Short Sleeper Syndrome Ruining Your Life?

How I energized my world with a European gadget

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I had never heard about SSS (Short Sleeper Syndrome) until about 6 months ago. A doctor friend explained it to me after he concluded that my being so fatigued throughout the day may be attributed to the fact that I never slept more than 5 or 6 hours each night, sometimes even less.

That went on for decades of my adult life and I cannot recall how and when it started.

Healthline.com explains SSS in their article Short Sleeper Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Short sleeper syndrome (SSS) is a sleep condition characterized by sleeping for fewer than six hours each night. Most adults need seven or more hours of sleep each night to feel rested in the morning. Those with SSS, however, can function normally throughout the day despite less sleep.”

For many, many years I never went to bed before midnight because going to sleep at e.g. 10 pm meant I would be up at 3 or 4 am. Also, the only way I was able to sleep for 5 or 6 hours was by taking all sorts of sleeping pills in addition to up to 10 mg Melatonin each night. To paint my picture even weirder, it took me forever to fall asleep.

I bought special pillows, used sleep masks, sleep phones with ocean wave sounds, nothing really helped me fall asleep faster.

“A classic case of SSS,” my friend said.

And yes, I was able to function during the day. It didn’t even occur to me that I may have functioned even better with more hours of sleep. I was just so used to that rhythm.

At the end of 2020, an ad popped up on my Facebook timeline. It showed the picture of a strange-looking gadget and a description: ‘NeoRhythm is scientifically-validated neurotechnology that helps you build mental capacity, de-stress and sleep better.’ It also stated that the product uses ‘PEMF technology.’

Image by NeoRhythm

It was the word PEMF that made me pay more attention to that ad. I remembered that many years ago I worked for companies in Germany and in the UK that manufactured electro-medical treatment devices that were based on ‘Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field’ technology.

As a matter of fact, I wrote a book about PEMF in 1982.

Took me a while to find the only copy of my book that’s left and then some memories came back.

Although the devices manufactured in Germany were much bigger and more powerful, I do remember that some patients at the time reported they became sleepy during treatment.

I found out the company, MDCN Tech is based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and New York. The purchase price of $299 was kind of steep but, hey, if it helps me sleep more hours, I felt it well worth it.

The headband has several settings indicating various conditions, such as mental Capacity, Pain, Sleep/Relax, and Meditation. For obvious reasons I concentrated on the Sleep functions because that’s why I bought it in the first place.

Graphic by NeoRhythm

For you techno-savvy people, it produces a magnetic field of max. 2.5 mT (25 Gauss), with a frequency range of 3–303.41 Hz. The internal battery is rechargeable through the supplied charger.

I control the headband through my iPhone which is really super easy.

The NeoRhythm website states, “Our every activity is reflected in the brain in the form of brainwaves with different frequencies — alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and theta. NeoRhythm emits dominant and accompanying frequencies, characteristic to different states of mind. The brain synchronizes with these frequencies, creating a perfect and natural environment for using our mental capacity in a more optimal way.”

Graphic by NeoRhythm

The following image shows proper headband positioning within each stimulation program.

Image by NeoRhythm

Circling back to my SSS issues, I started experimenting with the 20-minute duration setting and the appropriate position of the headband. There was some success when I used it while reading in bed, 20 minutes before falling asleep. Yep, it did help me fall asleep much easier than without the unit. That in itself was remarkable. However, it didn’t add significantly to my sleeping hours overall.

I had a breakthrough when I began putting the headband under my pillow and making sure my head rested right on top of it.

My worries that I would feel the product were unfounded. I’m using ‘My Pillow’ and it is thick enough so you don’t feel the headband but not too thick so the waves emitted can’t be effective anymore.

My Fitbit is proof. Every time I put the headband under my pillow, you’ll see a sleep score above 80. I even had an 8 hour night on April 3 and lots of nights with between 7 and 8 hours.

Image by Rich Neher

On Friday I just used the 20-minute head position setting (sleep score 76). On Tuesday I worked late and had to get up real early for a job deadline (sleep score 67).

Now that I am consistently able to sleep more than 7 hours, I noticed other things slowly improving for me during the day. I can definitely say that I am feeling more energy and better concentration.

More energy and better concentration were promised, they showed the research, and I experience it now myself.

Based on my own work in Europe decades ago and from what I read on the NeoRhythm website, I am looking forward to exploring the ‘wide array of benefits that help ease symptoms of many conditions.’ So far I know that the technology a) speeds up my falling asleep and b) improves my hours of sleep to a healthy regiment of 7–8 hours per night. My body got that extra boost it needed and my life loves it.

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Rich Neher

Born and raised in Germany, I dislike politicians and like performing arts. I enjoy writing, acting, opera, cooking, fine wine, traveling, and playing tennis.