You’ve probably heard that the doctor recommends we all get a minimum of eight hours sleep a night.
If we follow that advice – and we really should for a whole host of health benefits – then over the course of our lifetimes we spend roughly a third of our entire time in bed.
Consider that for a moment. One third of our existence is spent lying around under the covers, snoring away. Lazy us!
That’s longer than we spend doing almost anything else. Way longer than we spend behind the wheel of a car. Much longer than we spend sat watching TV. And far longer even than we spend staring into our beloved smartphones.
Now, think about how much time you have spent thinking about your mattress compared to those other items. I bet it’s a lot less.
That’s not surprising. Mattresses are pretty boring. Or at least they were. But just like everything in today’s world, even our good old beds are getting the ‘smart’ treatment.
We have come a long way from just simple memory foam people – in fact the very wisdom and safety of memory foam is now up for debate. For more on that see this informative Sleep Advisor article.
Below are just a few of the recent innovations in the expanding ‘smart’ bed world you may have slept through…
A problem as old as mattresses themselves has finally been solved by technology.
Your feet are too hot but your partner’s are too cold. You kick the cover off, they pull it back on. You open a window, they turn on the radiator.
Argh, it’s just a nightmare every single bedtime – temperature has a huge impact on our quality of sleep and many a marriage has suffered as a result.
Unfortunately it’s just a fact that men and women find comfort at slightly different nocturnal temperatures. Thankfully smart beds offer us salvation.
Not only can many smart beds now be cooled or heated at will, a growing number also offer dual zone temperature control. This means your half of the bed can be kept nice and cool and your partner’s a little bit warmer, or vice versa. Perfect!
Some beds offer a feet warming function that solely warms the foot of your bed for toasty toes.
The future is here people and it looks like it means the end of the hot-water bottle. Sorry Grandma, you are going to have to knit a cover for something else next year!
Sleep Tracking and Analysis
No smart mattress worth its weight in foam is marketed these days without the technology to record what you are up to while you are sleeping – or at least attempting to sleep.
Inbuilt sensors can track a whole host of useful data points about your sleep patterns, from when you wake, to when you are engaged in different stages of sleep.
Some sensors are even smart enough to record if any unusual ambient noise enters your sleep environment.
This can be useful if you are waging a war against snoring issues but it can even more useful if you discover a random external noise is the reason you are being woken every night. Say a hooting owl or a noisy night-owl neighbour – the solution for both being a bucket of water.
A lot of the smartest of the smart beds will upload this data to dedicated apps on your phone and some will even provide analysis and ‘coaching’ tips on how to improve your sleep.
Do you find sleep to be something a pain in the neck? Well it’s probably to do with your mattress. Saggy and soft beds are not great for our body. Praise be to the arrival of the smart bed, as many now come with the ability to adjust their firmness.
Meaning if you like a nice hard surface like an army man, or prefer to melt into a marshmallowy cloud at night, the choice is now completely up to you.
But what happens if your partner just likes it a little bit firmer at night than you – the mattress that is!
Well fortunately for the health of your relationship many of these mattresses have dual controls, meaning each side of the mattress can be made firmer or softer dependent on the sleepers preference. Perfect!
While a lot of the mystic around smart beds is just good marketing, when you cut through the advertising guff and get to the core of what the products offer, it is simple – better sleep.
With innovations in the mattress world happening so quickly, the only concern is that the old wisdom of changing your mattress every 8 years may be replaced by queues of eager shoppers waiting outside stores for the newest version of their favourite mattress to be released.
This is a guest post to 3D Engineer.