The Apollo Neuro is a wearable that works a bit differently from your usual Fitbit’s and other smartwatch gadgets. It doesn’t track your steps, check your heart rate, or bug you with notifications. Instead, it promises “real-time stress control for better sleep, focus, energy, calm, and more” through haptic touch.
I know it sounds a little bit new-age hippy but having given it a try for a total of 1073 minutes (44 full days), I was impressed and surprised that I did experience better sleep, concentration, and energy levels. I found out about it through Tim Ferriss’s podcast, and it intrigued me enough to find out more and eventually invest in one.
Although the concept might make you a bit skeptical, the product’s origins are rooted heavily in academia. Apollo Neuroscience began from research at the University of Pittsburgh where Drs. David Rabin MD, PhD and Greg Siegle PhD worked together in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience to develop and scientifically prove the Apollo Neuro.
They discovered that specific combinations of low-frequency vibrations can alter how we feel through touch and that those physiological changes could be measured in near real-time.
The Apollo Neuro is the end result of 5 years of development and testing in the lab and real-world settings.
How Does The Apollo Neuro Work?
Looking at it simply the device simulates the positive feelings that we get from touch. We all know that humans’ stress levels respond positively to touch. Whether it’s a hug from a loved one, getting a massage, or petting the family dog. So the Apollo Neuro asks the question “Can the brain’s hardwired response to social touch extends into the realm of digital haptics?”
It might work similarly to how a good tune can really get you in the mood to take on the day. Even although the vibrations are All sound is vibration, and while we don’t recognise Apollo’s silent vibrations as music, perhaps it has the same mood-boosting effect.
The Apollo, is easily set up by downloading the app, pairing, and picking a mood programme.
There are seven modes in total:
- Energy and Wake Up
- Social and Open
- Clear and Focused
- Rebuild and Recover
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Relax and Unwind
- Sleep and Renew
The modes that are designed to energise consist of short and sharper beats, whereas the calming modes are gentler and extended out. Each mood programme cycles through different stages, so it isn’t repeating the same pattern continuously.
What the Research Shows
There’s a lot of research been done and still ongoing involving the Apollo Neuro. Here’s a quick summary:
Preliminary Apollo sleep study results – Those who wore the Apollo Neuro consistently (3+ hours a day, 5+ days a week, day/night) see the biggest improvements in sleep and recovery.
Apollo improves recovery and performance in elite athletes – Apollo increased heart rate variability in 100% of athletes in an independent university pilot study.
Does The Apollo Neuro Do What It Claims?
Through my experience with the Apollo, I feel that it does deliver on what it promises. Its effects are no substitute for the benefits of vigorous exercise or daily meditation, but I feel that the device is great for topping my mood up throughout the day, and helps me deal with unexpected stressful situations.
The calming modes help me relax and unwind after a long workday, and the stimulating ones help me wake up and focus for the day ahead. It’s not the silver bullet to better mental health but it’s another tool in the toolbox.
The Apollo Neuro retails at $349 (about £256) and the company does offer a full refund for any reason within 30 days of delivery. So, if it has your curious then you can give it a shot before committing long-term.
Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker, and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true mission in life.
In his own fitness journey, Davie has athletically competed in Mixed Martial Arts fighting for Scottish and British titles, boxed for Scotland’s top amateur boxing team, and competed internationally in Girevoy (kettlebell) Sport.
Diving into the world of sports and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own inner demons. He. overcame many dark times using his own unique method to complete his cycle of H.E.A.L.I.N.G.