Do you find actually falling asleep to be the most difficult part of getting good rest? Thanks to Somnox, now you've got something to look forward to that may help. This week at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the Dutch startup showcased the first ever robot built specifically to help you sleep better. Also called Somnox, the bot "breathes" along with you as you lay in bed, calming you down and making it easier for you to drift off. If you're in the camp of people who think the phrase "sleep robot" sounds a bit unnerving, don't worry — the device looks like a peanut-shaped pillow, not a droid.
How does it work?
According to the Somnox website, scientific research suggests that humans benefit from exposure to breathing objects:
In a research done by Novosad and colleagues, they concluded that infants sleeping with a Breathing Bear showed neurobehavioral benefits and had a less negative temperament (Novosad et al., 2003). Another study showed that a cognitive behavioral intervention (a therapy for depression) combined with a breathing relaxation exercise could improve sleep in patients with depression, and the effectiveness was long lasting (Chien et al., 2015)
Basically, breathing properly puts your brain in a sort of meditative "relaxation mode," cutting down on stress and anxiety so you can fall asleep freely and rest well. Somnox took this concept and, using an accelerometer, an audio sensor, and a carbon dioxide sensor, simulates slow and regulated breathing in order to help ease you into dreamland. All you have to do is cuddle up to Somnox, and your breathing rhythm will naturally sync up with its own.
In addition, Somnox offers different breathing exercises as well as soothing lullabies, guided meditations, and sound effects through its companion app for iOS and Android devices. You can even create your very own custom breathing profile by selecting the breathing technique that works the best for you. Or, if you prefer, you can make your own breathing exercise from scratch so it's completely tailored to your needs. The company is also reportedly working on adding a smart alarm to the robot, but that feature is still in development.
But wait … is it soft?
Because you use it by hugging it, Somnox is designed to be ultra comfy to hold. Its ergonomic shape and size is supposedly ideal for most sleepers, and it's made from breathable, washable natural fabrics. Plus, it was co-designed by famed mattress and sleep accessory manufacturer Auping.
How can I get one?
Though Somnox won't be released until September of this year, you can preorder it now through the company's Indiegogo page for €499 (about $600). A bit pricey, perhaps, but still 15 percent less than the regular retail price of €589 — and, if these testimonials are to be believed, a small price to pay in the long run for the end of your sleeping woes.
Would you try sleeping with Somnox? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!