Data Not Drugs – to put you to sleep!

Did you know that 1 in every 3 people in this world struggle with sleeping?

The fact that lack of sleep is usually accompanied by a debilitating health condition makes this issue graver. Globally, in 100 million people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), about 80% go undiagnosed. Perhaps a $63 billion loss in 2016 in reduced work performance attributed to sleeplessness is an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.

People also pay with their lives for sleepless nights – US reported lack of sleep as the cause for 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year.

But there are ways to curb sleeplessness.

Solutions start with the device closest to us – the mobile phones. Apps like Azumio sleep time, Misfit Shine iOS, and Apple Health iOS track sleep patterns that will help determine what diet and lifestyle decisions will result in a better sleep.

To aid a better sleep, there are additonal mobile apps, like meditation apps; wearables, like headbands and Oura health rings; and ambient devices, such as bed-based sensors to track sleep and gadgets that use light and sound. The ambient devices are supposed to influence the environment for better rest. They help assess the temperature, light, and noise and manipulate them according to what’s most optimum to enhance sleep quality.

For instance –

  • Holi’s SleepCompanion is a LED-based lighting product that adjusts ambient lighting based on body’s biological rhythm with an app.
  • SleepPhones, which make use of soft headband to be worn to bed to cancel out surrounding noises, especially if you live in a noisy neighborhood.

As such, sleeplessness has encouraged people to make amends in their lifestyle. 1 in 5 Americans have chosen to track health-related information, including weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar, to improve sleep in the past two years in US. 1 in 4 have tried to change their decadent habits for a goodnight’s rest.

This bears good news for the sleep technology market. Medical grade wearables, devices responsible for monitoring and management of formal sleep disorders, is estimated to be worth as much as $5 billion market in 2020. And as this is just one segment of the market, we can assume that it will do well in the coming days, most likely for a long time.

With innovative technologies at their disposal, it is plausible.

Sachi Mulmi is a researcher with Frost & Sullivan. She can be reached at

Sapan Agarwal drives content and marketing for Frost & Sullivan. Sapan is based out of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and can be reached at | +603 6204 5830

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