Up and Coming Sleep Tech Companies that Will Change the Way We Sleep
Technological innovations have dramatically impacted the way we communicate and go about our lives. From computers to smartphones and everything in-between, the world runs on technology. Not only can these advancements make our lives easier, but they may make us healthier.
Tech companies have harnessed health science data to create products aimed at improving your well-being, including sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as many as 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. Insufficient rest can negatively affect both your mental and physical health, which is why getting quality sleep should be a top priority for all individuals.
Technology and Sleep
Companies are eager to use technology in hopes of helping people improve their rest, and some of the ways they are doing this are both varied and fascinating. Below is a list of innovative companies that are looking to change the sleep game for the better.
A mattress plays a significant role in how well you rest, and therefore, is a prime industry for emerging sleep technology. One such mattress company that’s embraced new tech features for their beds is Purple.
Founded in 2013 by two engineers, mattress manufacturer Purple has made a name for itself with witty and creative commercials. They may be known for their memorable ads, but Purple’s tech-savvy mattresses also stand out.
The company’s signature feature is the Purple Gel Grid that’s constructed into each mattress. The grid was engineered to provide the benefits of other popular materials such as memory foam but with an entirely original design.
Many sleepers consider pressure relief, support, and cooling essential features of a quality bed. The grid is made with a temperature-neutral gel and features more than 1800 air channels, which should help the sleeper stay cool.
The grid is also hyper-elastic, which allows it to respond to pressure instantly. That immediate responsiveness means the Purple Grid can cradle the sleeper to relieve pressure points while also helping to keep the other parts of the body well-supported.
Another company that’s embraced tech advancements in the mattress space is Brooklyn Bedding. The company set out to create a foam superior to memory, and the result is TitanFlex™. This foam is made from latex and is designed to offer more responsiveness and pressure relief than traditional memory foam.
Additionally, TitanFlex™ is engineered to help keep sleepers cool by quickly absorbing and wicking away moisture.
Not only is creating their brand of foam tech-savvy, but it’s also business-savvy. The company says TitanFlex™ costs less to produce, allowing them to bring down the overall mattress price. This specific foam can be found in the company’s Signature Hybrid and Aurora Hybrid mattresses.
Oura packs a big punch in a tiny product with their Oura Ring, a health-tracking device that measures both your daytime and nighttime stats.
While you sleep, the Oura is programmed to collect data on your Resting Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability (HRV), Respiratory Rate, Body Temperature, Non-REM and REM Sleep, Nighttime Movement, and Sleep Timing and Quality. The results are then presented to you in the Oura App on your smartphone. By gathering this information, the Oura Ring aims to help you understand how well – or not – you sleep and provide direction on how to improve this.
While some health tracking devices stay on the wrist, Oura purposely designed their product to be worn on a finger for a more accurate read. The Oura Ring also uses infrared light photoplethysmography (PPG), which the company says should provide a more thorough analysis than the green light LEDs in other wearable products.
The human body has an internal 24-hour cycle known as the Circadian Rhythm. This biological clock tells our bodies when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep, and one of its primary triggers is light. Sometimes, though, other factors such as artificial light or irregular work schedules can interrupt the sleep-wake cycle, impacting your quality of rest.
Sound Oasis is looking to amend this issue with the help of some NASA-inspired technology. To help astronauts get on a regular sleep schedule while in space, NASA used red and blue lights to cue their bodies for sleep and waking up.
Sound Oasis is bringing a similar concept with the illumy Smart Sleep Mask. Not only does the device block out light (a benefit for those who work overnights), but it uses blue-toned lights to help you awake at the desired time and red tones to foster sleep.
We use light and sounds to help us wake up, but what about scents? The Sensorwake Trio is taking sleep technology to a whole new level by helping you wake up with different aromas, followed by light and music.
You can opt for smells that include a latte, pine forest, peppermint, seaside, tropical fruit, and more. The 3-step alarm system features three minutes of the desired scent, followed by light, and then ends with a calming melody.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
These products certainly offer plenty of innovative ideas, but do they deliver results?
The benefit of the mattresses is they come with trial periods that allow you to test out the bed before fully committing to the purchase. Additionally, both Purple and Brooklyn Bedding use their respective tech inventions in different models that further cater to your individual sleep preferences and needs.
For example, Purple sells their standard mattress with the grid and foams along with the Purple Hybrid and Purple Hybrid Premier, which also feature support coils. The Purple Mattress has a 2-inch grid, while the Hybrid Premier comes with a 3 or 4-inch grid. That difference in thickness and other factors like your weight could impact how successful this technology is for you.
The Oura Ring focuses on providing details about your quality of rest, and according to this review in New York Magazine, the device’s readings are pretty accurate. At the very least, though, the Oura Ring’s data on your sleep health should help remind and motivate you to prioritize quality rest.
The concept behind the illumy mask from Sound Oasis is rooted in proven evidence that light impacts sleep. The mask could improve your sleep schedule by blocking out light, but it remains unclear if the blue and red hues will also make a significant difference.
According to research from Brown University, scents cannot awaken people who are asleep, so while the sounds and lights from the Sensorwake Trio could help you wake up, the scents alone should not do the trick. However, positive scents could help motivate you to get out of bed and improve your mood, which could leave you feeling more refreshed as you start your day.
The Downside of Technology
The products covered above are utilizing technology to enhance your slumber, but in some cases, technology and rest aren’t a good mix.
As mentioned, artificial light can throw off your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and this includes the blue light emitted from tech devices. While you may regularly scroll through your phone, work on your laptop, or watch television before hitting the sack, experts warn that these devices stimulate your brain causing you to feel more awake and can delay REM sleep. Furthermore, those tech devices suppress production of the hormone Melatonin, which helps induce sleepiness at nighttime.
That’s not to say you need to give up this technology altogether, but rather cut off your screen time at least an hour before bed to rest better. When it comes to technology, it’s good to know when – and when not – to use it.