Great News For The Sleep-Deprived! Handheld Devices Can Now Fight Fatigue

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Let’s face it; there are few things worse than not being able to sleep and then having to perform at your peak. Don’t fret, as you are part of the 51% of the worldwide adult population that can now be helped.

A recent paper published in Communications Biology suggests that there is a handheld device that can now pass electrical currents via your neck’s skin and to the vagus nerve.

What is the Vagus Nerve?

The vagus nerve, also called the pneumogastric nerve, is the tenth cranial nerve located in the neck. This nerve is responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions. For example, when the vagus nerve is stimulated, it transmits a message to the body to maintain a state of calm.

When our bodies are stress-free and relaxed, we are able to concentrate better, experience mood improvement and overall wellbeing.

The Dangers of Fatigue

Fatigue or sleep deprivation is a severely concerning issue for many adults. Unfortunately, when it comes to professions such as the military and medical fields, fatigue is unavoidable due to work demands.

Sleep deprivation can increase the hazards of mistakes and accidents occurring, as well as diminishing one’s ability to multitask when required. This is due to a delayed response or attention lapse–not to mention a severe public health risk.

The Solution

Recent studies have concluded that stimulating the vagus nerve by means of electrical current can improve memory and learning capabilities. The researchers used a similar handheld device that was used in the past to treat migraines through the skin.

The study was conducted with 40 personnel from the USAF. They were required to remain awake for 34 hours consecutively, and the device was used at nine different time intervals to stimulate the vagus nerve.

In those that received the stimulation, it was reported that they had improved alertness levels, were less fatigued, and boasted high levels of energy.

Although this is great news, it goes without saying that further testing is required to determine whether this proposed solution is indeed the answer.

Article source: Nature
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