US Army is working on a sleep cap for soldiers

Observing and studying the glymphatic system of humans might be a solution for the military to aid soldiers in getting a decent night's sleep.
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The US Army is working on a novel gadget that will help soldiers deployed on tough operations to sleep better by optimizing the flow of brain and spinal cord fluid.

The flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which aids the brain by emptying its waste during sleep, has been measured and modulated by researchers from several American institutions. It also aids in the absorption of shock and the cushioning of unexpected movements.

The goal of one project is to design a lightweight headgear that can be worn in any scenario and is easy to travel.

"The Department of Defense asked if we can design a small, portable cap that can measure and modulate the brain health of warfighters during sleep to enhance their performance," said Paul Cherukuri, head of Rice University's Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering.

The first year of research and development for the tech initiative will be led by RU engineers and physicians from Houston Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.

Experimenting with a Variety of Techniques

The army understands that troop tiredness is a major issue that must be addressed if greater performance during military operations is to be expected.

Observing and studying the glymphatic system of humans might be a solution for the military to aid soldiers in getting a decent night's sleep.

In addition to eliminating trash, the system's cerebral spinal fluid may also remove defective proteins from warriors' brains, increasing "brain-restoring powers."


The researchers aim to use a variety of approaches for the project's observation phase, including ultrasonic brain stimulation and electromagnetic signaling.

All data and information gathered as part of the ongoing research will be evaluated utilizing RU-developed machine learning software.

Within a year, preliminary research and development findings for the experimental "sleeping cap" project should be available.