Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

iBand+ headband to measure and improve sleep and dreaming

iBand+ headband to measure and improve sleep and dreaming

For this project, the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour teams up with Arenar B.V. to develop and further improve the EEG recording headband iBand+ to measure and improve sleep and dreaming.

Sleep is vital for mental and bodily health: disturbed sleep increases the risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease; psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders; and age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. As up to a third of society suffers from poor sleep quality or short sleep, the burden is not only for the affected individuals, but also for the health system and economy.

Sleep measurements of reasonable quality typically require laboratory recordings that are effortful and expensive. This project will develop and further improve iBand+, a smart EEG brain-sensing headband to measure and improve sleep. First, smart machine learning strategies will allow to automatically analyze EEG signals and differentiate different sleep stages. Second, mild acoustic stimulation precisely timed to slow brain waves indicative of deep sleep will improve sleep quality. Third, mild visual stimulation techniques associated with brief mindfulness exercises with increase the chance of experiencing lucid dreaming – mindful dream experiences that have been associated with increased creativity, motor skill learning and reduced nightmares.

As a whole, the project thus aims to develop and refine a smart and affordable wearable system to measure and improve sleep and dreaming, thereby contributing to the alleviation of what has recently been termed a global sleep-loss epidemic.