Every January the Consumer Electronics Show, CES in Las Vegas, wakes us up from the winter slumber with futuristic gadgets. This year, sleep technology caught the attention of many insomniac bloggers and journalists.
Ignore the irony that the blue light from our technology is the primary reason so many of us struggle to sleep and take a look at these sleep-promoting gadgets:
EEG Headbands – our smartwatches can already monitor movement and heart rate to then guess how deeply we are sleeping. To accurately measure a sleeper’s brainwaves, researchers attach electroencephalogram sensors (EEG) to the skull. Dreem is one of a handful of consumer equivalents, unique in that it plays sounds to apparently stimulate deeper sleep. NuCalm took a similar approach promising CES visitors the equivalent of 2 hours sleep in just 20 minutes by stimulating deep and REM sleep using micro-current stimulation to the brain.
Smart mattress – like a wearable the Magni Smartech mattress can measure heart rate and breathing, also taking account of the bedroom environment. When snoring is detected it will prompt the sleeper to move, hopefully restoring a clear airway. Nokia claims their sleep pad achieves similar results without you having to change your bed.
Cuddly Robot – if you still miss your childhood teddy the Somnox is the high tech replacement. It replicates breathing by expanding and contracting, plays lullabies and will even read you a story.
What is most striking about these advances is that they aren’t actually offering anything new. Most of the solutions they offer are reworking natural techniques such as:
A cool, peaceful sleeping environment
The truth is we can’t cheat sleep! Whether with or without technology we must embrace our need to set aside around 8 hours every day to stop producing, communicating and doing and to simply let nature take control, restoring our bodies, minds and mood.
“I can’t get enough sleep” is not a problem; it is a potential cause (or perhaps the result) of a problem. To clarify your thinking, try to identify the bad outcome ﬁrst; e.g., “I am performing poorly in my job.”