Don’t eat cheese before bed, avoid horror movies, and use a night light… just some of the life hacks we have been taught to conquer nightmares.
Yet what about when those terrors are more like memories, from having served in war zones and the mind is reliving the horrors of the battlefield you have left behind.
That’s what happened when Patrick Skluzaceksaw returned home from combat, as he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] which included agonisingly bad dreams.
However, his son proved to be his very own Dragon’s Den hero by creating a product that would be life-changing and help silence the nightmares in exchange for a good night’s sleep.
While studying at college, Tyler Skluzacek caught wind of an upcoming computer programming event in Washington, D.C. which was encouraging participants to focus on developing apps.
Jumping at the opportunity, Tyler, who has now graduated with a computer science degree, got to work on his ‘anti-night-terror’ smartwatch app.
The prototype was programmed to detect the onset of nocturnal disturbances by measuring the wearer’s heart rate and movement – which tend to increase during nightmares.
Then, before the terror can take hold, the smartwatch delivers a subtle disruption – equivalent to a gentle nudge or lick from a dog – to reset the wearer’s sleep pattern.
Speaking to US radio station NPR, Tyler said that perfecting the app was a challenge as he and his team needed to capture the correct vibration level for it to deliver enough stimulus to pull somebody out of the deep REM cycle while still allowing sleep to continue unaffected.
During REM, which stands for rapid eye movement, we enter the stage of our sleep cycle during which people do most of their dreaming.
Tyler was determined to keep working on the hurdles in order to help his dad and has now created a near-perfect app that he has sold the rights of to an investor for global distribution.
Speaking about his son’s prowess, Patrick said: “It was night and day when I put that watch on and it started working. The vibrations worked like little miracles.”
For more information, click here: NightWare.