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Somnee is backed by years of research from leading neuroscientists

The science behind Somnee has been rigorously tested and validated by the research team at StimScience and our science advisors: Dr. Matthew Walker, Robert Knight, and Rich Ivry. Our real-world results have been peer-reviewed and published January 2023 in the scientific journal, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Continued Improvement With Somnee Usage

Somnee uses personalized stimulation that gets better as it learns your brain rhythms and sleeping patterns.

Personalization enables faster sleep onset. Data from a sham-controlled real-world study, n=55 participants, 1,800+ nights.

Somnee uses personalized brain stimulation

Somnee works by providing a 15 minute personalized brain stimulation (tES, or transcranial electrical stimulation) session at bedtime. The frequencies of stimulation are personalized based on individual brain rhythms; this has the effect of changing the brain’s state in a way that optimally balances sleep inertia, duration, and depth. The charts below show an example of a brain’s frequency distribution before and immediately after a Somnee session.

Sleep Enhancing brain activities
(delta, theta, alpha)

The distribution of brain activity, as measured by Somnee at bedtime right before stimulation.

Sleep detracting brain activities

Brain state right after stimulation. Delta, Theta, and Alpha activity is increased and Beta is suppressed, indicating optimal sleep readiness.

Sleep Lab Study

Our controlled sleep lab studies were conducted with adult participants, age 30-70. Each participant had at least two sleep sessions, one of which was a sham session (like a placebo – a session where they slept without the stimulation we were evaluating). Sleep activity was recorded using laboratory-grade EEG and EKG systems, and was scored by a certified polysomnography technician, using the same approach as any medical sleep lab.

The charts below show a comparison of Somnee’s effect on sleep from our most recent sleep lab study (n=31) and real-world study (n=55) with the published results for melatonin. On average, Somnee is 4x the effectiveness of a melatonin pill in improving sleep efficiency and duration.

Science Advisors

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Matthew Walker, Ph.D.

Matthew Walker earned his Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the Medical Research Council in London, UK, and subsequently became an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School in 2004. He is currently Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directs the Center for Human Sleep Science. Walker is the recipient of funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and in 2006, became a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. He investigates the role of sleep in human health and disease. He does so using brain imaging methods (MRI, PET scanning), high-density sleep EEG recordings, genomics, proteomics, autonomic physiology, and cognitive testing. Walker addresses issues of both wellness and disease. Disorders that he currently tackles include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, drug abuse, obesity and diabetes. His Center's goal, unachievable as they may be: to understand everything about sleep's impact on the human being, from birth to death, in health and in sickness. Walker is the author of the International Bestseller, Why We Sleep. The book has been translated into over 40 different languages, and was listed as one of Bill Gates's top 5 favorite books of 2019. Walker has also given a main-stage TED talk, which has been viewed over 13 million times.

Rich Ivry, Ph.D.

Rich Ivry, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the UC Berkeley. He earned a BS in Psychology from Brown University and a PhD from the University of Oregon. He has served as the chair of Psychology and director of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Prof. Ivry heads the Cognition and Action lab, using various tools of cognitive neuroscience to explore human performance in healthy and neurologically impaired populations. He is a co-author of Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind, a textbook that has helped train a generation of students. His research contributions have been recognized with major honors including the Troland Prize from the National Academy of Sciences and the William James Award for lifetime achievement from the Association for Psychological Science. Prof. Ivry is a fellow of the APS, the Society of Experimental Psychology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Health for over 30 years, including a recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ivry is a world renowned expert on using non-invasive brain stimulation to enhance human performance.

Robert Knight, M.D.

Robert Knight, M.D. is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at UC Berkeley. He has a BS in Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MD from Northwestern University Medical School, did Neurology training at UC San Diego and Post-Doctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He was Director of the UC Berkeley Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute from 2001- 2011. He has twice received the Jacob Javits Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for Distinguished Contributions to Neurological research, the IBM Cognitive Computing Award, the German Humboldt Prize in Neurobiology, the Distinguished Career Contribution Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Award for Education in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience and the Howard Crosby Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists for Distinguished Career Contributions. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Knight is an international expert on the role of human cortex in organized behavior and has published extensively on the neurophysiological mechanisms of sleep in both health and disease.

Additional Research

Personalized transcranial alternating current stimulation improves sleep quality:

The latest research by our science advisors showing the link between sleep “spindles” and memory-formation:

Safety meta-review of transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) studies finds zero serious adverse effects across over 8,000 participants and 18,000 sessions:

Helfrich, R.F., Mander, B.A., Jagust, W.J, Knight, R.T. and Walker, M. Old brains come uncoupled in sleep – slow wave-spindle synchrony, brain atrophy and forgetting. Neuron, 97:1-10, 2018. PMID: 29249289

Winer, J.R., Mander, B.A., Helfrich, R.F., Maass, A., Harrison, T.M., Baker, S.L, Knight, R.T., Jagust, W.J. and Walker, M.P. Sleep as a potential biomarker of tau and beta-amyloid burden in the human brain. Journal of Neuroscience,, 2019. PMID: 31209175

Helfrich, R.F., Lendner, J.D., Mander, B.A., Guillen, H., Paff, M., Mnatsakanyan, L., Vadeera, S., Walker, M.P., Lin, J.J. and Knight, R.T. Bidirectional prefrontal-hippocampal dynamics organize information transfer during sleep in humans. Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11444-x, 10(1): 1-16, 2019. PMID: 31395890

Helfrich, R.F., Lendner, J.D. and Knight, R.T. Aperiodic sleep networks promote memory consolidation. Trends in Cognitive Science, 2175: 1-12, 2021

Lendner, J.D., Niethard, N., Mander, B.A., van Schalkwijk, F.J., Schuh-hofer, S., Schmidt, H., Knight, R.T., Born, J., Walker, M.P., Lin, J.J. and Helfrich, R.F. Human REM sleep controls neural excitability in support of memory formation. Scientific Advances, doi:10.1126/sciadvj1895, 9:34,1-16, 2023

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