Get to know the Team behind NanoNap. This week, we sat down with Claude, the neuroscience expert!
Who are you and where do you come from?
I am 56 and I am a professor of Cognitive Sciences at Aix Marseille University (France). In 2010, I published the Theory of neural Cognition (TnC), with an addendum in 2014 devoted to altered states of consciousness – which includes sleep.
What is your role at NanoNap?
I am the neuroscience expert in charge of explaining why tACS works, and also supervising how to use tACS in order to stay safe and efficient. Not everything is still understood, despite a continuous use of this technique for the last hundred years – but the domain is incredibly « hot ».
When have you start to work on sleep and tACS?
I started research about sleep in 2011. In 2015, I published a scientific article explaining the nature of sleep: the reinforcement of the inhibitory synapses that get eroded during wake time. Knowing what sleep is, it was easy to find ways to improve its efficacy. In 2016, I got acquainted with tACS and its effect on sleep efficacy. Starting end of 2018, my university offered me two years leave in order to make my idea a product.
Can you explain the study behind NanoNap?
The first scientific study that reports cognitive improvement with tACS during deep sleep was published in the scientific journal Nature in 2006. However, it was only understood in 2015 in the light of my explanations of sleep.
What is the deep sleep?
Deep sleep is the period during which local clusters of neurons are firing together – which reinforce their connections. Most local connections are inhibitory. Inhibitory neurons are the basis of inhibition: the ability to focus.
How tACS act on tiredness?
It is necessary to know that inhibition performance decreases by 1% every hour of wake time – which explains why we are less efficient by the end of the day. A second thing to know is that we normally start the day with an impeded inhibition (about 5%). It does not show off usually, but if you start with an inhibition of only 2%, then you are more attentive than usually for 3 hours…
Deep sleep repair our inhibition capabilities. Our tACS device helps synchonize activities of the cortical neurons. It means that you experience more coherent clusters of neural activities, which translates into better cognitive performances at wake time.
Do you already have trouble sleeping?
Not really, but I like to be at my full cognitive potential.
What do you do to improve your sleep on a daily basis?
I try to get early to bed, not so easy.
For you, what is the future of NanoNap?
By improving sleep, we achieve better performances or are able to sleep less with the same level of cognitive performances: who would refuse that! NanoNap has the opportunity to reshape our future for a better one. In doing so, I cannot see any limit to the involvement of NanoNap into our lives.