011: Ariel Garten, co-founder of Muse: The Brain Sensing headband, teaches us how to use neurofeedback for emotional regulation and to improve sleep.

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Episode Summary

For those of you who find emotional regulation (i.e., a brain on autopilot!) to be at the source of your sleep difficulties, this podcast is for you. Ariel Garten is the Muse’s creator, a neurofeedback tool that sits on your head like a headband and essentially acts as a “guru in your pocket, guiding your brain back to a calm state of mind when it loses focus.

Guest Bio:

Garten is co-founder of InteraXon, the makers of Muse: the brain sensing headband. Muse is the award-winning wearable technology that assists and trains meditation and mindfulness. Before founding InteraXon, Ariel was not only trained as a neuroscientist and psychotherapist but also started her own international clothing line while she worked in labs researching Parkinson’s disease and hippocampal neurogenesis.

Her creativity and entrepreneurial head combined with her fascination with the brain lead her to join forces with two like-minded friends Chris and Trevor to start InteraXon. Together they founded a Silicon Valley backed startup that allowed people to control computers with their minds, the technology that sparked the creation of Muse. Her team’s technology has been featured in over 1000 media pieces, as well as was the feature showcase at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, an installation that allowed over 7,000 people control the lights on the CN tower, Canadian parliament buildings, and Niagara Falls with their brains from across the country.

These days, Ariel can be found at home playing with her 2-year-old or on stage across the world speaking about happiness, meditation, understanding mental health, or telling her own

innovation story, consistently giving her audiences the tools they need to help them become their best selves.

Episode Notes

In this episode, we discuss:

🧠Ariel Garten’s story on how she created the Muse

🧠Why Ariel evolved this product beyond meditation to more specifically focus on sleep

🧠Success stories of people using neurofeedback through the Muse at night can transform persistent or chronic sleep difficulties

🧠A detailed discussion of the brain and its transitions from an awake state to a sleep state, into various stages while we are asleep.

🧠Discussions on brainwave activities

🧠Ariel’s insights as to the ability for meditation to help support high quality sleep architecture. Speculations, but unfortunately, we’re not there yet to understand the impact.

🧠Ariel’s wisdom for those who feel they cannot meditate or get more stressed during meditation. That was precisely why she invented the Muse!

🧠Why the Muse can be helpful for women at various parts of their cycle

🧠Ariel helps us understand why we can’t just look at sleep stages from wearables on the wrist or hand to get insight and accuracy to as much as our gold standard as we can when it’s on the brain.



Ariel Garten is probably one of the most interesting people you will meet. She is trained as a psychotherapist and neuroscientist, is a mom, former fashion designer, and the co-founder and visionary of an amazing and highly successful tech start-up Muse.  

Muse tracks your brain during meditation to give you real-time feedback on your meditation, guiding you into the “zone” and solving the problem most of us have when starting a meditation practice. Muse lets you know when you are doing it right. Muse S is also designed to help you fall asleep faster.

When Ariel is not reading brains (literally) or investing in, inspiring, and advising other start-ups and women in biz, you can find her on stages across the world, from TED to MIT to SXSW. She inspires people to understand that they can accomplish anything they want by learning what goes on in their own minds.

Ariel is also the co-host of the Untangle Podcast.