is watch the light and as it slowly brightens you breathe in and as it slowly dims you breathe out. Over time, the speed at which it brightens and dims becomes slower and slower as does your breathing because it is synchronized with it. Eventually after a preset amount of time it will finally reduce in brightness for the last time and switch off. If you are not asleep already you roll over and drift off into a deep and restful sleep.
There’s no sound emitted so if you have a partner there’s no need to worry because they can simply close there eyes. The soft blue light will not penetrate their eyelids and disturb heir sleep.
How to Use It
That’s the science part out of the way, so now to the best part – trying it out.
After opening the box, I pulled out the small unit and placed a 9v battery into the slot. Then, of course, I read the instructions!
First I pressed the mode button to select a sleep session which is an amount of time that it will emit light for. The available options are 7 and 25 minutes. They suggest in the instructions that you first try the preferred option of 7 minutes so, despite my reservations about the shortness of the mode, that’s what I did. I then placed the unit on my bedside table so that it would project the light onto the ceiling (if you prefer, you can have the unit project the light onto a wall). After that I quickly turned the light off and slipped into bed and began to gaze, but not stare, at the ceiling. As the light increased and decreased in brightness I slowly breathed in and out. As recommended in the instructions, I used abdominal breathing which means that with each intake of breath you allow your belly area to expand instead of your chest; as you breathe out, your belly returns to its normal position. I’ve practiced abdominal breathing before so it came naturally for me. If you haven’t, just breath as you normally would and practice some abdominal breathing during the daytime.
Well, the first results were fantastic, I remember I was still awake when the unit completed its 7 minutes but I just rolled over and fell into a deep sleep. Since then I’ve also experimented with the 25 minute interval and 9 times out of 10 I’ve been asleep by the time the unit has completed its run. Even though the 7 minute mode worked for me, I like the thought that I’ll be asleep by the time the unit completes so I always use the 25 minute mode now.
Not only do I struggle with getting to sleep on time but I often wake up during the night requiring a bathroom break or because I feel uncomfortable. Now, before I had the NightWave, getting back to sleep felt like a battle of wills between me and my alarm clock. The alarm clock would invariably win and I would congratulate it on its latest victory as I wearily dragged myself out of bed in the morning as it taunted me with its triumph song. Well since I got my NightWave, there is a new king in town. Now when I wake up in the night, I simply lean over and flick the unit back on for 25 minutes. Gazing at the soft blue light on the ceiling as I slowly fall asleep sure beats staring at the alarm clock for 3 hours!
As I say, it worked for me straight away but they say in the instructions that it may take a little getting used to at first. My advice is to persevere and practice your abdominal breathing because the results are well worth it in the end.
The great thing is that since I got the NightWave I’ve kissed goodbye to all the over-the-counter and prescription drugs I used take in my vain attempts to get a good nights sleep. Sure, the drugs used to send me to sleep but it didn’t feel like I’d slept the next morning!
Not only has the quality of my sleep improved but my pockets are not as empty as they used to be. My only cost now is the occasional 9v battery replacement when the old one runs out.
Ok, if you’re interested, it’s over to a bit more science stuff now…
Ok, That’s Great But Why Does It Work?
When we breathe deeply, particularly whilst practicing abdominal breathing, the parasympathetic branch of our involuntary nervous system is activated which causes our body to relax. This reduces the tension in our muscles, stabilizes our heart rate and normalizes our blood pressure. When this state is entered, restless thoughts evaporate from our mind, our eyelids become heavy and we drift into a deep sleep.
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Category: Sleep Aids and Solutions