Because we're hard wired to take more notice of natural sounds (such as water flowing and birdsong) our minds paint vivid pictures with greater realism when we listen to natural soundscapes compared with other sounds. This helps us detach our selves from background urban noise and 'mind-chatter' giving us space to be calm.
Natural sounds and human voices are far more effective than music for helping us to prepare for sleep, focus or relax; they're better for reducing tension and changing our mood too.
So that's why QuietSpace includes natural rhythms, soundscapes and calm companion voices, so that our bodies respond better and our heart rate and the level of stress hormones reduce. All without us even being aware.
Nerves cells in our brain 'fire' in waves at distinct frequencies depending on what we are doing, how stressed we are and our mood. At any time during the day some areas of our brain will be very 'active' (firing more often - at higher frequencies) and others 'calm' (lower frequencies). As relaxation spreads over our body (and mind) more and more nerves tend to fire at lower frequencies. And when we enter deep sleep, our brain waves are at their lowest frequency (Delta) with every synapse firing in synchrony. This is a vital time for chemical re-balance and recovery.
You can enhance brainwave patterns by using rhythms and beats of the right frequency; listening to 14 - 30 Hz (the same frequency as Beta brain waves - more 'active' synapses) tends to wake you up and stimulate, 13 - 19 Hz rhythm (Alpha waves) can help you relax and sharpen your perception, 4 - 8 Hz (Theta) help you relax further, meditate and lower anxiety, 1 - 3 Hz (Delta) enhances deep sleep.
Studies show that the effectiveness of enhancement is different for everyone so for each QuietSpace journey or soundscape, you can choose the intensity of the enhancing rhythm that works best for you.
You can experience binaural rhythms using QuietSpace with head phones (or monaurally using a speaker). It's easy to test out which type of enhancement works best for you.
Wave patterns that reflect our state of mind, nuerone activity and relaxation.
QuietSpace has a feature that plays offset tones in opposite phases to create an effect (binaural beats) known to enhance specific brain rhythms e.g. from Delta for deep sleep, to Beta waves of a stimulated brain. When you listen through headphones you percieve a rhythm even though this rhythm is simply a difference in the tone played between each ear.
If you use QuietSpaces with a single speaker the frequencies join together to create a rhythm too.
The amount of noise around us has increased dramatically and sometimes it's difficult to find sanctuary for sleep, relaxation, meditation and focus, especially in the city.
Noises with higher pitch or frequency are pretty well blocked out by windows, walls and doors, and even if they get through noise cancellation headphones and buds work well. But for lower frequencies (the base beat 'next door', AC, drone and hum of aircraft, industry and trucks) cancellation often doesn't work so well. And due to the shape and size of our rooms noise builds up forming a standing wave or hotspot of intense sound; often near walls, where most of us have our head boards.
This is why we created QuietSpace. It uses the microphone on your phone to detect urban noise, its structure and composition and create soundscapes and rhythms, to best mask the effects.
QuietSpace is designed to help reduce the effects of urban noise whenever you need a a peaceful refuge to work, meditate or sleep.
A significant part of urban noise is from heavy traffic, planes, trains, industry and amenities within buildings such as aircon, lifts and elevators. It's made up of low tones that pass through walls more easily than other higher frequency sounds. Often creating a low level, persistent disturbing hum.
QuietSpace is sesntivie to urban noise and picks up predominantly the low frequencys within it that forms hot-spots (areas within a space where noise is loudest). It learns about your sensitivity and dynamically adapts the soundscapes it plays to best mask urban noise.
The power of mindfulness, a core component of yoga and Tai Chi Chuan, has only recently been fully embraced by clinical science. Mindfulness uses the rhythm and sensation of breathing as an anchor, to bring our mind and awareness into the present; setting aside thoughts of the past or imagined future, which are often a source of anxiety, stress and pain.
Studies show that accepting and embracing the present; its sounds, smells and sensations, brings us into a deeply relaxed and focussed state of wellbeing. But it gets better... the more you do it, the more effective it becomes. Mindfulness changes the physiology of your brain.
Every journey in QueitSpace begins with focussed breathing in preparation for visualisations and natural soundscapes.
Infinite soundscapes offered within QuietSpace have inherent natural rhythms too.
Simple 15 minute breathing and meditation exercise each day changes the structure of your brain; reducing the amount of grey matter in the amygdala (the 'stress centre' of your brain - shown in orange) and increasing the size of your hippocampus and cerebellum (where your empathy, sense of self, emotional HQ, and memory lie - shown in green). How amazing you are!
The intensity and colour of light effects our sleep, well being, mood, memory and performance; dim light and (best of all) dark is conducive for sleep and brighter light wakes us up and keeps us focussed. That's one reason why using our phones or tablets near to bedtime can make us feel less tired (on top of the emails, messages and content that stimulates our minds too).
Colour of light can induce feelings; in a wakened state red and yellow arouse our senses and imagination whereas green and blue are calming. But when it comes to our circadian rhythm blue light (the sort that is emitted by tablets, screens, LEDs and phones) supresses melatonin over twice as much as green or red light, delaying sleep.
QuietSpace's libraries have empathetic colours and themes; with darker colours assocaited with sleep and brighter for stimulation and wake-up.
The circadian rhythm. It's controlled by our own master clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, "hot-linked" to the retina of our eyes; the brighter the light the greater the pull towards wake-up (e.g. release of adrenaline and cortisol) the darker, the greater the pull towards sleep (release of melatonin), no matter the time of day.
Aromatherapy has been used for mental, spiritual and physical healing since the beginning of recorded history; only over the last few decades has science 'caught-up' with studies proving that our mood, anxiety, pain, social behaviour and of course sleepiness is affected by the smells around us.
Most effective are natural oils, extracted from plants and their flowers, then concentrated.
So why not try gentle relaxing aromas while using QuietSpace. Lavender and camomile are great for relaxation.
Lavender and camomile not only relax your mind, enhancing both Delta and Theta waves (as seen in EEG studies), but also reduce anxiety, lower heart rate and blood pressure too. Lavender helps you reach a deeper sleep that helps your body and mind better recover. And when you wake you feel more invigorated and less sleepy ready for your next new day.
Your mindful companion mango is our working-title for a simple peice of technology we're developing that synchronises with QuietSpace to further enhance calm through masking urban noise. mango will be entirely new and natural tech, we envisage that it could sit on your desk or by your bedside, diminishing the effects of low-level background hum the drone of urban noise.
We design technology with real purpose and long-term value, based on proven science.
We build with least environmental impact, believing in a responsibility of care for us and our children.
We believe that happiness and contentment make us more creative, productive and fulfilled.