Sleeping on the Eight Sleep Pod for 2 nights improves cognitive function

A good night’s sleep is crucial for maintaining health, emotional well-being, and overall wellness. Our prior studies have demonstrated that sleeping on the Eight Sleep Pod can improve deep sleep, total sleep time (TST), overall sleep quality, and cardiovascular recovery (ref, ref). Our latest research reveals an additional benefit of the Pod: it also enhances cognitive function. Overall, we found that after subjects slept on the Pod for 2 nights, they experienced:

  • 8% increase in processing speed

  • 9% increase in short-term memory recall speed

  • 13% increase in executive function

What are the different cognitive functions we measured?

We measured three main domains of cognitive function: processing speed, short-term memory, and executive function.

  • Processing speed is the rate at which a person can perceive, understand, and respond to information. This could be important when trying to make decisions quickly, like when an athlete is deciding where to make a pass in a split second.

  • Short-term memory is the capacity to remember information in a short period of time. For example, remembering a phone number long enough to dial it back indicates good short-term memory.

  • Executive function involves planning, attention, remembering instructions, and multitasking. For example, effectively planning, delegating, and adjusting priorities for your team requires strong executive function.

Figure 1. Subjects completed the battery of digital assessments in Neurotrack’s Cognitive Health Suite, including a test of memory (Image Pairs; left), processing speed (Symbol Match; middle), and executive function (Path Points; right). Neurotrack’s assessments can be completed on any device. For more information visit Neurotrack.com.

How much does the Eight Sleep Pod improve cognitive function?

Participants slept on the Pod for 4 nights: 2 nights with temperature deactivated (Pod OFF) and 2 nights with the temperature activated (Pod ON). Each morning, they performed a series of tasks to assess cognitive function, including processing speed, short-term memory, and executive function. We found that after sleeping with the Pod ON for just 2 nights, participants significantly improved their processing speed by 8% (P<0.01) and their short-term memory recall speed by 9% (P<0.01). Participants also had a 13% (P=0.06) improvement in executive function, by 1.5 seconds on average.

Figure 2. When sleeping with Pod ON, participants were 8% faster in processing speed, 9% faster in short-term memory recall, and 13% faster in executive function.

What seems to cause these improvements in cognitive function?

We analyzed changes in each of the sleep stages and total sleep time (TST) from Pod OFF to ON. Our results indicated that increased TST and deep sleep were correlated with faster executive function (r = -0.51, P<0.01) and faster short-term memory recall (r = -0.42, P<0.05), respectively.

Summary

Sleeping on a continuously temperature-regulated mattress cover, the Eight Sleep Pod, can enhance cognitive abilities by improving processing speed, executive function, and short-term memory recall speed. Whether you are a professional athlete or an everyday champion, these improvements in cognitive functions can positively impact your daily life by allowing you to respond faster to stimuli, integrate information more quickly to make decisions, and improve your short-term memory recall speed.

Appendix

Study Details

Participants and procedure

Twenty-eight cognitively-healthy adults (21 male, 7 female; 39.5 ± 13.6 y) slept for 2 nights with temperature deactivated (Pod OFF) and 2 nights with the temperature activated (Pod ON). Cognitive function was assessed using the Neurotrack platform: processing speed (Symbol-Digit Test), executive function (Path Points), and short-term memory (Image Pairs). Subjects completed 6 separate days of cognitive testing: two days at baseline when the Pod was still ON (to remove learning effects), two days while the Pod was OFF, and 2 days when the Pod was back ON.

Statistical Analyses

The change in response times and accuracy from Pod OFF to ON were calculated for each of the cognitive domains. The Pod measured TST and time spent in each sleep stage. Each subject’s mean cognitive and sleep metrics were calculated for Pod OFF vs. Pod ON, and paired t-tests or Wilcoxon tests determined statistical significance (alpha < 0.05).

Results

Subjects completed more trials at a faster pace (Symbol Digit Test; latency = 2.98 ± 0.51 vs. 3.23 ± 0.60 s, respectively; 7.0 ± 9.0%; P<0.01) with Pod ON vs OFF. Short-term memory recall speed significantly improved (1.42 ± 0.28 vs. 1.51 ± 0.28 s, respectively; 5.8 ± 9.9%; P<0.01) and executive function improved by 1.46 s (10.51 ± 2.09 vs. 11.97 ± 4.50 s; 7.6 ± 17.4%; P=0.06) with Pod ON vs. OFF. Accuracy was not significantly different from Pod OFF to Pod ON for any cognitive tests (all P>0.05). Increased TST and deep sleep from Pod OFF to ON significantly correlated with improved executive function and short-term memory, respectively (both P<0.05).

Shop the Pod

Upgrade your sleep with Eight Sleep's cooling technology

Learn more
Pod 3

Read more

Empty image

Autopilot: How our powerful technology drives unmatched sleep improvement

Empty image

Introducing Autopilot 3.0, our most personalized, responsive version to date.

Empty image

Seasonal Affective Disorder Self-Care: How to Combat the Winter Blues

Empty image

Autopilot: How our powerful technology drives unmatched sleep improvement

Empty image

Introducing Autopilot 3.0, our most personalized, responsive version to date.

Empty image

Seasonal Affective Disorder Self-Care: How to Combat the Winter Blues

Empty image

Autopilot: How our powerful technology drives unmatched sleep improvement

Empty image

Introducing Autopilot 3.0, our most personalized, responsive version to date.

Empty image

Seasonal Affective Disorder Self-Care: How to Combat the Winter Blues