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The Apollo Neuro is a device that you wear like a watch to control your heart rate variability (HRV) and thus affect your mood and energy levels. The Apollo was created in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh by Drs. David Rabin MD, PhD and Greg Siegle PhD. They discovered that using inaudible sound waves which are felt as vibrations, can change how we feel through our sense of touch. The Apollo Neuro was created after 5 years of development and is the least intrusive and least time-consuming device I have used for moderating my mood. In this review, I will be sharing my findings after a couple of weeks of use. At first, I was most interested in how it prepared me for sleep but now I use it throughout the day to moderate stress and help me concentrate.
Ordering the Apollo Neuro
Right now the Apollo is only available exclusively through their website. Shipping is fast and comes with tracking so you know exactly when to expect it at your doorstep. It will arrive in a box like the one below.
Inside you will find the following:
- Apollo Neuro stress relief wearable
- Free access to the Apollo Neuro App (iOS and Android)
- One Medium and one Large band (fits most adult ankles and wrists).
- Micro-USB charging cord
Aside from the device and accessories, there are a couple of quick setup cards included so you don’t have to keep referring to the website.
How Much Does the Apollo Neuro Cost?
This device currently retails for $349 and comes with free shipping. They also offer financing through Affirm which can break down the payments to as low as $32/month. It comes with a 1-year warranty and a 30 day trial. If you decide to return it within 30 days you will be charged a $10 return fee.
How to Setup Your Apollo Neuro
I recommend charging the device first. That way you can start using it immediately after setup. The first step is to install the Apollo Neur App on your iPhone or Android. When you first open the app you will be asked to create an account and then it will walk you through a brief questionnaire. Once that is finished, your phone will then connect to the Apollo via Bluetooth.
How Does Apollo Neuro Work?
The science behind the Apollo Neuro is complicated but from what I can glean, it all centers around heart rate variability (HRV) if you have good HRV you are able to recover better from stress. Poor HRV could be a sign of chronic stress which is very common these days. The Apollo regulates HRV through the Autonomic nervous system of which there is the parasympathetic branch which associated with calm and the sympathetic branch which is our “fight or flight” response.
Certain tones/vibrations in the Apollo can soothe through stimulating a parasympathetic response or stimulate us by creating a sympathetic response.
My Apollo Neuro Findings
I was a bit skeptical of this device since it promises so much in a small package. The appeal is that this is a passive device that you basically just turn on and forget. Unlike meditation or exercise, you don’t have to dedicate time to it. I can use the Apollo while I work or watch TV. It doesn’t matter whether or not I focus on the vibrations for it to work.
Here you can see what the device itself looks like and is the size of a wristwatch.
There are buttons on the side where you can manually increase or decrease intensity. I keep my intensity at 80% or more but you may want to start lower until you get used to it.
You need to charge the Apollo through the USB port on the back of the device. I can go about 2 days before I need to recharge. Obviously, if you use it with higher intensity, it will drain the batter faster. The app will tell you how much battery life you have left so after some consistent use you will know how often you need to recharge. I keep the charging cable by my nightstand and just plug it in before I go to sleep.
How Does the Apollo Neuro Feel?
I can best describe the feeling as your phone constantly vibrating on your wrist. It took me a little while to relax and not instinctively reach for my phone. It’s a subtle pulse vibration that will vary depending on what program you choose. As you might expect, the sleep and meditation modes have longer, slower vibrations while the energy and focus modes have shorter more intense vibrations.
My two favorite modes are “Clear and Focused” and “Sleep and Renew”. The Clear and Focused program is great when you need to focus on a difficult task for work.
Using the Apollo Neuro for Sleep
Normally when I know that I will have difficulty falling asleep, either because I’m anxious, excited or maybe had too much caffeine close to bedtime, I will reach for a sleep supplement with melatonin. This definitely helps but if I am really wired, I will usually wake up a few hours after falling asleep and may have trouble falling back asleep. I have been using the Apollo sleep program for the past week and it helps my body calm down which in turn will slow down any racing thoughts or anxiety I have. It’s a great natural alternative to sleep supplements. I would recommend using this for sleep as an addition to whatever other nighttime rituals you have.
My Apollo Neuro Final Thoughts
I’m always on the hunt for products that can get me a better night’s rest and the Apollo delivers by getting my body ready for sleep. After using the sleep program for at least 30 minutes before going to bed, I feel more relaxed and I’m able to fall asleep faster, without the use of sleep supplements. I also get the benefit of the other programs that can be used throughout the day to optimize my HRV and improve my overall health. This device is a glimpse into the future of how we can use technology to passively regulate ourselves to live more productive and healthy lives.