For years we were told to make the bedroom a technology-free zone, to keep bedtime TV watching as a hotel luxury, and to not – under any circumstance – look at our phones before hitting the hay. But now, in the middle of a Sleep Recession, we’re getting smarter about our snoozing, and we have technology to thank.
Just last week, The Daily Telegraph reported that the sleep aid industry is expected to surge to $79bn by 2022, and while a big portion of that is comprised of sleeping medication, sleep technology is the next big wellness trend expected to hit the mainstream.
For some sleep enthusiasts, dreamy gadgets are already becoming a big part of their nighttime routine. In the same Telegraph feature, our wonderful client at Soda Says explained that sleep tech is “one of our biggest categories”, with sleep devices becoming “absolutely huge”.
For help nodding off, you might turn to an app like Calm or Headspace, which you access through your phone for a guided meditation class delivered straight to your pillow, helping you forget your daily anxieties. Or if you’d rather keep your phone locked away after hours, you could turn to the discreet Dodow Sleep Aid from Soda Says, which cleverly projects pulsing light on to the ceiling to guide your breathing down to six breaths per minute, calming your nervous system and helping you catch some zeds.
But it doesn’t stop there; people are wanting to know just how well they’re sleeping when they do drift off, with wearable tech, fitness trackers, and even some features built into smartphones, all delivering a post-sleep analysis. And when it comes to waking up, if you can’t get out of bed without a coffee, Barisieur has you covered with the coffee-brewing alarm clock so you can rise to the sweet smells of fresh espresso.
With more companies jumping on the sleep-tech bandwagon, brands are having to become bigger and bolder with their marketing campaigns to be heard, and this is no different for mattress expert Simba, which hit the headlines for creating The Zed Rooms. Inspired by the last few weeks of pregnancy, where babies get an average of 12 hours’ sleep per day, The Zed Rooms is a series of apartments designed to reflect the inside of the womb! Using high-tech mattresses, calming colours, sleep recipe suggestions and furniture with softened corners, the entire room is created to transport you into a calm state of mind.
We can’t actually see ourselves reshaping our bedrooms into organic pre-natal pouches, but we’ve already had first-hand experience of how the current crop of health gadgets can help take us to the land of slumber. On my bedside table, you’ll find a Sleep Aid for those restless nights, and a lavender oil diffuser – both proven to slow down heartrate – while I’ll swear by my sunrise alarm clock to help me wake up on the right side of bed! This bodes well for the industry, as the rise of the sleep-tech industry will only continue to surge if people see real results – those trackers need to be showing less REM sleep and more deep snoozing.
We’ll be sure to let you know how we get on with any future sleep tech that enters our boudoirs. Until then, sweet dreams!