A wearable device developed by Arizona-based research firm Brain State Technologies could help improve sleep and thereby lower the risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suggests new research.
Recent studies show that sleep disturbance is not only a negative outcome from PTSD, it may also contribute to its onset.
Collaborating with researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina, the Brain State team produced an analysis showing that sleep improvement may be a strategic approach to reducing the number of new-onset cases of PTSD in service members who will be deployed to combat zones.
Neither counseling nor medication treatments tend to be highly effective for helping people overcome PTSD-related sleep problems.
So the company developed a wearable technology intended for exactly this purpose, partially supported by an award from the US Army Research Office.
The technology improves sleep by helping the brain relax and rebalance itself.
“We think that focus on sleep quality could reduce PTSD not only in the military, but also in police, medical first-responders, and others who have high exposure to trauma,” Brain State Technologies’ Founder and CEO, Lee Gerdes said in a company statement.
By combining estimates of the risk for PTSD conferred by insomnia, with estimates for how much insomnia might be reduced through use of a wearable device for sleep quality enhancement, the Brain State-Wake Forest team produced quantitative estimates for reductions in new cases of PTSD, for a scenario where a large group of service members is sent into a combat zone.
The analysis was presented at the ongoing Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS), being held in Kissimmee, Florida.