Posted On Forbes.com
The National Institutes of Health says that 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems that can significantly diminish their health, alertness and safety. Withings, a manufacturer of personal health gadgets such as blood pressure monitors and wearable fitness trackers, came out with a new sleep-improvement technology called the Aura that’s creating a lot of buzz at this week’s CES trade show. It’s a highly sensitive pad that slips unobstrusively under your mattress and measures macro- and micro-movements of your body through the thickness of a standard-sized mattress. The sensor pad is sensitive enough to detect minute movements such as the rise and fall of your chest when breathing or, when you’re laying completely still in deep sleep, can even detect your heart rate. It factors in these movements to measure your sleep rhythms as they progress from a waking state to deeper REM sleep and back up again to lighter sleep.
The Aura pairs with an iPhone app that visualizes all your sleep data in a user-friendly graphic format, and combines with a bedside lamp and alarm clock that brightens to guide you to a restful waking state at the right time. The bedside lamp also captures ambient noise and temperature to let you know later what the conditions are when you were woken, in case you need to tell your neighbors to pipe, down or turn the thermostat up before you wake the next time. At $400 it isn’t cheap, but Withings says that its users can achieve noticeably better sleep within days or weeks of use.