Don't try reading the title of this blog post out loud - you'll probably make a fool of yourself (we got arrogant and tried to read it out loud three times fast so at least you won't look as foolish as us).
Transcutaneous neurostimulation (TNS), when applied to extracephalic sites, is known to relieve pain. Now, new research suggests that a device known as Cefaly (often used by migraine sufferers to relieve headaches) could also help promote sleepiness.
Apparently, many users of the Cefaly device fell asleep during tests or demonstrations so a study was undertaken to determine the effects of the device in this area. In a small study of 30 healthy individuals, the device had a relaxing effect in 25 subjects after they used it for 12 minutes. Apparently, their tiredness increased by 73%.
Now, before you rush out and sink a few hundred dollars into the device it's worth reminding ourselves that this was only a small study. Far more research is needed to determine how long the 'sleepiness effect' lasts, and why TMS appears to have this effect.
Still, product marketing hype aside, this sounds like an interesting area of research. Of course, we'll report back if we hear of any similar studies in the future.
Source: BMC Neurology
Last updated: March 1, 2012