The Finnish Neurosonic manufactures a low-frequency vibration mattress designed to promote the body's wellbeing through both relaxation and sleep quality. Through low frequency vibrations, Neurosonic aims to influence the body's autonomic nervous system in such a way that stress-related symptoms are relieved.
When I had the opportunity to test the Neurosonic mattress, I was, of course, very interested to see what kind of results I would get by using the mattress. I tested the mattress for a couple of months, making several trial measurements with different Neurosonic programmes and verified the effects of the results by measuring stress, recovery and heart rate variability with Firstbeat's ECG-based Firstbeat Life service.
Before the test results and the verdict, let me say a few words about my background, so that the results can be evaluated in the right context. During the test period of the mattress, I was working in the hectic job of a product manager, and, after work, I was at home with my large family. My stress levels, both at work and in my leisure time, had been “in the red” for a long time, meaning that during the day, on average, I was practically unable to recover from my workload.
I had previously tried various meditation programmes, yoga, regular micro breaks, breathing exercises, dietary changes, exercise and who knows what else, but to no avail. The stress didn’t go anywhere. Based on this, my expectations were not very high for the Neurosonic mattress either.
My worst days were like the one shown in the graph below, where my body didn’t recover even with a normal night's sleep, with poor sleep and heart rate levels way too high, both during the day and when I slept. So the stress state was permanently switched on, which is a serious health risk in the long term.
Figure 1: An example of my Firstbeat measurement result in Firstbeat Life before the introduction of the Neurosonic mattress. In the graph, the red bar represents stress, the blue bar represents activity or exercise and the green bar represents body recovery. In this measurement, there is no recovery of the body during the day, but stress dominates the day and is also present when sleeping at night.
When the mattress arrived, the very first experience was good. The app and the mattress are easy to use. However, what I think Neurosonic should develop and include in the app is more comprehensive guidance and advice on how to start the right kind of programme in the first place.
In fact, my first mattress experience did not produce any change in my stress levels when I selected a body-activating programme from the app. The activation programme seemed to be more stressful for my body, rather than stress-relieving. Of course, this can always be blamed on user error, but although the application has good descriptions of the different programmes, even the most informed user may not understand them.
So, in my case, a long period of stress was not at all a good combination with activation, which only became clearer when I talked to a Neurosonic specialist. For example, if the app had been able to ask me directly about my starting point and guide me to the right programme, the user experience would have been much better right from the start.
As the logic of the mattress began to unfold and I was able to choose the right programme and intensity for me, I started to see positive results. Even the first 10 minutes of the power nap programme resulted in recovery during the working day. This was a surprising result for me, as for the first time in several months I saw a green bar in my Firstbeat analysis during the day. Over the course of ten minutes, my heart rate dropped from a high rate of around 95 bpm to below 70 and my heart rate variability increased from less than 10 milliseconds to around 22 milliseconds. This inspired me to continue the experiment and the same positive trend continued.
After a few weeks of use, my measurements started to show even more significant changes. For me, a slightly longer recovery programme of about half an hour worked best, in addition to the 10-minute power naps.
Figure 2: Firstbeat graph from my measurement on Firstbeat Life. In the graph, the Neurosonic mattress has been used for a 36-minute recovery programme during the working day. This is shown on the graph as NS PALAUTUMINEN in green, and the body has made a significant recovery. The black line on the graph shows the heart rate variability (HRV), which has peaked at almost 60 milliseconds during the programme.
Now that I have been using the mattress for a few months, my situation seems to have permanently changed for the better. Previously stressful working days, family time and poor sleep have been completely eliminated or significantly reduced. As my family and workplace are still the same, and I have not changed my sleeping, exercise or other habits, the explanation for the change is the Neurosonic mattress.
In addition to stress and strain, my days now include recovery to balance the overall situation even when the mattress is not in use. This had not happened in my Firstbeat measurements before.
Figure 3: A Firstbeat graph in a measurement on Firstbeat Life after using the Neurosonic mattress for a longer period of time. The graph shows a 10-minute NS TEHONOKOSET (power nap) programme on a Neurosonic mattress during the working day. This measurement also shows how significantly my results have changed. When I work, my workday often includes green recovering work before the mattress, and the Neurosonic power nap programme during micro breaks has further enhanced recovery.
Considering my starting situation and my long period of poor recovery, I must say that the effect of the Neurosonic mattress was a big surprise and a positive one.
The effect of the Neurosonic programmes was not only reflected in the improvement in recovery as measured by Firstbeat data. The sensations I experience myself also support the measurement data. The greatest tangible effect is that after the programme, the "evening tension" is gone and falling asleep is much easier. Another clear change can be seen in improved work efficiency. With a rested brain, you can work in a completely different way.´
Another positive aspect of Neurosonic is that just 10 minutes a day is enough to improve the situation and prevent risks. So time is not an issue when starting to use this product to take care of yourself and your health. In the light of my own experience, I recommend the Neurosonic mattress to every person and organisation who wants to maintain or improve their wellbeing and prevent health risks.
Firstbeat Technologies Oy