Tag Archives: sleep

Get Some Sleep with Kokoon Relax Headphones at CES



Sleep deprivation seems to be the curse of the 20th Century but for most people, the problem is simply living busy lives. According to NHS Choices, 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by insomnia, with 50% of respondents in a recent survey by Mintel reporting struggles with sleep. All of us will have occasionally experienced those nights, lying awake, unable to switch off, but usually we’re back to ourselves the next night. However, for some, getting to sleep can be a clinical problem that needs help beyond getting to bed early.

For those people, there are CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) techniques that can help with the problem. Tim Antos was one such sufferer and it was his experience of guided audio relaxation techniques that encouraged him to setup Kokoon with the mission to help people relax and sleep easier. After attending many sessions at a sleep clinic he “wanted to make all this knowledge, all these great tools I learnt in the sleep clinic more accessible to the everyday consumer to use on their own terms”.

Developed with staff at Europe’s largest sleep laboratory, the Kokoon Relax headphones combine bio-sensing with adaptive audio within an ergonomic noise cancelling headphone to provide personalised, bespoke assistance to help people switch off and relax. Simplistically, that means it uses EEG sensors to monitor brainwaves, motion and heart rate, and adjusts the sounds depending on how sleepy the wearer is.

The Kokoon app features techniques, tracks and concepts developed with sleep professionals to optimise the chances of falling asleep. The app helps insomnia sufferers by delivering a customised content experience developed for the individual using the sensor data gathered from their body and environment. For example, as the wearer falls asleep, the audio changes in response, fading out the content and introducing white noise to mask out disturbances. The system also tracks what helps someone doze off, then personalising content for greater effect.

On top of this, the Kokoon Relax headphones have been designed with comfort as a priority. There’s no point getting to sleep only to be woken up by uncomfortable headphones digging into the scalp. The Flexmould Comfort patented design helps Kokoon headphones conform to the shape of the user’s head, and by using high quality natural fibre fabric, air flows easily through the ear cups to keep the wearer’s ears cool and comfortable (I often get hot ears). The ear cushions are detachable for washing too.

The Relax headphones can be used just like any other Bluetooth 4 headphone. With great sound from 40mm electro-dynamic drivers, it makes them ideal for listening to music and watching movies whilst travelling, or simply relaxing in a busy place. And at only 350g or 12oz they make the perfect travel companion with folding earcups and a carry case is included too. There’s a choice of two colours, black or grey.

The Kokoon Relax headphones are now shipping internationally from Kokoon.io for US$349 / GB£315, and there are some new year offers on. They can also be purchased from Amazon.com and selected retailer.


Getting Enough Snooze?



It’s hard to get enough sleep in today’s busy world. You get home from work, cook dinner, help with homework, get the children to bed, tidy up, put the laundry on, do some ironing and it’s midnight before you know it. Where did the evening go?

And if that’s not bad enough, some people are making it worse by taking their mobile phones into the bedroom, as revealed by a UK survey of 2,000 people from OnePoll. The survey found that:

  • 86% of millennials reported sleeplessness from staying up too late on their phones.
  • A quarter of 35-44 year-olds experience problems followed by 17% of 45-54 year-olds and 9% of the over-55s.
  • The bedroom (38%) is second only to the living room (47%) as the most common place for adults to be using their phones
  • Londoners (51%) are the most likely to be on their phones in bed, followed by the Welsh (43%) and those in the North East (42%)

At an obvious level, smartphones represent a distraction from the business of getting to sleep but there’s more to it than just too much Facebook. Studies suggest that the blue light produced by the displays of digital devices mimics daylight, and this reduces the body’s production of melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you sleepy.

Lisa Artis, head of The Sleep Council said: “While these results are not surprising, it is eye-opening to read that taking a phone to bed is causing sleepless nights for so many. We know that blue light inhibits sleep because the short wavelength stimulates sensors in the eyes to send signals to your brain’s internal clock, tricking it into thinking it’s daytime. Blue light is beneficial in daylight hours as it boosts mood, reaction times and concentration but in the evening, the recommendation is to avoid screen time for an hour before bedtime to help increase melatonin levels.

The Sleep Council has some really good resources for getting a good night’s sleep – check out their “Seven Steps” in particular. I really need to get my bedroom tidied into a peaceful sanctuary.

If you can’t put the phone down, smartphone makers like OnePlus (who commissioned the survey) are increasingly offering both hardware and software tools to reduce the problem. The new E3 display panel on the OnePlus 7T cuts blue light by 42% and “Dark Mode” ensures low-light conditions are easier on the eyes. And if you really need to take a break from the phone, there’s “Zen Mode” which disables access to the phone. You can even set a prompt to start Zen Mode at, say 11pm for an hour, to ensure you’re not distracted when heading off to bed.

I’m feeling a little smug….even though I have a OnePlus 6T, I leave my phone downstairs when I go upstairs to bed. Still don’t get enough sleep, mind you…

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash.


Get the Zzzzs in with Witti at CES



Witti are reasonably well-known for their Beddi collection of stylish bedside clocks and lights which both help the sleeper doze off and wake them gently in the morning. Expanding their product portfolio, Witti is introducing Sleepi and Todd finds out from Alfred what it can offer snoozers.

Sleepi is a sleep monitoring system, comprising of a bedside light and clock, a sleep tracker that goes under the mattress and the obligatory smartphone app. The app tracks sleep and wakefulness, providing a report in the morning. What makes Sleepi different is that it works with smart homes to figure out what interrupted the sleep, e.g. the room was too hot, and then adjust the temperature automatically. That’s smart.

A Kickstarter launch is planned for Sleepi, with shipping towards the end of 2017. Expected retail price around US$149.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Fall Asleep Effortlessly with 2breathe at CES



Getting enough sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle but for some people the problem isn’t just about getting into bed early enough, it’s about falling asleep. Israeli firm 2breathe has developed a smart sensor and complementary app to help those who have difficulty nodding off. Todd relaxes with Erez.

2breathe is a guided breathing system that uses a body-worn sensor to read the breaths in and out. The app records the breathing rate and then using softly-spoken instructions and gentle music, gradually reduces the breathing speed of the wearer. As the breathing rate slows, the soon-to-be-sleeper will get drowsy and fall asleep. In the morning, the app produces a session report, showing the time to snooze and breathing patterns.

The CES Innovation committee though this was a good idea too, awarding 2breathe a CES Honoree Innovation Award.

2breathe is available now for US$179, either direct from 2breathe or other major online retailers. It’s currently only available for Apple iOS devices.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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Emfit QS Sleep Monitor at Wearable Tech Show



Emfit LogoIn the first of our interviews from the 2016 Wearable Technology Show, Andrew interviews Timo from Emfit to hear about the Emfit QS, which monitors sleep and gives detailed information on sleep quality and stress levels.

The Emfit QS is a thin strip which is placed under the sleeper’s mattress and then communicates with a web portal via wifi (app coming soon). Aimed at athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the Emfit QS Collects data throughout the night, including heart rate, respiration and activity. The portal provides a dashboard for reviewing and analysing the data, looking for sleep-affecting patterns. Improvements in health and fitness can be tracked over the long term.

Emfit

Available now, the Emfit QS costs €299.


Sleep Better with Sleepace at CES



Sleepace LogoSleep is great. Not only does it refresh you for the coming day, your behaviour while asleep can provide indicators to health issues such as sleep apnea. Howard Borenstein, President of Sleepace takes Jamie through snooze system.

Sleepace compromises three components. First is the Reston, a flat band which goes under the mattress and records night-time behaviour. Second a complementary smartphone app which downloads the data via Bluetooth from the Reston and show stats about your shut-eye. The app helps you understand and improve your sleep, highlighting issues such as sleep apnea or heart rate problems. Finally the Nox light helps you get to sleep by producing red light and later gently wakes you from slumber.

This is the only non-wearable sleep tracking system I’ve seen, so if you don’t like wearing anything in bed (!), check it out. The Reston band is available now and the full Sleepace system including the Nox will be available in March or US$279.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.

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Variowell Offers a Smart Mattress at CES



Variowell logoGetting a good night’s sleep is one of the more important things in life, and a good mattress goes a long way in getting that snooze. Variowell have a revolutionary foam for making a comfortable mattress that can dynamically change its firmness. Todd and Daniel find out more from Philipp Kirchoff.

Many of us will have encountered memory foam which softens to body temperature. Variowell have developed a dynamic foam where relatively small changes in temperature can make significant changes in density. By controlling the temperature from below the mattress, Variowell can change the firmness of the mattress during the night in response to the sleeper. As sleep gets deeper, the mattress can be softer, and then get firmer in the hour before the alarm goes off.

The relative density of the mattress can be controlled by the complementary smartphone app which communicates with the mattress via Bluetooth. The responsiveness to sleep phases is enhanced by connecting to wearable sleep trackers such as Fitbit, which can more accurately measure the sleeper’s state.

The first smart mattresses are expected to come onto the market in May with prices from US$1700 depending on size.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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