Technology has robbed us of our sleep, and now it wants to give it back to us

We sleep little, we sleep badly. The habit of sleeping only a few hours a night is becoming more widespread and the number of people suffering from sleep disorders is constantly increasing.
In all of this, the continuous exposure to technology seems to have a leading role and not entirely a positive one. But now technology wants to help us change course.
Reaffirming the negative impact on health of the massive use of technological devices, to which we are all now accustomed, is probably superfluous and undoubtedly anachronistic: technology has side effects, even serious ones, we know this and yet it seems that this is not a huge worry for some of us. At least not to the point of reconsidering the indissoluble relationship that we have established with it.
To say that our smartphones follow us everywhere, that they have become an extension of our body, is now taken for granted. It is a lost battle: technology cannot be given up and those who argue the contrary are doomed not to get much more than a few indulgent looks.
But since caution is never too much, even those who make technology, are gearing up to fight the monsters that have been created. And where do the monsters live, except in the darkest meanders of our sleep?

One smartphone to sleep and one to wake up

Some of us have it under the pillow, while some of us keep it next to our bedside tables. The smartphone has now almost replaced the alarm clock, an early victim of the revolution of the unique device.
This could be considered the moment of the beginning of its progressive and inexorable pervasive diffusion in our lives.
The metaphor is functional: from the blue light of the displays that reduces the ability to produce melatonin to the psychological damage of continuous exposure to the outside world, it is precisely in sleep that technology has shown its first negative implications.
There are many who defend and reaffirm the idea that limiting exposure to screens is still the best solution.
But now it is from sleep that we want to start to try to limit them, eliminate them or even turn them into the opposite.

From quantified self to smart home: how sleep technology changes

Quantified self, also known as lifelogging, tries to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person's daily life.
The combination of technology and sleep has a less recent origin than one would think, which coincides with the birth of those gadgets that paved the way for the concept of Quantified Self. Today, those tools remain, refine, and add to a range of other devices that integrate their functionality and effectiveness.
Both Nokia and Emfit, for example, at the CES - Consumer Electronic Show - 2018 presented sensors that, installed under the bed, trace sleep exactly as a smartwatch would do, but without requiring the user to wear a device around the wrist.
In addition, the Nokia Sleep sensor, in addition to keeping track of duration and quality of sleep, offers a sleep-coaching plan for those who have difficulty sleeping and can be integrated into the smart home with automation functions.
The work of Sleepace is in the same direction, launching an entire set of products that automate the management of the house when the people who live there are sleeping.
Turn off the TV, close the awnings and shutters, turn on the lights and start the coffee machine when you wake up: the Sleepace devices operate like a butler, without even needing to be asked.
Philips SmartSleep, on the other hand, has added a direct action on the body of the device's wearer to the tracking functions.
It is a band equipped with sensors capable of detecting brain activity that, when detecting the slow wave sleep phase, produces white noise to improve depth and duration of the phase itself. This is complemented by a mobile app that collects sleep metrics and contains information and tips on how to sleep better.

A plush toy for your sleep

For those nostalgic for the plush toy with which they used to sleep with as a child, finally, a Dutch startup gave birth to Somnox, a robot designed to be hugged during sleep simulating the breath, giving the impression of having something in a person’s arms such as another person or a pet.

And if the robotic heat is not enough, Somnox is able to reproduce relaxing music to accompany you gently into the land of dreams.

At the end of the day, it cannot be said that technology is not working to give us back what it has taken away from us.

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