One of the reasons I find the consumer sleep tech market so interesting is the sheer variety of innovative technologies that entrepreneurs and startups companies are employing, all in the common goal of helping to solve sleep problems.
White noise, light therapy, guided breathing, active cooling, snore detection, meditation, neurofeedback – all of these, and many more techniques are part of a dynamic and constantly evolving landscape in the battle for better sleep.
One of the most recent and perhaps most unfamiliar sleep solutions to hit the marketplace is a technique known as PEMF (pulsed electromnagnetic field) therapy. PEMF technology isn’t new, it’s been studied and practised for decades as a drug-free, non-invasive method of pain relief, but also as a means to promote better sleep.
We covered a consumer PEMF product, the SR1 Delta Sleeper a couple of years back, but now there’s a new contender, Welltiss Mind – an app-based wearable specifically designed to improve sleep, concentration and relieve stress.
We reached out to Welltiss CEO Andrej Regorsek, to find out more.
Jeff Mann (JM): Can you tell us your background and where did the inspiration for Welltiss Mind come from?
Andrej Regorsek (AR): By nature and I am a technical type and for several years I have been involved in development and sales projects for various mobile phone network providers. You can imagine that I spent a lot of time in front of the screen and over time began to realize that staring at the screen just before bed has a strong impact on my sleep quality.
And in 2014, as a co-founder, I was invited to join a startup team looking for a solution to sleep problems. Based on PEMF technology and in combination with the app, we developed a very innovative product for that time. Welltiss Mind device is the result of my further research and development story and represents a new technical milestone in this field.
JM: Can you give us an elevator pitch for Welltiss Mind?
AR: Welltiss Mind device improves sleep, concentration, reduces stress, & more, combining ancient traditions and modern technology. Controlled by the app it uses non-invasive and FDA approved technology to actively influence positive change in your daily life by emitting pulses at specific frequencies, optimized to attain a desired state of mind, at any given moment.
Each of the Welltiss Mind’s five mode settings emits extra-low frequency electromagnetic pulses. These pulses gently coax the natural, non-invasive frequencies of your mind and body to speed up or slow down and match your desired mood. Our ability to transition through these frequencies determines how successful we are at managing stress, focusing & getting a good night’s sleep. We’ve adapted this technology to make a product that is wearable daily and affordable to everybody.
JM: Welltiss Mind is PEMF device. Can you explain what PEMF is, and its broad range of applications?
AR: Magnets and electricity were both used for medical treatment well before the existence of PEMF devices. Even though PEMF therapy is not the same thing as static magnetic therapy or electrotherapy, they share some history. PEMF devices allow you to control the frequency of the EMFs, the strength of the field, and when the field is active. Some people still confuse PEMF with “therapies” like magnetic bracelets, but this is not accurate. Mitochondria, the battery packs of your cells, and how strong they are affects everything you do.
PEMF therapy uses bursts of low-level and non-invasive electromagnetic radiation to heal damaged tissues and bone, to relieve injury-related pain, and even to stimulate organs such as the brain. The therapeutic frequency of PEMFs look a lot like the frequencies you encounter in nature, so your body knows how to deal with it. Most PEMF treatments and maintenance will fall in the 5-30 Hz range, which is less than you get from a thunderstorm. PEMF is catching on as a non-invasive way to approach injuries, chronic pain, and even chronic conditions like depression and diabetes.
JM: Can you explain specifically how PEMF can help with sleep? Is Welltiss Mind better suited for certain sleep issues than others? The slowest of the brainwaves, Delta brainwaves take place during our deepest, usually dreamless stages of sleep, allowing the brain to restore itself
AR: Studies of brainwave electrical activity recordings have found different stages of sleep, with there being 2 primary stages: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM). These stages are different in intensity and frequency of the brainwave activity. NREM sleep makes up about 80% of total sleep time in the adult. The most critical and restorative part of NREM sleep occurs when Delta brainwaves take place, usually in the first 3 hours of sleep. This time is also called Delta sleep, the time in which the brainwave patterns are in the lowest frequencies, typically between 0,5 – 4 Hz.
The major goal of PEMF therapies for sleep disorders is to alter disruptive sleep wave patterns. It is a principle of basic physics that molecules or electrical activity resonate. When presented with an external resonating stimulus, dynamic, resonant molecules or electrical activity begins to react to the stimulus frequencies by setting up a mutually resonant pattern. This is called frequency following response. Therefore, PEMFs can affect the electrical activity of the brain to either slow it down or speed it up.
To varying degrees, this will then change the frequencies of the brain to shift to patterns that enhance sleep. Based on published scientific research and measurements, Welltiss Mind is designed to emit very precise frequencies. By absorbing these gentle frequencies, you quickly fall into a phase of drowsiness or, for example, calm down when you are overwhelmed by excessive stress.
JM: There’s some overlap (and confusion) between PEMF and another ‘stimulation’ technique, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Can you make the distinction between these two techniques?
AR: Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) therapy is a treatment approach that relies upon electromagnetic fields targeting the body at the cellular level. Its main purpose is to stimulate cell repair, and it can therefore be used in a number of health care applications, including pain management and to stimulate the healing process of fractured bones and wounds. Meanwhile, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy utilizes a low-voltage electrical current to relieve symptomatic pain by exciting sensory nerves and stimulating the opioid system or the pain gate mechanism.
Although PEMF devices and TENS units are closely related, they differ in a number of ways. The main difference between PEMF devices and TENS units is the mechanism by which they achieve their therapeutic benefits. As the name suggests, PEMF devices use electromagnetic fields generated by a copper coil. These magnetic fields are pulsed and applied to the body with the aim of enhancing the repair process of bodily cells and tissues. On the other hand, TENS units make use of a low-voltage electrical current that stimulates the nerves. PEMF devices and TENS units also differ in their range of clinical applications. Although TENS units are highly effective at managing symptomatic pain, they cannot affect the healing process in any way.
Conversely, clinicians are able to use PEMF devices to facilitate the repair of damaged cells, stimulate neurons, reduce inflammation, and even enhance the creation of new healthy cells. PEMF therapy can also help in improving circulation and improving sleep quality.
JM: Although some PEMF devices have been given FDA approval, there’s not a huge body of clinical evidence to support PEMF for sleep issues. What would you say to consumers who are curious but sceptical?
AR: Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy has been an FDA approved form of treatment for almost 40 years, and in developing the Welltiss Mind device we relied on 34 scientific PEMF studies directly related to research into sleep patterns and disorders. PEMF therapy was approved for the treatment of depression and anxiety in 2006. The FDA approved PEMF therapy for treatment of brain cancer in 2011. In 2015 the FDA reclassified PEMF machines from Class 3 to Class 2 medical devices.
The popularity and awareness of PEMF therapy has increased significantly within the past decade. People are becoming more knowledgeable about the health advantages of PEMF therapy. Many scientists and health professionals alike will attest to the safety and effectiveness of PEMF therapy. In addition, more than 7,000 studies and clinical trials have shown it to be safe. When using PEMF therapy to improve sleep, results can vary with each individual. For most people, benefits can be seen within days, but for some people with stubborn chronic problems, it may take up to a month to see results. However, users can expect both short- and long-term positive effects on sleep quality with PEMF therapy.
Welltiss Mind costs $249 and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee