Autism can be very stressful for the child, but it’s also very stressful for the parents. In research from 2010, parents of children who have autism experience the same level of stress as a combat soldier!
Parents need to be diligent about destressing. Otherwise, their health will be impacted in the long term. You want to stay healthy for your child. How do you do that? You make sure you destress.
It’s important for parents to develop their own destressing routine. Now, I resisted this for a while until my stress just went up pretty much to here and I started getting migraines, and then my health wasn’t all that good and I had to start working in functional medicine. I definitely learned the hard way – destressing is absolutely necessary.
Even though I did some things like meditation, it’s so easy for the stress of autism to just keep building and building and building. I had a really good routine. I would meditate. I would take walks, take hikes, go in nature, and make sure to schedule time to hang out with friends. I had a system.
Even though I had a system, I still felt like I could somehow destress more. I felt like there’s more of an unwind that needs to happen every day so that there’s not such a buildup. I needed something more. There’s all this new technology out there, and I wanted to see how could technology help me relax and recover more. After some research, I found the Apollo Neuro.
You can wear it on your wrist, on the inside. It’s nicely curved, so you can wear it on your ankle too. That way, nobody sees it. I like wearing it on my ankle. On my wrist, I felt like I kept bumping into everything.
It gives a very gentle vibration that is supposed to calm the nervous system. They say to put the intensity of the vibrations to where you don’t really feel it that much. Your body feels it, but it’s not a distraction.
What’s the science?
There have been seven completed clinical trials, and there are 14 ongoing trials involving 1,700 subjects. That is a decent size for the beginning phase of technology and evaluating the technology.
What did they find in all this science? On average,
- 40% said they felt less stress and feelings of anxiety.
- 10% saw faster physical recovery
- up to 19% said they had more deep sleep. That definitely caught my eye because I know how important sleep is and I definitely wanted to get more sleep, more intense sleep so that I was recharging more.
- up to 25% said they had more focus and concentration and
- up to 30 more minutes of sleep per night. That, I was like, I don’t know how that’s possible, but…
How do you use it?
The company says to use the product three hours per day at least five times a week. They have a nice app where you can monitor and see what you’re doing. Let me show you my stats.
This is today’s usage. You can see I’ve been using it consistently. I’m using it more than five days a week. I’m actually using it every day. You can see my stats for the last 30 days.
I’ve used it for 59,471 minutes thus far. My current streak of using it every day is 135 days. I’ve used it consistently and quite a bit. They give you certain badges, but I don’t really look at that stuff. I base everything on how I feel. Using it three hours a day, five days a week, I found that very doable and easy to use.
I set up a schedule to have it run automatically. Here, let me run through my schedule:
- 6:15 AM energy vibe for 30 minutes
- 7:00 AM focus vibe
- 10:00 AM recover vibe
- 11:20 AM, focus vibe
- 4:00 PM recover vibe
- 5:00 PM social vibe, that’s dinner time. Of course, I want to be social for my daughter.
- 9:40 PM, unwind vibe
- 10:15 PM fall asleep vibe
- 1:30 AM fall asleep vibe. That’s to make sure I stay asleep and I figure why not.
That’s the schedule that I use based on what I’m doing throughout the day. I happen to work a lot and I want to enjoy life a lot, so I use that schedule to ebb and flow with me.
Did I actually see benefits? Yeah. I wouldn’t use it for 135 days straight if it was a total waste. I definitely feel a difference in the quality of sleep most nights. I don’t have an Apple watch or a ring or anything like that to track actual stats. But part of me doesn’t want to go off the deep end of tracking my bodily metrics. For now, I’m just going to keep it at the Appollo Neuro because it provides me with enough feedback, and then I don’t obsess about it. Right now, it’s a good balance.
They do tell you if you’ve maximized your focus gain, it says I’ve maxed out on that. My calm gain, it says I maxed out on that. I really don’t have any way to quantify these things, except for how I’m feeling.
Opt or Drop?
I bought the Apollo Neuro myself. This is not a paid partnership in any way. I tried it out myself. I really like it. I do feel it helps me unwind deeper and recover from those really intense days. I also feel like it helps me sleep deeper. Not necessarily more. I already have a pretty structured routine for my sleep, so I don’t think I can get more sleep. But my sleep is definitely more restorative.
Please keep in mind that I have a pretty robust mindfulness routine already, a relaxation routine – I’ve built that into my life, and this was really just to go up to the next level. I’m not sure how much of an impact this would have if this was your first step. I’m not sure how that will be.
I’m going to continue to use it. I might even buy my daughter one. This is definitely an opt, but for me.