Sleep Retailer eNews | January 11, 2018

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Is CES The Future Of The Bedding Industry?

Sleep Number 360 bed

As the mattress industry gears up for the winter furniture market, a growing number of bedding companies are heading to Las Vegas early to exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Kicking off last Sunday and running through January 12th, CES is touted as the “Global Stage For Innovation.” As the preeminent showcase for technological innovation for 50 years, the event welcomes pioneers from a wide range of consumer markets to introduce their latest products and technologies. With more than 30 companies debuting sleep-oriented products at this year’s show, CES will showcase all the latest sleep gadgets in addition to a few full mattress systems as well. With sleep tech becoming a more prominent part of the show over the years, it does beg the question: does CES represent the future of the bedding industry - or simply the latest passing fads?

While CES has long been a mainstay for digital and automotive technologies, there has been a steep increase in “connected home” and “health and wellness” products over the years - making it an ideal destination for tech-savvy bedding manufacturers. Though smaller sleep-tech start-ups have been exhibiting at the event for years, a growing number of established bedding brands have also added the show to their market circuit. For companies like Sleep Number, Reverie, Magniflex and Protect-A-Bed’s REM-Fit brand, CES is an opportunity to engage with a much wider consumer-facing audience. The event attracts more than 100,000 industry attendees each year - in addition to welcoming nearly 7,500 media professionals to cover the introductions. Additionally, it’s a way for traditional manufacturers to connect with the $292 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. By showcasing their mattresses and pillows alongside the newest gadgets, these companies are not only aligning themselves with this lucrative market - but working to shift the conversation around sleep. Once seen as the most passive of all human activity, sleep is now being reframed as an active step towards greater health and wellness.

Mattresses

An exhibitor since 2014, Sleep Number is no stranger to CES. This year, the company is unveiling the updated Sleep Number 360 smart bed at the show, emphasizing the future potential of its SleepIQ technology. By integrating sleep science, biometrics and artificial intelligence, this advanced technology platform delivers greater comfort and support adjustability - and it may soon be able to provide even more actionable health benefits. Thanks to SleepIQ, Sleep Number has been able to build a continuously-updated database of biometric consumer sleep data. By leveraging this powerful technology and comprehensive research, Sleep Number hopes to transform the old concept of a mattress into a fully integrated health and wellness system. At this year’s CES, the company is also laying the groundwork for future functionality possibilities: including detecting sleep apnea or heart attack and alerting emergency services, identifying the flu or other epidemics as they spread locally or even monitoring patient recovery outside of medical facilities.

Making its CES debut this year, Reverie is introducing its new Bed Of The Future at the event. Featuring some of the latest in consumer technology, this bed’s adjustability is controlled through brain wave activity—and provides the opportunity for more accurate sleep monitoring through brain wave measurement. The bed also offers voice command control, eliminating the need for a remote control and a host of other unique features such as individualized foot warmers and pressure map technology to deliver targeted support and adjustable positioning.

Both Sleep Number and Reverie are joined by a number of companies from outside the traditional bedding market that are all heading to CES to showcase a variety of innovative sleep technologies. Designed to provide calming relaxation and facilitate a smoother transition to sleep, the Rocking Bed features an ultra-quiet German engineered motor to mimic the gentle rocking motion that has been proven to help soothe babies to sleep. Originally developed for young children, the company is introducing the first commercially available Rocking Bed for adults at CES. This patent-pending bed is made to work with existing bed frame and mattress; users simply have to replace their box springs with the new product.

Accessories

Of course, CES’ main focus when it comes to sleep technology is accessories. Philips is introducing the SmartSleep, a new wearable solution that does more than just track sleep data. With two small sensors and proprietary analysis algorithms, this device is able to detect periods of “slow wave” or deep sleep and deliver customized audio tones that enhance the depth and duration of that sleep level. The SmartSleep app also tracks sleep data over time and offers tips on how to get the best night sleep.

Nokia is also showcasing an advanced sleep sensor at CES, though in the form of a mattress pad rather than a wearable. The Nokia Sleep includes a Wi-Fi connected pad that fits neatly underneath the mattress, recording sleep patterns and sending the data to the corresponding Health Mate app. Positioned at chest level on each side of the bed, the Nokia Sleep monitors users’ heart and respiratory rates - then uses algorithms developed from clinical data from polysomnography tests. The device also integrates with the IFTTT automation app. This allows users to connect their home to their sleep habits, setting up triggered actions based on key habits such as turning the thermostat down once they fall asleep or opening the blinds upon waking.

In a similar vein, Sleepace is showing its new DreamLife smart bedroom solution. This comprehensive program includes the company’s RestOn and Sleep Dot tracking devices, which are synced to the DreamLife Cloud. This platform then sends pre-programmed instructions to all connected devices, which can include the Sleepace Nox Smart Sleep System in addition to any IFTTT compatible device. By monitoring sleep quality during the night, this system can adjust environmental factors accordingly - whether lowering the temperature or turning on a humidifier - and wake the user in the morning when they’re in the lightest phase of sleep.

But not all of the sleep technology introductions are purely data-driven. Somnox has taken a more whimsical route with a new bed companion robot expands and retracts to simulate the feeling of human breathing. Triggered by the user hugging the robot, this new gadget is designed to enhance relaxation and help consumers fall asleep faster. With a corresponding app, users are able to activate more soothing sounds such as heartbeat, lullabies and guided meditations.

A maker of DNA lifestyle apps, Exploragen aims to help consumers translate their DNA into actionable insights about their daily habits. At CES, the company is showcasing a new app developed in partnership with SleepScore Labs, a leading “sleep improvement” company that is home to a host of data insights, product evaluation tools and technology licensing opportunities. Together, the two companies created the SlumberType app, which allows users to understand the way their sleep habits are influenced by their DNA. By analyzing four key sleep measurements - Chronotype, Sleep Quality, Sleep Onset Latency and Sleep Duration - the app provides key insights on users’ individual sleep habits and how they may impact all areas of their lives.

It’s hard to say which - if any - of these new sleep technologies will have staying power, but one thing is for sure: these companies are pushing the boundaries of what mattress and bedding products can do. As consumers get more and more comfortable incorporating technology into every part of their life, it’s increasingly important for all industry players to maintain a finger on the pulse of the latest innovations and trends. So while CES may not be a necessary stop for all bedding manufacturers or sleep retailers, it ultimately provides a valuable perspective on the possibilities and opportunities for the future.

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Top 4 Reasons to Stock Certified Organic Products

Naturepedic EOS Standard-236

Article brought to you by Naturepedic

Help Consumers Avoid Unnecessary Exposure to Chemicals

Most mattresses on the market today use flame retardants, chemicals that serve the useful purpose of helping to prevent the mattress from exceeding flammability standards. While this is an important feature, flame retardants are still toxic chemicals that can do a lot of harm. Certified organic mattresses use natural and non-toxic materials to support healthy sleep. Since the products used to make the certified organic mattresses are overall not highly flammable, they do not need chemical flame barriers or other flame retardant chemicals. By offering organic options in your retail location, you can help consumers avoid any unnecessary exposure to chemicals.

Offer A High-Quality Luxurious Product

Certified organic bedding and mattress programs are high-quality, luxury products. Not only do they provide safety, but they provide comfort as well. Brands like Naturepedic work hard to create products that will improve consumer lives by eliminating harmful chemicals and creating relaxing and luxurious sleep environments. Organic sleep products use pure, high-caliber components in their mattress programs to ensure a safe and satisfying night's sleep.

Educate Your Customers

Most consumers are aware of organic food products, and many are aware of the benefits of natural cleaning supplies, but organic sleep products have recently become more important to consumers as health and wellness weighs more heavily into their sleep product purchasing decisions. As consumers become wiser to the value of replacing products with organic options in all areas of their lives, offering organic sleep products allows you to meet this demand. Additionally, it allows you to be a resource to shoppers who want to know more about the health and wellness benefits of organic products and the certifications that set true organic products apart from "greenwashers."

Be A Leader

By selling products that are safer for humans, you also play a role in putting less harmful chemicals into the environment. Not only is this a general positive, but it also communicates the moral interests of your brand to consumers. Authenticity is key though, so before bringing organic materials into your store, it's important to educate yourself and seek out manufacturers who have taken the time and investment to be certified and demonstrate dedication to being as thoroughly organic and non-toxic as possible. Unfortunately, environmentally friendly products are trendy and while everyone wants to participate, not all brands are truly authentic.

Interested in educating yourself on certified organic products? Naturepedic can help! For more information, visit naturepedic.com.

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What’s Your Sleep Chronotype?

SR_eNews_Chronotypes

At least once in your life you have probably been asked to classify yourself as either an early bird – thriving on the first light of morning and getting more stuff done before many people even roll out of bed, or a night owl – staying up until the wee hours, preferring to get your groove on as the sun goes down. But, according to board certified sleep specialist Dr. Michael J. Breus, there’s actually a whole animal kingdom of “chronotypes,” and knowing which one best represents you could result in feeling your best.

What, exactly, is a chronotype? According to Merriam-Webster, a chronotype is defined as “the internal circadian rhythm or body clock of an individual that influences the cycle of sleep and activity in a 24-hour period.” In other words, your chronotype is your particular sleep/wake pattern. Breus, popularly known as The Sleep Doctor, renowned as one of the leading experts in sleep disorders and author of The Power of When, maintains that the early bird/night owl dichotomy is old news. He contends that there are actually four different chronotypes, each describing a very particular category of circadian rhythms: lions, bears, wolves and dolphins.

Lions are Type A go-getters who jump out of bed at the crack of dawn, representing roughly 15% of the population. Organized and driven, lions methodically tick off the boxes of their to-do lists and plow through the day’s workload with a fierce intensity. However, the flip side to a 4 AM waking and such focused concentration is that lions tend to burn out earlier in the day, hitting the hay between 8:30 and 9:00.

Bears make up the majority of the world’s population at about 50-55% and typically rise and sleep with the sun. Which is a good thing as the world generally operates on a bear’s schedule of about 7:30 to 10:30. Bears work hard and play hard, making great leaders, but also easily relating to their peers. Social extroverts, bears power through the work day with an eye towards fun at the end of the day. The tricky thing about bears is that because they’re fun-loving, sometimes it can be a little too easy to stay up late, which means a harder time waking up the next morning.

Late-riser wolves have a difficult time waking, their energy peaking later at night. Like lions, wolves make up about 15% of the population and heavily skew towards creative types like authors, actors, musicians and – perhaps unsurprisingly – teenagers. Often at odds with the typical work day, wolves can be seen as lazy because they don’t bounce out of bed with a smile. But wolves aren’t actually lazy; their brains just aren’t wired to work most effectively until they’ve been awake for a couple of hours. More often classified as introverts, wolves are grumpy in the morning, needing to hit the snooze button multiple times in order to get up and rely on caffeine to get their days started.

Lastly, representing just 10% of the population, are the anxious dolphins – those who tend to have difficulty sleeping and would most benefit by a targeted schedule. Often lacking a heavy sleep drive yet feeling like they need more sleep, dolphins tend to self-diagnose as insomniacs. Like lions, dolphins are typically Type A and driven, but have just enough of obsessive compulsive tendencies to prevent them from completing tasks.

Now that you know what the four chronotypes are, what’s next? If you haven’t already been able to peg your own chronotype based on the descriptions above, Breus suggests taking this quiz to determine which you group you fall in. Once you have that information, you can start adjusting your daily schedule to best reflect your genetically determined sleep/wake patterns. Doing so can help you understand the best time to engage in certain activities, from requesting a raise to having sex. Knowing your chronotype – as well as inferring those of the people in your life – will give you the power to improve your personal relationships and work most efficiently, freeing you to be the best lion, bear, wolf or dolphin that you can be.

Read more here, here, here and here.


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