About three months ago, I recently purchased a device called Apollo Neuro that has a few studies demonstrating its effectiveness in improving sleep, Heart Rate Variability, faster physical recovery, reduced anxiety and stress, and improved concentration. Since using the device, I have been sleeping better and can manage stress more effectively. This blog will be dedicated to explaining how the device works, and the various features within the device, giving you a run-through of how I use the device and highlighting some cool blogs on their website.
How Does Apollo Neuro Work?
The Apollo Wearable is a wearable that sends gentle vibrations to your body. The vibrations act as soothing silent sound waves that help calm you down. It is based on the idea that touch and emotional well-being are connected. When you feel something, touch receptors in the skin send these signals to the brain. It then branches off to the sensory cortex, which categories physical feel, and the emotional cortex, which generates feelings and emotions associated with that touch. The vibration or silent sound waves sent through the skin evoke a calming sensation in the emotional cortex. As people often feel stress and sometimes even chronic stress, Apollo Neuro is built on the principle that it helps calm you and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the recovery part of the nervous system. The calming emotions generated from the gentle touch vibration prompt you to feel safe and in control, enabling stress reduction and improvements in sleep quality. If done consistently over time (for at least 3 hours every day), you are likely to see benefits in a range of categories, including HRV, sleep metrics, and concentration.
Many blog posts and the website from Apollo Neuro detail the various studies that have displayed the device’s effectiveness. I will encourage you to look through the studies if you are interested. There are also 9 more clinical studies currently occurring with different stress-related conditions. Some results of the studies include a 19% average increase in deep sleep, a 14% average increase in REM Sleep, a 5% average increase in total sleep, a 11% average increase in HRV, up to 25% increase in focus and concentration, a 40% average reduction in stress levels for nurses, greater than 10% average faster physical recovery, and 50% faster access to meditative states from non-meditators.
What are the features of Apollo Neuro?
At the time of my this blog, there are currently seven programs you can choose from. There is 1) Energy and Wake up (options include 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 1 hour), this gives you a boost of energy and is excellent when you are feeling tired. I usually use this in the morning when I am making breakfast to provide me with more energy. 2) Social and Open (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 120 minutes), this elevates mood and energy to relieve stress in social situations and is also great for creativity. 3) Clear and Focused (15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes), this filters distractions and help you settle your nerves for clear, calm focus. Using this to start flow or help yourself focus when completing a task is best. 4) Rebuild and Recover (5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes). This accelerates your body’s recovery and can be used after physical or mental stress, exercise, or if you want a recovery boost. 5) Meditation and Mindfulness (15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes) is best to create a feeling of zen or induce a calm, flow state. 6) Relax and Unwind (15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes), which is helpful to relieve stress and induce deep relaxation rapidly. 7) Sleep and Renew (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 120 minutes), which helps quiet your mind and help you ease into a deep and restful sleep.
Before starting the programs, the first thing you need to do is to put on the device. You can wear it as a band around your wrist or ankle or use the clip, which you can put on your shirt collar, bra strap, or waistband. I prefer to use the band around my wrist. There is a scheduling feature that enables you to run the programs automatically. I like to select the programs myself. Utilising the button on the side of the device, you can start or stop programs and change the intensity of the vibrations. My vibration level is an average of 25% for most programs but only 10% for sleep. It is recommended that you can only barely feel the vibrations. A point where they are not distracting, but you can still feel a gentle vibration. You can also select your favourite frequency, program, and duration, so it is easier to click through what is most valuable. The profile page tracks the amount you use the device, the number of total minutes you have used Apollo Neuro, the streaks or consecutive days you have used the device, and some medals to recognise your achievements.
How do I typically use this device?
When I use the device, I normally focus on the parasympathetic related programs, which include Meditation/Mindfulness, Rebuild and Recover, Relax and Unwind, and Sleep and Renew. I usually use Meditation/Mindfulness when I meditate in the morning (for 1 hour) and rebuild and recover whenever I am eating or relaxing during the day ( 2-3 hours). I normally start my relax and unwind at 8 PM to 10 PM (2 hours) when I start to do my pre-sleep routine, and then I will use the sleep one right before I go to bed (2 hours). If I wake up during the night, I use the two buttons on the device to turn it on again to help me fall asleep again.
When I am feeling sluggish when I wake up, and after I have meditated, I normally put on the Energy and Wake up to give me a little boost. I will use the concentration program if I feel I am easily distracted and cannot focus on my tasks. When I do socialise, feel that I need creativity, or hang out with friends, I put the Social and Open program to help relax me and give me more benefits associated with connecting with people.
I do not use Apollo Neuro when work out, am going to get wet (in a shower, beach, etc., because it is not waterproof, only water resistant), or drive a car. Although, some blogs have detailed that some programs are useful for people while they are driving if you are curious. I need to take my Apollo Neuro off and charge it once a day which I typically do when working out or getting some work done, so it does not reduce the amount of time that I can use the device
Some Cool Blog Posts from Apollo Neuro
The first blog I will cover is “How to increase your deep sleep so you wake up refreshed & move through your day without friction.” It discusses why deep sleep is critical for our recovery and overall health and some strategies like getting morning light and avoiding late-night meals. The second blog is “The art & science of self-soothing: how to calm your overactive nervous system,” which describes some important information about the autonomic nervous system and its overaction in the modern day, and some strategies, such as deep breathing, high-intensity interval training, and gratitude and soothing touch to promote feelings of safety. The final blog post I will mention is “A guide to cortisol management,” explaining what leads to increased levels of cortisol or the stress hormone in the body, the side effects of chronically high cortisol levels, and details how it relates to the overall stress response in the human body.
If you are keen on investing in a device that is beneficial for your sleep and overall well-being, I recommend purchasing Apollo Neuro. It has helped me in many domains and is even supported scientifically. I am excited to see what Apollo Neuro can do in the future and to read about the findings of all their clinical studies.