Sleep has turned into a startup boom, thanks to a growing trend against the classic "you don't need to sleep" mentality, with a good night's rest becoming the war call of Arianna Huffington and her latest ventures. Good sleep is critical to entrepreneurial success, with the mattress industry alone growing to $14 billion in the last few years. The result is a new crop of sleep-focused geniuses putting tech in the hands of regular people to change their lives when they're not awake. Here are the key ten people changing the land of nod for the better.
Assaf Glazer, Nanit
Glazer, a PhD in computer science and postdoctorate at Cornell, created the Nanit Sleep Sensor last year. Hanging over your newborn's crib, it provides a live-stream video of your (hopefully) sleeping child. Using its own sensors, it can also tell the humidity and temperature in the room, and uses a built-in app to create a regular running update of the amount of visits and amount of time your baby spent asleep, among other things.
Firas and Moe Kittaneh, Joey Holt, Amerisleep
Arizona-based Amerisleep is taking the bed-in-a-box mattress industry by storm, with $30m in revenue in 2016 and on course for $100m in 2017 in revenue on their made-in-America mattresses. The company differentiates by building five different kinds of eco-friendly mattresses, using technology including Celiant (now considered a medical device/general wellness product by the FDA) and their own layers of foam to relieve more pressure points than the competition while remaining less expensive than premium hotel-style mattresses from Sealy and Stearns & Foster. They are the only company in their space to offer mattresses for different kinds of sleepers, with hundreds of positive mattress reviews and new stores opened and opening this year in Arizona.
Mateo Franceshetti, Eight
The sleep layer of Franceshetti's sleep tracker does away with much of the annoyance of phone-based apps (that require you to leave your phone under your pillow) by using a layer that fits over any mattress to send the results directly to your phone. Additionally, the layer can heat each side of the bed, measure sleep trends (but for adults, this time) and wake you up at the lightest part of your sleep cycle. Finally, the integrations that Eight has allow you to wake up to music, a cooler room through its connection to Nest, or even start making your morning coffee using IFTTT.
Gaetano Crupi, Cabin
Inc has advised in the past to keep rested during travel, and Crupi's Cabin is taking the next step by changing the way in which we ride the west coast. While it could also be a travel company, Cabin's focus is in providing what looks like a hotel on wheels, with pods with comfortable bedding and a branding effort focused on sleep. The schedule matches too, with trips departing at 11PM and arriving at 7PM from Los Angeles to San Francisco (and back). This means you're naturally set to get at least seven hours' sleep, with a roundtrip costing around an economy flight at $230.
Bogi Palsson, SleepImage
The premium side of sleep tracking comes from the FDA-cleared SleepImage. Connecting to a sleep data recorder and it, along with an electrode pad, connects to your body to track everything from your body position to a clinically-validated wellness report. Unlike other trackers it can also measure the amount of time you spent snoring, the amount of sleep interruptions, REM sleep and unstable sleep in a way that others can't. The accuracy comes at a price, with the device costing $249, a wellness membership costing $7.99 a month, and the options to get clinician reports for $18.99 a report.
Glenn Silbert, Senior Vice President of Global Product at Under Armor
Though startups have innovated around sleep recently, larger companies like Under Armor have begun with their "Athlete Recovery Sleepwear," using fabric that helps recovery by converting body heat into far infrared energy and reflecting it back into the body. While this reads like a marketing gimmick, the NiH has independently studied and found benefits of doing so, which is why it's a natural choice for sleep products (in fact, Amerisleep's technology also uses Celiant to do so) and sleepwear. Worn and proudly toured by the Patriots' Tom Brady, Under Armor's new material use was shown off at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
Behrouz and Behzad Hariri, Nora
Just as not sleeping causes many issues with your life inside and outside of the bedroom, so does snoring. That's why Nora created a combination of a smart sensor and a pillow insert that the Hariris created to simply deal with those who snore. The sensor hears when you're snoring and lightly moves your head, opening up the passageways to stop snoring quickly. Though launched through Kickstarter, raising over $832,000, Nora did manage to make it to market, unlike other failed projects.