Philips just came out with a new headband that plays white noise to help your brain get to sleep.
Although Philips’ headband looks like an ill-formed diaper, its weird design attaches built-in sensors to your forehead in order to detect brain activity. Then it shares that data with a connected mobile app. When deep sleep is detected, the headband’s speakers will start playing white noise in a slowly repeating pattern, which Philips claims will reinforce a good night’s sleep.
A startup announced a similarly strange-looking headband called Dreem built for the same purpose of playing white noise as you sleep last June, and it’s currently on sale for a hefty $499.
While the Philips headband doesn’t look that comfortable or reliable, small pilot studies on the effect of noise on deep sleep have suggested that it might help older adults achieve better sleep and stronger memory. But since those studies are in really small groups, the findings may not hold up.
What we do know is that sleep is important, and according to a 2016 CDC report, one in three adults in the US don’t get enough of it. Is it worth wearing an expensive, diaper-looking contraption every night to bed? That’s debatable.
The Philips SmartSleep headband will be available this spring in the US, and it will cost $399.99, which at least is cheaper than Dreem.