Specialists from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory have developed a device that helps relieve fatigue and maintain performance throughout the day. According to portal Technology Networks, VNS-method is based on stimulation of cervical vagus nerve by an electric current.
The authors of the study are convinced that this method is much more effective than transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Both methods affect the locus coeruleus, an area in the brainstem that is the main source of noradrenaline, the hormone of alertness. The tDCS signals must travel through the skin, skull, and the rest of the brain to reach the final area. The duration of the procedure is about 30 minutes. In the case of VNS therapy, the effect is carried out using a portable device. The person can operate the device independently, and the procedure takes only six minutes.
Forty people took part in the trials of the device. The participants were awake for 34 hours. The condition of the volunteers was assessed with the help of four tests. It turned out that the VNS therapy participants showed the best results 12 and 15 hours after stimulation. And although the results need to be confirmed by additional studies, experts believe that this method can be a good way to stay awake for a long time and keep working.
Earlier, scientists proved the effectiveness of breaks at work. Experts analyzed two groups of office workers – 98 people from the United States and 222 – from South Korea. It turned out that employees who are periodically distracted from work are more involved in their activities and less tired.