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While it’s long been recommended that adults get at least seven or eight hours of sleep per night, you’re an exception to the rule if you actually spend this much time sleeping. While most people get far less, advances in technology could represent a turning point.

You Can’t Replace Sleep

Air, water, food, and sleep….these are a few of the things your body can’t live without. And while we’ve tried for decades to toe the line and get away with sleeping less, the reality is that we need adequate sleep to properly function on a physical and cognitive level.

While the amount of time you spend sleeping isn’t nearly as important as the quality of sleep you get, longer periods of sleep allow you to cycle through the necessary sleep stages.

“Sleep is made up of five stages,” Sleepopolis explains. “It takes about 90 minutes for you to go through all of the stages of sleep, and the entire cycle is usually repeated about five or six times during the night.”

A lack of sleep means you’re only cycling through the five stages of sleep a couple of times. This results in feeling groggy the next day.

IoT and Sleep: The Perfect Match

While the answer to sleep issues over the years has been to go to bed early, this isn’t always possible. Health issues and demanding work schedules can make it difficult to keep a consistent 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. schedule – but perhaps you don’t have to.

The growth of IoT and accompanying technologies is enhancing the quality of sleep in many areas. Take a look:

1. Better Sleep Analysis

When someone suffers from sleep-related issues, one of the first things a doctor does is to recommend a sleep study at a healthcare facility. While these studies often shed light on the underlying issue, they aren’t always accurate. (Trying to fall asleep with a bunch of wires and movement-restricting devices doesn’t exactly mimic your true sleep environment.) Through the IoT, researchers can now explore sleep patterns in a much more natural way.

Meet EarlySense, the startup that’s helping people monitor sleep at home with a simple mattress sensor that’s powered by the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. Users just place the monitor under their mattress and get immediate results to help them optimize their sleep habits.

2. Personalized Sleep Optimization

Inadequate sleep environment factors are a huge detriment to sleep quality. Things like temperature, lighting, and noise can all inhibit proper sleep. While there are a number of new technologies that reportedly help, the Neuroon Open sleeping mask is pretty interesting.

The Neuroon Open mask uses built-in EEG sensors to monitor electric signals in the brain and determine the quality and phases of your sleep. In addition to tracking temperature, heart rate movement, and oxygen saturation, the mask can communicate with other IoT devices, like the Nest, to adjust room temperatures and/or gradually turn on lights in the morning.

Perhaps the strangest aspect of the Neuroon mask is a program for lucid dreaming, which the manufacturers call a “metacognitive state within a dream, which may enable the dreamer to know they are dreaming or even give them full intellectual ability and volitional control over the dream.” While this feature seems like a stretch, it’s intriguing, nonetheless.

Putting it All Together

You need make time for sleep, but new IoT solutions could help you get better quality sleep on a more consistent basis. Keep an eye on these technologies and don’t be surprised if this is the next tech niche to explode on to the scene.

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