Rocking beds and pillows that nudge when you snore: Tech wants into your bed
I’ve tried a mattress with water cooling and another that sways like a boat. I’ve worn brainwave-measuring helmets and rested on pillows that nudge you when you snore.
In the hunt for better sleep, I’ve even snuggled up with a robot.
For the gadget industry, sleep is the new exercise — solvable with data. What Fitbits and Apple Watches did for getting moving, consumer tech now wants to do for getting Z’s. A third of us suffer from sleep problems, a symptom of unhealthy diets, stress and too much time staring at screens.
So does any of it work?
This year at CES, the tech industry confab, I met makers of more than a dozen sleep gadgets that promise to make you feel, perform and look better.
And at home, I’ve been testing the Tesla of snooze, a $5,000 Sleep Number 360 P6 smart mattress and frame. It monitors sleep and makes micro-adjustments to the mattress all night — an automated Princess and the Pea.
Few consumer sleep gadgets have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration or are backed by rigorous validation, but some are built on insights from real sleep science.
“A lot of devices that are coming out may provide some benefit,” says Dr. Rachel Salas, a professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins.
Some try to fix the bedroom by making it a more comfortable place.
Others try to fix the sleeper through data that teaches better habits.
Just knowing you spent $5,000 on a bed also might keep some up.
The doctors I spoke with recommend not buying anything until you’ve taken their free advice: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. We sleep better in cooler rooms and ones with as little light as possible.
And the biggest sleep distraction may be your smartphone, so leave it just in earshot outside the bedroom.
Geoffrey A. Fowler is a writer
for The Washington Post