The military is leading the way when it comes to experimenting with techniques to keep soldiers working longer hours without experiencing drowsiness.
How is it done? Modafinil and armodafinil (brand names Provigil and Nuvigil) are two new designer drugs that let subjects stay awake for sixty hours with no loss of stamina or memory function. Unfortunately, all stimulants seem to create tunnel-focus behavior with lack of empathy towards others, and can cause paranoia and irrational behavior. In 2002, a top-gun air force pilot shot down an Canadian fighter plane, killing four people, convinced that he was under attack. So much for staying awake – how about falling asleep faster?
The Fisher Wallace stimulator sends low frequency waves into the pre-frontal cortex through the thinnest part of the skull. Nobody knows why transcranial direct current stimulation works, but like electro shock therapy, it’s been helpful in treating both insomnia and depression.
Another method, transcranial magnetic stimulation, most commonly used to treat depression, promises to send the user into deep sleep instantly, whereas the Somneo mask works as a nap facilitator, placing subjects straight into a light sleep, suitable for a short re
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