Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Germany electronics fair dreamland for ‘sleep tech’

Germany electronics fair dreamland for ‘sleep tech’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman tries the Philips SmartSleep wearable sleep improvement system during CES 2018 early this year. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Germany electronics fair dreamland for ‘sleep tech’

As people in developed nations increasingly obsess over the quality of their 40 winks, technology companies are cashing in with so-called “sleep tech” – gadgets to stop wearers snoring or collect data on their sleep cycles.

At Berlin’s IFA – Europe’s largest annual electronics trade fair – a major trend towards sleep advice is readily visible among the stands.

Most wearable devices like smartwatches or fitness tracking bracelets now include a mode that will track their owner’s sleep cycles and wake them at the optimal moment.

Long-suffering partners of snorers can seek relief from technology, too, with earbuds from startup QuietOn – founded by two former Nokia engineers – generating white noise to drown out unwelcome nasal outbursts.

Other firms bet on the right lighting to smooth the path into wakefulness, adding bright white lamps to alarm clocks so that even in the dark winter months, users are gently coaxed awake rather than bombarded with harsh sounds.

Dutch firm Philips has gone still further with a soft headband called SmartSleep, which includes a white noise generator that aims to deepen sleep.

Sensors placed around the wearer’s skull connect to a smartphone app that evaluates data and offers advice on how to improve sleep cycles.

Also on offer from Philips: DreamWear oxygen masks, decidedly more medical-looking devices designed for sleep apnea sufferers.

But with increasing numbers of patients taking a closer interest in their unconscious hours, doctors can be sceptical about the health or wellbeing benefits many of the devices and apps claim.

Professionals have even coined a new word, “orthosomnia”, to describe the condition of being obsessed with the quality of one’s sleep – patterned after “orthorexia”, an obsession with eating foods one considers healthy.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and