Need a Nap? There’s an App for That
Sleep is essential for happy, healthy humans, and new apps provide the sweet sleep relief people need.
Sleep might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about innovative technologies, but companies clamoring earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show prove the hottest technologies today aren’t so much about keeping business running, but more about putting people to sleep.
The health benefits of sleep range from improved memory to more creativity to sharper focus to a better weight and less depression to the ultimate goal: living longer. Maybe that’s why there is a designated World Sleep Day with a the slogan, “Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life.”
Yet today’s fast-paced economic environment doesn’t appear to align with getting lots of quality sleep. Or does it? Working professionals need their sleep, and if they are parents, sleep is one of the most sought-after nirvanas they took for granted in their earlier days. So sleep technology is the current must-have capability in any fitness regime.
Innovative products are tapping technology to help humans get more sleep, track the quality of sleep they get and make sure their sleep isn’t upsetting others (by way of snoring).
From Fitness to Sleep Tracking
Fitness trackers are ubiquitous, and now the majority of them also monitor how much sleep people get and if the sleep is the right kind. Fit Bit and Garmin offer sleep tracking in their overall health and fitness apps and wearables.
Other upstarts are approaching sleep tracking with wearables as well. For instance, 2breathe wraps around the waist and communicates about sleep patterns with an app that will inform the wearer of the percentage of REM sleep vs. light sleep.
Snore No More
The Sleep Number 360 smart bed earned accolades earlier this year at CES for its technology that constantly monitors sleep positions and heat and adjusts to accommodate the sleeper or sleepers in the bed. The commercially available bed is known for its ability to allow two sleepers to program the bed to their individual liking. Now the bed is also reportedly able to automatically adjust for a snoring partner.
The ReST Bed is another smart bed alternative that promises to sense pressure and respond automatically to accommodate the sleeper. It also reports the data for measurement and review—and potentially improved sleep habits.
Will these types of apps and all this sleep data help the average person get more or better sleep? It remains to be seen, but at least, these new technologies are working to help the sleeper get a better night’s rest while the sleeper focuses on sleeping.