Review of 5 Smart Technologies Used for Sleep Improvement
The sleep-help economy is a massive business, generating billions of dollars in sales. Most Americans invest in sleep improvement products, be it a new mattress, new covers, supplements, or other products that can potentially help them sleep better. This multi-billion dollar business is a response to demand, this demand being prompted by increasing numbers of Americans suffering from sleep insufficiency and related health issues. A solid third of Americans have issues with achieving sufficient sleep, in other words, more than 100 million people in America are experiencing issues with their sleep. Naturally, with increasing popular demand, the market for sleep aids is growing tremendously.
Sleep help gadgets are everywhere, smart technologies included. Sleep sensors, available to infants and adults alike, smart beds, sleep apps, app-controlled sleep inducers, sleep trackers, among other developments, are all examples of technological innovations in the area of sleep improvement that arrived on the market within the last decade. The vast array of choices that we have, in terms of choosing the appropriate product, can be confusing. Technologies are developing very fast and many people, especially people in the older age brackets, are not aware of all possibilities they can now choose from to help improve their sleep.
Following are five examples of smart technologies currently available on the market. The list includes a smart baby bassinet, smart white noise machine, smart sleeping lights, wearable smart sleep tracker, and smart bed with a smart mattress.
Smart baby bassinet
Comfort and safety are crucial when it comes to sleeping babies. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is any parent’s worst nightmare. SIDS is also referred to as a crib death, defined as an unexplained death to a seemingly healthy infant under one year of age, usually when sleeping. Modern technologies provide new parents with monitoring measures that raise alarm if changes to the regular breathing pattern or heart rate of the sleeping baby occurs.
Smart technology baby bassinet definitely goes the extra mile in comparison to common baby sleep monitors. They move to soothe the baby, they monitor the baby’s breathing and heart rate, they have built-in white noise, they can mirror specific movements like swaddling, car rides, or walking, they have a built-in camera, an alarm, a timer, and many other features, all possible to control through an external app. The prices for the more sophisticated smart baby bassinets are running in the thousands, yet many modern parents still decide to invest in them, appreciative of the increased sense of safety they have during the early stages of their baby’s life.
Smart white noise machine
A white noise machine basically cancels out unwanted sounds by playing comforting noises, using sound waves that are relaxing to the human ear. The noises produced are supposed to calm the listener, and make sleep easier. The sounds are usually natural sounds like the sound of rain or a waterfall, birds singing and such, but the possibilities are virtually limitless. White noise machines are produced by many manufacturers and with different uses in mind, and they are not used only in sleep-help products, but also in audio production, sound testing, and other fields.
While white noise machines are definitely great at helping people fall asleep, caution is required when using them, especially when it comes to babies and children. More research is necessary for understanding the long-term impacts of using a white noise machine daily, and some experts even suggest that when it comes to babies and children, developing an addiction to white noise is possible. Once addiction is developed, the child is unable to fall asleep naturally without using white noise.
Smart sleeping lights
Even though it is generally understood that darkness is necessary for healthy sleeping, specialized smart lights produced specifically for sleeping promise consumers a better sleep nevertheless. Melatonin production is dependent on darkness, and therefore having sleeping lights seems contradictory. However, research has found that people fall asleep the easiest when they have a red hue light turned on. Red and orange hues are warm to the eyes and do not disrupt melatonin production. This is great news for people who prefer to sleep with some light source on in their room when they are sleeping.
Achieving different hues is quite easy. Buying smart colored light bulbs, or getting a specialized smart light source with the bulb already installed both work fine. The prices range tremendously, ranging from about thirty dollars for a pretty decent single light, to hundreds of dollars for night table machines that include multiple features all in one device, providing an alarm clock, white noise, red lights, and other features collectively. All can be easily controlled through an external app, from timing to the color hue and other adjustable options.
Wearable smart sleep tracker
A sleep tracking device offers a multitude of functions in one wearable device. Usually, the device resembles a watch, but as a smartwatch, the options consumer can enjoy, go a lot further than telling time. For people who don’t like to wear a watch on their wrist, there is another option, a standing device that can be placed on the night table. Features of a sleep tracker range based on the device purchased, but they are mainly focused on sleep duration, sleep quality, sleep phases, environmental factors, and lifestyle factors.
A smart bed and a smart mattress
Modern sleep-help technology lists cannot be complete without a smart bed and a smart mattress. There is no exact definition as to what these two products mean for different manufacturers, as the features vary widely. Generally, a smart bed can be identified as a bed that can provide consumers with features a regular bed cannot, such as sleep tracking, climate control, anti-snoring features, mattress adjustments, internet connectivity, and other features. A smart mattress can be identified as a bed that includes sensors, drawing data from your sleep patterns. This data can provide consumers with valuable information, and use this information to their benefit and improve their sleep. Some functions include sleep duration measurements, sleep cycle patterns, monitoring of body movement, breathing, heart rate, and others.