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SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband | Full Review

 

 

The most advanced biofeedback device for treating bruxism is the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband (wikipedia). It is an acoustic EMG biofeedback device – it uses sound to teach muscles to stop habitual clenching and grinding and learn to relax. It has no external electrical connections and is powered by batteries. It is easy to use and extremely successful in permanently stopping bruxism.

 

Biofeedback Treatment for Bruxism?

Bruxism or teeth grinding, teeth clenching and teeth gritting is a common sleep disorder that most of us experience at some time. Often caused by stress, it usually goes away when the stress is gone. But, sometimes the habit of clenching or grinding teeth continues even when we eliminate the cause. It becomes an unconscious habit and habits are tough to break. Prolonged clenching and grinding can cause serious teeth damage, pain in the jaw, ears and migraine type headaches. In severe cases, it can cause TMJ or Temporomandibular joint inflammation or disorder.

While devices like mouth guards alleviate the pain and discomfort and protect teeth from further damage, they are not highly effective in addressing the bad habit of clenching and grinding. The research shows that the most effective tool for permanently stopping bruxism is the Biofeedback treatment.

 

The biofeedback headband was invented in 1998 by Lee Weinstein. Weinstein has previously worked as professor of electrical engineering at MIT, and as a designer of hospital medical equipment for Hewlett Packard. He patented his device first in 2000 and again in 2001 (the advanced and improved version.) The biofeedback headband became commercially available the same year and was recommended for the treatment of bruxims. In 2007, Holistic Technologies redesigned the device and it is now sold as SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband.

 

Wearing the SleepGuard Biofeedback Headband

  • Step 1 – Press the button to turn SleepGuard on
  • Step 2 – Put on the fully-adjustable headband
  • Step 3 – Go to Sleep!

 

What is biofeedback treatment?
Biofeedback is the way of becoming aware of an involuntary physiological activity or function in order to control it. Biofeedback uses instruments that not only provide information about the activity, but the way to affect it in some way. Biofeedback has been successfully used to treat migraines for quite some time. There are various instruments that can be used to monitor involuntary physiological activity and to disrupt them. Biofeedback headband is one of them, and there is significant amount of research on using biofeedback in treating bruxism.

 

How Biofeedback Helps With Bruxism?

Biofeedback is used to treat bruxism by implementing a device which can automatically sense bruxing behavior, such as tensing of jaw muscles. The principle used is very simple – once bruxing is detected, the device provides a signal to the grinder in order to make him or her stop.

Biofeedback can be used to train people while awake to become aware of clenching their jaws in order to make them consciously relax the muscles involved. This is very effective in breaking a habit of clenching and grinding. Once people become aware of clenching their jaws, they become also aware of how they respond to stress and are able to control it.

How successful the biofeedback device is in controlling the nighttime bruxism depends on the time used for the training during the day, which is necessary in order to trigger a Pavlovian response to the biofeedback signal even when a person is asleep.

 

What is a Pavlovian response?
According to the American Heritage® Medical Dictionary, Pavlovian response, Pavlovian conditioning or classical conditioning is “A process of behavior modification by which a subject comes to respond in a desired manner to a previously neutral stimulus that has been repeatedly presented along with an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the desired response.” Classical conditioning was used for the first time by a Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov, who received a Nobel Price in 1904 for his study of dog’s digestion. Professor Pavlov noticed that, if he rings a bell every time he gives dogs food, dogs will start salivating when they hear the bell even without food. This works, of course, if it is repeated sufficient number of times. The process has been used ever since as an important method of learning.

 

The Biofeedback headband is attached to the jaw muscles in order to detect the very weak electronic EMG signal (Electromyography) created by muscles. Once the muscles contract to start clenching, the biofeedback headband senses it and sends an audio signal to the person in order to disrupt the sleep, just enough to stop clenching.

 

 

 

*Sleepguard Unboxing Video from Sleepguard German

The sound starts quietly and gets progressively louder until the bruxing stops. A few minutes of practice during the day enables most people to learn to relax when they hear the sound, so that the sound does not wake them up.

Biofeedback Headband can be used as a highly effective and accurate device for diagnosing bruxism – your own personal Sleep Lab.

Sleep Labs are often used to diagnose bruxism by conducting a series of tests which measure EMG (electromyography) to detect the activity of chewing muscles. The Headband is designed to detect EMG signals from the muscles, to record their activity and to activate the sound signal to stop the activity. So, you get not only the diagnosis but the cure at the same time.

The SleepGuard biofeedback headband is currently considered the most efficient and successful device for reducing nighttime teeth grinding and teeth clenching. It is also highly effective for reducing or even completely eliminating pain associated with bruxism, such as symptoms TMJ pain, tension-type headaches and migraines.

Clinical Trial
Scientists found during clinical that only three short sessions of daytime training in using the biofeedback device establishes Pavlovian conditioning not only while awake, but during sleep as well. The results of the clinical trials show that about 75 percents of people suffering from bruxism showed almost 60 percents less nighttime bruxism almost immediately. After a month of using the biofeedback headband, more than half of bruxers had their clenching reduced by about 80 percents.

 

The biofeedback headband is also designed to compile data on the number of clenching events and counts the total accumulated grinding time during a night. It is sensitive enough to catch bruxism events as little as 0.2 seconds. The user can adjust the volume of the biofeedback sound, as well as the force of the bite which will trigger the headband.

 

More on Clinical Trial
In 2011 Lee Weinstein presented a paper on the Nighttime Biofeedback as a Tool for the Reduction of Habitual Bruxism Activity and Related TMD Symptoms at the SOTO (Sacro-Occipital Technique Organization) USA conference. The paper introduced the principle of biofeedback in the treatment of bruxims and presented the results of the clinical trials conducted on the efficiency of the device. The first clinical trial was completed in October 2010 and involved 92 patients. The goal of the trial was to find out how effective is the biofeedback headband in reducing bruxism. The results were measured by evaluating the total time each patient spent clenching while wearing the headband. Clenching was recorded each night for each patient and the clenching time was presented in the form of a graph for easy comparison.

 

Conclusion:
The results of the clinical trial were highly encouraging. About 75 percent of participating patients substantially reduced their nightly clenching, thanks to the persistent wearing of the biofeedback headband. The majority achieved reduced clenching time from the very beginning of the use of the headband. Their pain was reduced or completely eliminated after only a few days. About 25 percents of patients continued to have the same level of reduced clenching level, and about 50 percents of patients continued to reduce their clenching times.The follow-up to this clinical trial will last 60 days instead of 30. It will have three baseline measurements – at the beginning, after 27 days and after 57 days.There is another clinical trial in the pipeline in order to study the reduction of migraine pain with the use of biofeedback headband. The study will be run by a neurologist in Buffalo, New York. Click here to download the full clinical trial PDF.

 

Batteries

The SleepGuard biofeedback headband is powered by two sets of CR2032 lithium 3V coin cell batteries (known as watch batteries). Batteries will last about 320 hours of activity, or roughly 40 nights of an average eight hours of sleep. This is huge improvements to the earlier version of the device which used rechargeable batteries. Batteries are available in all Radio Shack shops and from the headband manufacturer for the much reduced price. The device is shielded to avoid any negative electromagnetic effect on your energy field.

 

The SleepGuard and Sleep

The sound that your device uses to train you to stop clenching and grinding is very light and it is rare that a sleeping partner hears it all. It is adjustable and you might have to increase its loudness if you notice from the recorded feedback that you keep clenching even after it sounded.

We clench and grind our teeth only during the shallow portion of our sleep. Once in deep or REM sleep (Rapid eye movement sleep), clenching and grinding stops. Unfortunately, people who suffer from bruxism cannot get into the REM sleep because of their grinding and clenching, so they wake up in the morning tired and sleepless. The SleepGuard biofeedback device allows you to get a healthy, whole night sleep and wake up rested and relaxed.

 

Free 21-Day Trial

The SleepGuard biofeedback headband is currently offered with Free 21-day trial. If you don’t find it works great for you and enables you to get yourself out of pain, then you can return it, and they won’t even charge you for shipping it to you. You can continue wearing your mouth guard, especially at the beginning, to protect your teeth, and you can stop once you see through your monitor that you are not grinding any more. For further information, visit retailer’s website.

 

Customers’ Reviews

Reviews by Amazon customers show that SleepGuard band works very fast, both for migraines and bruxism. It is reported as particularly effective for TMJ. The only drawback noticed is the look: one customer warned that the band is not exactly making you look sexy and might keep your partner laughing at your futuristic look.

A number of very positive Testimonials confirm that you can expect results from your SleepGuard in less than one month. Users as well as doctors recommend to use the device every day during the training period, while you are ‘training’ your muscles to react to the biofeedback sound signal. Once you stop habitual clenching and grinding, you can wear your SleepGuard headband only when you are tense, to ensure a good sleep. Scroll down for more users’ reviews…

Here are some screenshots (Amazon Customers’ reviews):

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Common FAQs:

Is the SleepGuard headband safe to use?

SleepGuard biofeedback headband is completely safe. The gentle biofeedback sound is non-intrusive and in most cases will not even wake you up. The headband has no external electrical wires and is powered by two watch batteries. It is electromagnetically shielded to avoid affecting your body’s energy. All parts of the device and the headband are made of hypoallergenic materials.

I have a very small / very large head. Will it fit me?

The SleepGuard headband is proven to fit all sizes of adult heads, and it functions perfectly regardless of the head circumference. However, it is not designed to properly fit small children.

Will these hurt my skin or cause a rash? Are there any allergy problems?

The headband is made of cotton terrycloth and a polyester blend. The sensor pads are manufactured from a hypoallergenic silicone rubber material with suspended carbon. The center is stainless steel. No allergic reactions or skin discomfort have been reported by SleepGuard customers on any of these materials.

How much does it weigh?

The electronic device, batteries and headband together weigh about two ounces.

Will it disrupt my sleep?

The biofeedback tone sounds very briefly at the moment when you start clenching your teeth. The moment you stop, the sound stops as well. It is not loud enough to wake you up and the loudness is adjustable to suit you.

In fact, many users of the biofeedback headband report that they sleep better than ever before, because once you stop grinding you can get into the Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. Grinding is not possible during REM sleep.

Will my partner be disturbed by the sound?

Very few users of the headband reported that their sleeping partners heard the sound the device makes. The sound is normally very discrete and it is adjustable if the sleeping partner finds it disturbing.

How does it work?

When you grind or clench your teeth, your jaw muscles send a very light electrical impulse. The SleepGuard biofeedback headband senses this signal, although it is so light that it is the equivalent of one millionth of a flashlight battery voltage. Once the signal is received by the headband unit, it emits a light sound that is meant to trigger the automatic impulse to stop grinding. This automatic response is based on the principle of Pavlovian response.

How long should I wear the SleepGuard biofeedback headband before seeing an improvement?

Clinical trials as well as reports from the users show that some people respond to wearing the headband with very quick results – in a few days only. Others experience a more gradual improvement with the regular use. You should monitor the amount of time you spent clenching and the number of instances of clenching on your device each morning and will be able to see how well you are responding. You can safely expect great results in less than 30 days.

Do I have to wear the headband every night? Can I wear the SleepGuard headband during the day?

Many people clench their teeth during the day as well, so wearing the headband will help them stop and relax. In addition, wearing the biofeedback headband during the first few days is crucial for its successful functioning. You need to train yourself to respond to the sound your device emits by relaxing your jaws. Once you are trained, you will respond automatically during sleep. It is recommended to wear the device every night for a while in order to break the habit. After you see noticeable improvement, you can wear it only after you went through a stressful event, since teeth grinding is often stress-related.

Can I still use a mouth guard?

The main purpose of the mouth guard is to protect the teeth from further damage caused by teeth grinding or clenching. It is very rare that people actually stop grinding or clenching teeth only because they are wearing mouth guard. On the other hand, biofeedback headband has excellent track record in significantly reducing grinding and even completely stopping it. Since wearing the headband will cause you to stop grinding, in some point, there will be no purpose in wearing your mouth guard as well. But, feel free to wear it together with the headband if it makes you feel comfortable, it does not hurt.

Final Say

We don’t actually sell any products at MouthGuardsForTeethGrinding.com, we just evaluate and review them. But we do look for the best dealers and prices on the internet and the best price for the SleepGuard biofeedback headband seems to be found on here.

For further information, visit retailer’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

Business Location:

Holistic Technologies, 32A Fairmont St. Arlington, MA 02474.

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Click here to download product manual (Revised September, 2011)

 

 

 

 

Write Your Own Review or Feedback!

Your opinion is very important to us! Please share your experience with the biofeedback headband and help other teeth grinders find out if the headband is the right solution for them.

Christopher

Christopher has been writing professionally for 17 years. He specializes in health and dentistry. He has written extensively on bruxism, mouth guards and alternative approaches.

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  1. Reply
    Satu Haveri December 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Hello! I am psychotherapist (cognitive-behavioral) in Finland and I am interesting your Sleepguard. Could it be possible to start importing to Finland?? Or do you already have someone here in Finland?
    I wait Your answer 😀

    Sincerelly,
    Satu Haveri, Finland
    www (.) satuhaveri (.) fi
    info (@) satuhaveri (.) fi

  2. Reply
    Mylene Merlo October 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    The Sleepguard headband has made it possible for me to have orthodontic work – I can sleep WITHOUT an uncomfortable mouthguard because the headband stops me from grinding and damaging my teeth. I wasn’t able to get braces until I could go without a mouthguard, and so now my teeth and jaw are protected, AND my teeth are being straightened! THANK YOU SleepGuard!!!

  3. Reply
    Lisa, Austin, TX August 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    “What a wonderful product! My migraines are so much better and I had my biofeedback headband for one week only. I should have tried it long ago. It is not cheap, but it is cheaper than a custom mouth guard my dentist was suggesting.”

  4. Reply
    D. Hawley, Sitka, Alaska August 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    “I wonder why my dentist did not tell me about the biofeedback headband. I certainly spent enough time and money in his clinic, with my teeth being such a mess from the years of teeth grinding. I found about it from another fellow sufferer and it changed my life. I use it every night and most nights I do not grind my teeth at all. Some nights I am back to my old habit, but for much less time. The instructions say to be patient since I had my teeth grinding habit for such a long time. My kids make fun of me and say that I look like I am communicating with space aliens with my headband, but I do not care. I feel so much better and if I pick up some alien communication, I will let the kids know.”

  5. Reply
    Irma from San Jose, CA July 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    “Wonderful invention, and reasonably priced too. Finally something that helps with my migraines. The headband really does not go with my sexy silk nightgown, but it is a small price to pay.”

  6. Reply
    Pete from Inaha, Ga July 5, 2012 at 9:33 am

    “I started using my biofeedback headband just a week ago, but I already feel much better. My jaw is less sore in the morning and I seem to be sleeping much better. The reading on my headband shows that I now grind my teeth only several times every night and for a few seconds only. I am very hopeful.”

  7. Reply
    Nadia from Paonia, Colorado June 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    ” I thought that biofeedback headband is just another moneymaking contraption, but I decided to try it when I saw that the company offered 21 days free trial. And I am happy I did. It took some time to figure it out, since I had to train myself to react to the sound during the day, but after a few days I was on the way. My teeth grinding is so much better and I have been using the headband for two weeks only. I now grind my teeth only after I had a stressful day, so I will probably stop using it every night. “

  8. Reply
    K. Smith, Addison, Alabama June 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    “Finally something that works! I went through so many mouth guards, my wife threatened to move to the guest bedroom if I continue grinding my teeth, my jaw was in agony every morning, I was at the end of my tether. Then a friend told me to try SleepGuard biofeedback headband. It is not cheap, but I can finally sleep in peace, and so can my wife, and my morning headache is gone too. Worth every penny.”

  9. Reply
    M. Belene, NY May 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    ” I have tried just about everything available on the market to stop my horrible migraines and I have wasted a lot of money. After a week of wearing my biofeedback headband, the time I spent clenching my teeth at night was significantly reduced and my migraines are now much less frequent. I hope that one day they will stop altogether. I wish I have known about this device earlier.”

  10. Reply
    B. Norton, Philadelphia May 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    “I used to grind my teeth every night. My teeth were all worn out and I would wake up with the headache every morning. After only three days of wearing the biofeedback headband, I woke up with no pain in the jaw and my headaches are now a thing of the past. I can finally throw away my mouth guard.”

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