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Sleep trackers: Insomniacs share bedtime routines in LA

Assortment of devices unveiled at CES 2017 consumer technology show aim to prevent sleep deprivation for sufferers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 9:52am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 9:52am

What’s the purpose of sleep trackers? As if insomniacs need validation that they’re lousy in the sack.

Yet, sleep is the new black.  Everyone is pushing it, from swimmer Michael Phelps, to celebrity author Arianna Huffington, who both took to the stage at CES 2017 – the world’s largest consumer technology show, held in Las Vegas each January – to share their bedtime routines.

Olympian Phelps said he couldn’t reach his peak without a solid eight hours every night (which his Under Armour sleep tracker confirms he achieves). Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution, revealed how she achieves the blissful slumber which nursed her back from the brink of exhaustion.

This segued into the announcement of a new sleep tech product by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, whose dislike of sweaty cotton t-shirts led to the founding of what is now one of the fastest growing athletic performance companies in the world.

Sleep deprivation is a new-age ill. According to the US National Sleep Foundation, almost half of Americans find sleep elusive, while in Hong Kong, 92 per cent of the working population told a 2003 University of Hong Kong study that they toss and turn at night.

Several products were unveiled at CES 2017 to help address these issues. We’ve handpicked an assortment:

1. Good Vibes by Holi. This gadget claims to send you to sleep in three minutes. Placed on the nightstand, Good Vibes emits a gentle light that guides you to sleep using the yoga-inspired 4-7-8 breathing method. The idea is to breathe in sync with the light pulsations to soothe the mind and body.

2. SleepPhones by AcousticSheep. Inventor Lai Wei-shin, a family physician, struggled with getting back to sleep after phone calls from patients in the middle of the night. She tried to relax by listening to meditative music, but headphones were bulky, and ear buds uncomfortable. So she invented SleepPhones , which look like a headband with music, designed to help the wearer drift off while their bedmate remains oblivious.

3. Nox sleep light from Sleepace. This gadget is a monitor and sleep-inducer in one. Its programmable menu of light and sounds pairs with a companion app tracker – so you know how well you are doing. The Nox smart alarm function helps you wake up naturally to the light of dawn and the sound of birdsong.

4. ZEEQ smart pillow. This super comfy pillow integrated with Amazon Alexa plays music, analyses sleep and intelligently wakes you up. It also reacts to your snoring. The minute snoring begins, it will nudge you to change positions – apparently, you won’t even feel it. A smartphone app tracks weekly sleep trends, and can track your diet and exercise.

5. 2breathe sleep coach. This night time wearable is a smart device and mobile app that guides the user’s breathing to induce sleep. Based on ancient breathing wisdom, 2breathe transforms the wearer’s breathing, in real time, into tones that gradually guide them to prolonged exhalation and slow breathing. It’s the next product from the father and son inventors behind RESPeRATE, a digital device to naturally treat hypertension. 2breathe won a CES 2017 Innovation Award.

6. Oria from Sensorwake. After waking up the world in a good mood with the first olfactory alarm-clock, Sensorwake introduces the power of scents to help improve sleep quality. Its new product releases scents by Givaudan: one designed to help you fall asleep faster; the other to help you stay in your deep-phase sleep for a better rest. Oria won a CES 2017 Innovation Award.

7. UA athletic recovery sleepwear. These smart pyjamas from Under Armour are designed to maximise athletic performance. The pattern lining in each garment is made of bioceramic materials with Far Infrared properties that transfer heat in a way that helps the body recover faster and optimises sleep. Far Infrared Energy has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve oxygenation of the blood and regulate cell metabolism.

8. Arianna Huffington’s sleep solution. The secret to her slumber – revealed at CES 2017 – is simple: remove all electric devices from the bedroom, relax in a hot bath, and maybe read a few pages of a physical book.