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Device improves sleep using light, sound and touch

Work & Lifestyle

SleepCogni is a relaxation system that emits personalized lights, sounds and touch to lower users' heart rate before sleep.

Up to 70 million adults in America suffer from sleeping disorders, which can have a massive effect on their physical and mental health. The widespread use of LED screens, especially before bed, is only making things worse because mobile devices emit optical radiation, which results in melatonin suppression. Hoping to rectify the situation, SleepCogni is a device designed to relax users before bed, using light, touch and sound.

The device was created by British inventor Richard Mills and a team at Sheffield Hallam University. We have already seen home devices such as Vitastiq and Cue, which enable patients to monitor their health and conditions themselves. SleepCogni is another device that could save medical expenses by helping users getting to the root of the problem.


SleepCogni plugs in at users’ bedside and extends an adjustable arm over their bed, so that a frame with small speakers and sunset-mimicking lights hover over them. The unit measures heart rate, mental alertness, skin temperature and movement, and provides calming sounds and lights of red and green wavelengths based on the individual’s needs, with the aim of getting their heart rate down to 50 beats per minute. A handheld device also provides gentle vibrations, which become less frequent as the user relaxes. Once the subject is asleep, the arm retracts to an upright position, and can mimic sunlight to wake them up in the morning.

In a small pilot study, the makers found a 50 percent increase in quality of sleep and 40 percent in duration of sleep using the device. SleepCogni is expected to retail for USD 299. Could similar techniques be used to help people relax in waking hours as well?



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