At first glance, everything opposes new technologies and quality sleep. Used before bed, the blue screen light disrupts natural cycles. Even worse, by over-taxing the attention span through continuous content or alerts, smartphones, tablets or computers prevent the body and mind from going to sleep.
However, with the explosion in the use of connected objects, numerous products related to applications for smartphones propose solutions for insomnia and other sleep debt. The trend is such that the last CES in Las Vegas in January 2017, created a high-tech space dedicated to the night, from monitoring sleep cycles to aiding sleep and waking up.
Sleep on demand, wake up as planned
The majority of technology is based on a simple principle: the better we understand sleep, the better we manage our nights. Sensors placed near the sleeper traces their breathing, heart rate and the movements of their body in order to define a profile and phases of sleep (light, deep and REM) and recommend the ideal wake-up time.
The intelligent mask Neuroon goes further. It allows cyclical sleepers ultra-controlled sleep. By analysing brain waves, muscle tension or blood oxygenation, it determines the best wake-up window. But by crossing this information with a timetable, the application also offers to optimise recovery by cutting sleep following a polyphasic rhythm (in several units). It is of particularly interesting use for frequent travellers.
Light, scent and temperature just right
To create good conditions for waking-up, some play with light therapy which enables, through exposure to white light, the readjustment of sleep cycles following the spectrum close to that of the sun. Others, drawing on studies from NASA designed to help astronauts sleep, create lights that affect melatonin production. Like the progressive variations of light at sunrise and sunset, the dawn simulators Hug One and Terraillon Omni adjust their brightness according to the required hours.
Following the same principle, an app like Sensorwake Oria ensures relaxing sleepiness and good mood wake-ups by spreading a soothing or stimulating scent. Moreover, others propose the regulation of the temperature of the pillow or mattress according to falling asleep or waking up phases. (Moona, Luna, Kryo Sleep).
Dreams on demand
Experiments identified by scientists show that lucid dreams may have a therapeutic role, especially for treating post-traumatic stress.
Still under test, applications are emerging. Lucid Catcher for example, acts through electrical stimulation. Electrodes on a night mask identify rapid eye movements during REM sleep. By the stimulation of the frontal cortex, the subject becomes aware of his condition and so takes hold of his dream and improves the quality of sleep.