A new sleep therapy system is coming to market that works by cooling the frontal lobe. The technology is rooted in some evidence that less activity in the front of the brain is linked to better sleep. It seems related to “racing thoughts” that people sometimes experience while trying to sleep, the slowing of which may be induced by slightly reducing the temperature where they originate.

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The Ebb Insomnia Therapy from Ebb Therapeutics, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania firm, consists of a headband through which cooled fluid is moved, and a control unit that does the pumping. The headband temperature can be set using a dial on the front of the controller, and the device can be programmed to stop cooling close to wake-up time.

It already has FDA clearance and is being made available to a number of sleep centers, with wider available expected next year.

From the announcement on a study of the system presented at the SLEEP 2017 conference this week:

The study included a randomized, placebo-controlled trial collecting polysomnographic sleep measurements in 106 adults with primary insomnia. Results of the study showed a statistically signifi cant reduction in latency to Stage 1 sleep, the time it takes to get into the fi rst stage of sleep, as well as latency to Stage 2 sleep, a deeper stage of sleep that typically represents over half the night.

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