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We spend one-third of our lives sleeping.
However, with the rise of technology, our sleep patterns are slowly changing. In fact, research shows that the light from our mobile devices delays the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
Since sleep plays such an important role in our overall physical and mental health, many companies are now looking at ways to counteract the negative effects of the internet on our sleep patterns.
In the following sections, we look at 24 possible sleep technologies that could happen in the future of the new web of things.
1. Dream Management
In tests performed in Germany, researchers found that delivering a low-level electrical impulse to the frontal lobe of the brain during REM sleep cycles enabled sleepers to experience “lucid dreaming” – the sensation of being an active participant in your dreams. Decades from now, it may even be able to “incept” a set of dreams and trick your brain into thinking that a specific lucid dream scenario from someone else is actually happening to you.
2. Sleep Management Database
In 2011, Travelodge hired the futurologist Ian Pearson to study the future of sleep for hotels and travel. By 2030, says Pearson, the future of the perfect sleep experience might be possible. Theoretically, you’d arrive at your hotel, plug in all the variables into a hotel’s sleep management database, and you’d be able to drift off into a peaceful night’s sleep wherever you are in the world.
3. Super-Naps Pods
At Georgetown University, neuroscientists have already determined that unique brain activity gets activated during a typical nap cycle. In the future, you might do more than re-charge – you might be able to take a super-nap and unlock the future of your creativity and big picture thinking skills.
4. Sleep Hacking
Researchers think that they’ve found an important gene – DEC2 – that might be the secret to light sleep. Mutations to DEC2, it appears, significantly reduce the amount of sleep time that’s required for the human body.
5. Sleep-avoidance pill
Researchers are getting better and better at creating synthetic drugs that target specific neurotransmitters in the human brain. Some pharmaceutical companies are even working with DARPA on new “wakefulness” drugs.They have found that steady dosages of a pill such as modafinil can help to cure narcolepsy. Modafinil appears to target the neurotransmitter GABA, which is the brain’s most important sleep regulator. It also appears to affect other chemicals in the brain, such as glutamate, that responsible for creating high levels of neural activity.
6. Smart Pajamas
Imagine settling down for a brief night of sleep and donning a pair of smart pajamas that is instantly able to monitor your sleep patterns. These smart pajamas would be able to measure factors such as skin conductivity, blood pressure, heart rate and pulse – and then put all of these factors together to offer a custom medical diagnosis, all without a trip to the doctor’s office.
7. Human Hibernation
NASA is experimenting with a method used for therapeutic hypothermia to cool down human body processes in order to make hyper-sleep on manned space missions possible.
8. Floating Beds
Floating beds could well be found in many bedrooms in the future. Beds could float up to the ceiling in order to be stored away, making more space in the room below. They could even lift up to reveal a gym bench underneath, meaning that bed space can double as a workout venue.
9. Self-Cleaning Mattresses
Mattresses of the future may well clean themselves. On average, a mattress weighs about 30% more after 10 years than it did when you first bought it. Slightly disturbingly, that weight is mostly dead skin, dust mites other debris. Mattresses of the future may well be able to clean themselves by using technology similar to that seen in a modern vacuum cleaner, meaning you are no longer sleeping on top of dust and dirt every night.
10. Sleep Monitoring
Beds of the future may be able to monitor the temperature in the room and control the air conditioning, to try and create the perfect temperature for you. It could also be possible to change the temperature of the duvet or pillow allowing you to always have the cold side if you want. Furthermore, beds could even keep a track on your heart rate and other vital signs, so that if anything goes wrong during the night, you or your sleeping partner will know about it straight away.
11. Augmented Reality Screens
Beds of the future could come with built-in screens and speakers above the sleeper, which can project anything from films and social media right through to an accurate representation of the night sky outside.
12. Light-up Pillows
Pillows of the future could be made to gradually illuminate at a set time, and this steady increase in light will help to wake you up gradually by interacting with your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Then, even when it’s dark and cold outside in the winter, your body could still be convinced that the sun has risen and it’s time to start the day.
13. Intelligent Hotel Rooms
In 2030, hotel rooms will provide a comfortable resting experience using invisible technology which will monitor and anticipate any physical, mental or emotional needs to keep you happier. This would include using augmented reality to project movies and shows onto any surface for your entertainment, atmospheric temperature control so you can feel the ambiance of the woods or ocean, and outdoor sounds to complement this engaging experience. Travelodge, the company who sponsored the study led by Ian Pearson, even created a mockup of what the future of sleeping and our hotel rooms would look like.
14. Smart Pod Beds
Future capsule or pod beds will create a surrounding atmosphere for its occupant that includes temperature control, surround sound, and special lighting for a more peaceful sleep. Some predict that the newest capsule beds will feature implanted computer systems and will have the ability to sense the comfort level of their sleeper, to adjust the lighting, temperature, and sounds for the most relaxing sleep possible.
15. Therapeutic Massage Beds
What if your next bed had a wave system of massage that gently each muscle group and even rocked you gently to sleep? These beds feature an alarm system that naturally wakes the occupant by creating a gentle rocking motion and lighting change that helps the body to naturally awaken.
16. Social Media Beds
Future beds, whether a twin or cal-king, will have the ability to be synced with your computer or mobile so that you can surround yourself with your favorite tunes or use the built-in computer monitor to chat with friends or browse the Internet. With a built-in entertainment center, these beds are sure to make it on the scene very soon.
17. Canopy Beds
Canopy beds of the future feature a media screen on the top or front of the canopy that allows occupants to watch TV or movies and browse the Internet. The screen is built into the canopy and can be shut off to reveal a plain canopy top when sleeping.
18. Magnetic Floating Beds
Suspension beds that seem to be floating in midair are evolving and are now being held in place by magnetic force. Truly seeming to be floating, the beds are created from a clear acrylic material, producing an ultra-modern design.
19. Atmosphere Pod Bed
The atmosphere pod bed will allow users to experience many different natural surroundings as they sleep. They can turn the settings to have them sleep in space, in a field of flowers, or beneath the ocean. Settings will be preloaded in the bed and new scenes could also be purchased.
20. Photochromic Window Glass
Window shades will be a thing of the past. Instead, there will be photochromic glass. They will have the ability to darken to black-out densities, according to author and futurist Michael Rogers. These windows will double as solar energy generators to help power your home.
21. Smart Lighting
Direct light is disruptive to sleep. So rather than feature a single source of light, the bedroom of the future will have ceilings and walls that glow. It will be solid-state and completely customized. It will adjust to mimic day/night.
22. Digital Assistant
Virtual assistants will know whether we need a gentle wake or an urgent start. They will know how we prefer to relax and unwind, and our usual sleep routines
23. Smart Bedrooms
Sensors in the room will detect when we’re awake and who’s in the room.