Don’t lose your snooze: the technology that’s promising a better night’s sleep


Sleep technology is one of the biggest trends at CES, the worlds top electronics show, from beds that stop snoring to a pillow that monitors sleep cycles

A bed that adjusts itself in the night to stop people from snoring. A princess and the pea-style gadget that fits under a mattress and monitors sleep. A water-based, app-controlled mattress topper, which will encourage deep slumber.

Sleep technology is one of the biggest trends at CES, the worlds premier electronics show, which opened to the public on Thursday.

The range of products on show reflects the growing interest in solutions to insomnia and other sleep problems as well as the predictions that the global sleep market will be worth $80bn by 2020.

Sleep Numbers 360 Smart Bed is among the most eye-catching products. The mattress can detect a change of body position during the night and uses air chambers in the mattress to contour to the sleepers frame.

Sampling the bed on Thursday morning, a Guardian reporter was promised the most comfortable, effortless sleep of his life.

The reporter did not actually fall asleep during the three minutes he spent on the bed, but he could feel the bed adjusting to support his lower back and shoulders. Invited by a video demonstration screened above the bed to turn to his side, he could feel the bed adjusted again.

The Sleep Number 360 smart bed at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A video presentation explained that the Sleep Number 360 bed is even smart enough to sense snoring before you do.

Should it detect a snorer, the bed will raise the top of the mattress by 7%, which Sleep Number claims will stop the snoring. Its the only bed that goes to work when you go to sleep, said Kelley Parker, senior product brand manager at Sleep Number.

The bed is able to detect the sleepers heart rate, breath rate and motion, to provide an excellent premium sleep experience, Parker said. It can adapt to two different sleepers positions. But this kind of sleep, it seems, does not come cheap.

Parker said that pricing is not finalized but that it would be similar to existing Sleep Number pricing. (The manufacturers top-of-the-range bed retails at $7,099.99 although it is currently on sale for $5,899.99.)

A recurring theme at CES is connectivity. Almost every device on show including some washing machines and ovens will connect to cellphones and even smart home devices like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

The Sleep Number 360 bed, and most of the other sleep devices on show at CES, connect to an app on a smartphone to give the user information on how they slept, and even remind a person when they should go to bed. The Sleep Number 360 will also connect to a thermostat to control room temperature during the night. (If you can afford a wireless thermostat after buying the bed.)

A few stalls along from the magic bed, Sleep Ace was demonstrating its own line of sleep-friendly products. The Sleep Dot attaches to the sleepers pillow and feeds information back to a cellphone on movement and sleep cycles.

Some wearable devices already do this, but the attraction of the Sleep Dot, which costs $49.99, is that you dont need anything strapped to your wrist.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. Nearly one in five adults are said to suffer from chronic insomnia, while in February 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than a third of people in the US do not get enough sleep.

Another product at CES, 2breathe Sleep Inducer, is a device that helps people sleep using guiding tones composed from the users breathing. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sleeping less than seven hours a day can lead to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and frequent mental distress, the CDC said.

One product that may be appreciated by fans of Hans Christian Andersen, author of the The Princess and the Pea tale, is the Emfit QS. Its a sensor that can be installed under a mattress to monitor sleep. It connects to a smartphone to provide comprehensive reports about physical recovery, stress levels, and sleep quality.

The company says it will be of particular interest to athletes seeking to track physical recovery. Like the Sleep Number bed, the Emfit QS will also send alerts telling a userwhen to go to bed, which could be helpful (or annoying).

Another sleep device generating interest at CES is the Kryo Sleep Performance System: a mattress topper that cools down to 60F(16C), which the company claims is optimal for deep sleep.

The Kryo connects to a smartphone of course and within ten nights of collecting data it will understand a sleepers habits enough to optimize its temperature. The mattress topper has been financed by an Indiegogo campaign, and Kryo estimates it will ship out some of the Kryo sleep performance systems in 2017. It is expected to cost $299.

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