Sleep Number has come out with a very interesting technology that turns your bed into a “smart bed” and allows you to track the quality of your sleep and find ways to get better sleep. You don’t need to connect or charge anything. You just go to sleep and everything works on its own. It’s a very interesting innovation in this industry, so I thought I would give my thoughts on it in a separate article (make sure to see my full Sleep Number review).
How Does It Work?
The Sleep Number beds now have a series of sensors built into their beds. The Sleep IQ sensors are able to track your heartbeat, movement, and breathing. Then it relays that information to a web/smartphone app and tries to help you identify how you might be able to make adjustments to sleep better. You essentially get a report card each morning on how well you slept. You can tell, for example, if you had a deep sleep for most of the night or if you were tossing and turning a lot, meaning you weren’t getting the optimal night of sleep. This can be really interesting and enlightening information to know, because a lot of people don’t realize how much they move, toss and turn, etc. each night. All of this information is then outputted into a Sleep IQ score, which is really a grade for how well you slept.
While this information is interesting on its own, you can also input your lifestyle activities each day and then see how those choices might affect your sleep quality. You can journal, for example, what you eat and how much you exercise, and then get an idea of how those choices impact your sleep. The Sleep IQ software will give you advice on how to make adjustments to your lifestyle and sleeping patterns to get better sleep.
Overall, I think the Sleep IQ technology is fascinating and very impressive. I like the fact the there’s a company who really invests in innovation in the mattress industry. I would have two caveats to the technology at this point. The first is price. Having this technology in the bed competes directly with other easier and cheaper options. There are plenty of sleep and fitness tracking products that can be worn on your wrist that have a lot of this kind of functionality. Those types of devices will only become more cost-effective and impressive over time. The Sleep IQ technology is the best for sleep tracking at this point, but that gap may close in the future as wearables become more advanced. At that point, the value proposition for Sleep Number’s beds for sleep tracking specifically may become a little murkier.
The next caveat is that I see many scenarios where people become overly obsessed and worried about tracking that they ironically induce stress and get worse sleep. For the right personality, this system can be fantastic for improving their sleep and lives, but for other types of people the technology my ironically not have its intended effect. A lot of people feel similarly about certain wearable fitness devices.
Overall, though, I’m glad that there’s a company out there that is moving the industry forward with innovation. It’s a powerful and impressive technology, and for the right person it can really make a difference in their sleep.