Generally the rules of technology and sleep are simple, do not mix the two.
Research shows that the blue light from smartphones and other screens stops our bodies from producing melatonin, a hormone that helps us fall asleep. Other studies suggest that reading on a screen before bedtime makes you drowsier the next day, and that spending too much time using your smartphone anytime throughout the day may be harmful to sleep.
This year’s Consumer Electronics Show of more than 3,800 companies showcasing new products suggests the rules on sleep and tech are getting more complicated.
For the first time ever, “sleep tech” is an exhibit category with dedicated space in the Las Vegas exhibition. The 2017 show’s agenda includes the panels, “Waking Up to the Sleep Tech Movement,” and, “Today’s High-Tech Nurseries.”
“It’s proven that sleep drastically impacts our overall health,” Allison Fried, director of global event technology for CES, told The Huffington Post.
“From sleep trackers and silent alarms to bedroom lighting, white noise and even smart beds, sleep technologies are helping us take control of our nighttime routines and re-energizing our bodies,” Fried said.
Technology can help people sleep better by giving them more knowledge about their sleep habits, said Mick Farrell, CEO of ResMed, a medical device company that designs and manufactures products for patients with sleep apnea and other respiratory diseases.
“Unlike diet (where we know what we eat) and exercise (we know whether we did any), for sleep we have little ability to truly understand it,” Farrell told HuffPost. “That’s where technology comes in and can really change the game.”
“The key is having accurate information that can turn big data from sleep into actionable information so people can sleep better and live better,” Farrell said.
Here are a few of the best gadgets that will be showcased this year.
NuCalm: The four-step “system” includes dietary supplements and a topical cream to help your body counteract adrenaline, microcurrent stimulation patches to facilitate the body’s relaxation response, noise-dampening headphones with software that syncs your brain waves to the pace of the lightest stages of sleep, and a light-blocking eye mask so you don’t get visually distracted.
EMFitQS Sleep Tracker: Emfit QS is the world’s first heart rate variability enabled contactless sleep tracker. It is completely automatic, autonomous (no phone needed) and is installed in bed under the mattress.
Sleep Number’s 360 Smart Bed: Designed to keep you and your partner effortlessly comfortable, the Sleep Number 360™smart bed senses your movements then automatically adjusts firmness, comfort and support–your Sleep Number® setting–to keep you both sleeping blissfully, all night long.