I Tried the Muse Headband for 30 Days (Here’s What Happened)

It took a year from the time I heard about the Muse Headband until I finally decided to buy it, and see if it can really help me improve my meditation and mindfulness practice, sleep problems, and learn to control and calm my mind.

I tried the Muse S (the newest model available) for 30 days before sharing my results with you, so if you are wondering if the Muse headband is worth it, here’s my complete Muse Headband trial and review.

Muse headband trial and review

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What is the Muse Headband?

The Muse headband is made by a Canadian startup called InteraXon and is a wearable that comes with 7 EEG sensors (on the forehead and behind the ears) to measure and respond to your mind, heart, and breath.

This brain-sensing headband helps you understand how well you can focus, sleep and recharge, and uses all sorts of sounds to teach you how to calm your mind, heartbeat, breath, and sleep.

The New S model (the S stands for sleep), which is much lighter and more versatile, now has the ability to monitor your sleep and offers sleep journeys that help you fall asleep much faster.

The S model now includes EEG sensors (for the brain), a PPG + Pulse Oximetry (for the heart), an accelerometer (for the body meditation), and PPG + Gyroscope for the breath.

What is the Muse Meditation App?

Muse meditation trial
First time trying the Muse mind meditation – for 10 minutes

The Muse app, which easily connects to the headband (when it’s turned on) allows you to choose from 5 different meditations (with guided exercises) with friendly animated videos before you try them for the first time. They also show you how to optimally place the headband for an accurate measurement.

The meditation won’t start until the app confirms that the headband is used properly, which is wonderful for the less tech-savvy.

When your session ends (you can choose how much time you want it to last – from 5 minutes to an hour) – the Muse app allows you to see all the data on whether a given meditation session was effective in slowing the endless stream of thoughts, lower your heartbeat, focus on your breath, and sit still.

The first meditation is the mind meditation, which uses EEG sensors, and offers soft rain sounds. When the rain sound goes quiet and you start hearing chirping birds, you know your mind is now calm and you are focusing well.

When you are distracted, the rain sounds become “stormy”. You can hear the rain soundscape here!

In the end, you’ll get a score that includes session points, the number of birds, and recovery points indicating how many times you managed to return to a calm state after being distracted.

Muse headband meditation app results
Counting my breaths was the most effective mind-calming meditation

The second meditation is the heart meditation, where you hear soft drum sounds, indicating whether you manage to relax and reduce your heart rate. You get the same scores at the end.

The third meditation is the body meditation, which helps you learn how to still during your meditation.

The 4th meditation is the breath meditation, which uses all three sensors and guides you through breathing exercises, along with ambient sound on the inhale and a pleasant whoosing sound in the exhale.

muse breath meditation trial
My first-week results
I was surprised to find that the breathing exercise that was based on counting my breaths (the third exercise in this section) was the most effective one, and my first try resulted in more than 70% birds and more than 5 consecutive minutes (out of 10) of a calm mind. I never thought counting my breaths would be so helpful for focusing.

What is The Muse Sleep?

Muse sleep tracking trial
First time using the Muse sleep tracking (for a 2-hour nap)

The sleep section inside the app offers different sleep journeys, to help you relax and fall asleep (especially if you suffer from night anxiety). After that, the app goes quiet and the headband monitors your movement, brain activity, orientation, and heartbeat throughout the night.

You can either choose a guided sleep track (10-20 minutes), where a soothing voice, along with nature sounds, helps you fall asleep quickly. You’ll need wireless earphones so you can sleep comfortably.

If you don’t want the voices, you can choose from a variety of soundscape tracks, such as Ocean Rhythm, or Mountain wind, for as much time as you choose.

Once you fall asleep (I removed the earphones once I drifted to sleep), the app starts tracking your heart, brain, and sleep stages (awake/REM/light sleep/deep sleep), and everything

The relaxing audio sounds helped me fall asleep way before they got quiet, and thanks to the soft fabric and minimal design, the headband didn’t interrupt my sleep, no matter if I was sleeping on my side, my back, or on the stomach.

When you wake up, you can look at the app to see the helpful analysis graph and your score. The data was very helpful and I was impressed.

I could gradually notice patterns between my personal data and my mood and feelings upon awakening, and I even found a connection between my deep sleep states and my mattress and pillow comfort.

To feel fully rested in the morning, you need high-quality stage 3 deep sleep. The app measures your movements during the night, and I discovered I toss and turn a lot, which disturbs my deep sleep and is probably caused by discomfort.

I decided to buy a new mattress and changed my pillow to a contoured memory foam one – and this resulted in much fewer movements and better sleep!

The Muse Headband – My Review & Results 

Before I Forget
I managed to get a 15% discount for all Muse Headband models that applies automatically when you purchase through the official site. If you’d like, use it. (I was not paid to write this review and have paid the full price for the Muse)

I am highly impressed with the Muse and loved it from the first guided tutorial and meditation I tried. Something about this comfortable and easy-to-use headband, along with the simple (yet data-rich) app makes it feel like a quality device.

In less than a week, I’ve learned how to increase the sound of birds (signaling a calm mind) I hear during a mind meditation and reduce the drum beat (signaling my heartbeat) during the heart meditation.

I also saw for the first time how focusing my mind and sitting still during my meditation quickly reduces my heartbeat and the other way around.

It was magic to see the holistic connection between my thoughts, my brainwaves, and my heartbeat.

muse heart meditation app results

After 2 weeks I was able to use the breathing techniques offered by the Muse to calm my mind and heart on the go – without using the audio sounds and the app guidance – during work or other stressful daily situations.

I feel like I have improved my ability to focus in all areas of my life: my cognitive abilities at work (I am also less tired and need fewer breaks), my ability to have a focused conversation with my kids, my overall fatigue is down, and I am less bothered with constant intrusive and worrying thoughts.

As for the sleep tracking, the rich data I received has helped me realize that my bed setting was not optimal for me because I was tossing and turning a lot.

This has made me decide to purchase a new (hybrid) mattress and change my pillow to a contoured side sleeper pillow. The results were amazing – I almost stopped moving in my sleep altogether and got a long deep sleep state, which is essential for quality sleep (and health).

Is the Muse Headband Worth It?

In conclusion, I had no idea I was going to get hooked on the Muse and how it would become a part of my daily routine – whether it’s for 10 minutes of mind meditation (striving to get 80% or more bird sounds…), or using it to fall asleep in less than 5 minutes every night.

A better, calmer, less distracted brain, and good deep sleep at night?

That’s something well worth the spend, and why it is likely to remain one of my most used and loved gadgets in the coming years. It has made me “compete” against myself, get better results, and more meditation time daily.

muse headband reserach

The company also promises future updates that I’m looking forward to, one of them is the 5th kind of meditation – a walking meditation, with your eyes open.

Now that’s a challenge I want to take on. How about you?

👉 If you want to try it yourself, use my link to get an automatically applied 15% discount – only for my readers!

Muse Headband Pros

  • Comfortable, lightweight, doesn’t interfere with sleep
  • Good range of meditation audios and sounds, good meditation teachers
  • A broad range of collected data, easy to track your progress and learn about your thinking and sleeping patterns, makes change easier
  • Drives you to reach meditation goals, I love the reward system

Cons

  • I would really love to see data for my mind and heartbeat at the same time – in the same meditation
  • App subscription is required if you want more audio options (I found it unnecessary)
  • Battery requires daily charging if you use it for sleep tracking every night

Any questions? thoughts? would love to read them – use the comment section below or message me directly – on my Facebook page.

To your health and happiness,

Meital

Resources

How Sleep Works: Understanding the Science of Sleep

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