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Wellness
Our Lack of Sleep Has the Sleep Industry Booming
By Elise Dejesus
September 9, 2020
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As WOMANBOSS editors, we independently select and write about topics we care about and that align with our values. WOMANBOSS has some affiliate and advertising partnerships and we may receive revenue from sharing this content and from your purchase.
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IMAGE BY SHUTTERSTOCK
Lack of sleep cost the United States over $411 billion annually in lost productivity.

As a child, taking a nap or going to bed early were things I dreaded. My F.O.M.O. kicked in and I always thought I’d be missing something in action.  Little did I know, my parents just wanted to ensure that my active little body would be well-rested for the activities of the following day.  Now, as an adult it seems I can’t get to sleep early enough for my liking.  Work, social life, stress and many other factors play a part in how the day will go and how easily I’ll be able to wind down at night.  We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our functionality, productivity and overall well-being.  The “Sleep Aid Marketis one of the largest and rapidly growing industries in the world.  It continues to pump out new and improved sleep products each year which can be overwhelming when all we’re really looking for is a little peace.  I wanted to take a closer look at sleep as a whole, from a health perspective to the business and some of the latest sleep products to get an idea of just how massive this industry is. Here’s what I found out... 

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IMAGE BY SHUTTERSTOCK

Sleep is considered just as important as eating, drinking and breathing. It gives our brains the time to process information, organize our memories while also giving our bodies time to repair and prepare for the day to come. It has long been debated how much sleep one should get per night. The recommended average for adults is between 6-8 hours. According to the American Psychological Association, adults who get less than 8 hours of sleep a night are more likely to report stress symptoms such as fatigue, irritability and anger.  With social media, video games and other forms or technology, many of us find it difficult to separate from these distractions to give ourselves a reasonable amount of time left to get rest.  Science Daily found that with every hour of screen time, your sleep time is reduced by 3-8 minutes and exposure to blue light can reduce sleep by 16 minutes.  Some companies are finding ways to tackle the problem of our lack of sleep by creating gadgets, apps, mattresses and wellness products.  The desperate need for sleep has since established a multi-billion-dollar industry. 

In 2017, the “sleep market” was worth approximately $28.6 billion. The industry can be broken down even further. For example, the mattress industry is estimated to reach $43 billion in revenue by 2024. Pillows are also driving sales with an estimated revenue of $1.6 billion and growing. The market is constantly being flooded with new and improved products that top the features of the last and it is more than just pillows and mattresses. Tech companies have taken the dive into the sleep market. Apps like Sleep Cycle monitor your sleep patterns and then offer detailed reports so you can find a better understanding of your sleep cycle. Sleepa is an app that mixes a collection of sounds into different relaxing ambiances to ease you into sleep. The app Pillow connects directly to your Apple watch and offers features like sleep sounds, a sleep tracker and personalized insights. As the industry continues to grow and innovate, some startups are really pushing the envelope. 

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IMAGE BY SHUTTERSTOCK

Many new mattress companies have popped up in the last decade, giving good ol’ Sleep Number mattresses some competition. Many people like myself have a hard time falling and staying asleep because we struggle to find comfort in our mattress. Eight Sleep’s Pod mattress uses Active Grid Cooling Technology™ - the mattress is designed to “blend with premium mattress layers that contour to your body and relieving pressure points while creating a cooling surface. In 2019, Forbe’s reported that Eight Sleep raised $40 million of growth funding bringing their total funding to $65 million. Co-founders, Massimo Andreasi Bassi, Matteo Franceschetti and Alexandra Zatarain plan to invest the additional funds into scientific research and development. With clinical studies already in the works with Mount Sinai, they hope to push research further by hosting scientific trials with Standford University.  

“A good mattress is heavenly. But a bad mattress is a nightmare — literally. Sleeping on an old mattress can take a serious toll on your body, in more ways than one,”- Alexandra Zatarain 

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THE “POD” - IMAGE BY EIGHT SLEEP

Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in the sleep industry and while some companies are using it to make advancements others found inspiration in a more simplified way. Believe it or not, I find it much easier to fall asleep when there’s some type of noise resonating in my background. Dead silence doesn’t seem to lull me into Lalaland at all. White noise is considered to help lessen anxiety and produce a consistent atmosphere which helps you relax and fall asleep. Upon noticing how family members used the noise from fans to encourage their children to sleep, founders Matt and Eli were inspired. The duo, who from mechanical engineering and fluid dynamic backgrounds eventually conceptualized SNOOZ, an app enabled white noise machine. This portable machine replicates a normal fan but amplifies the sound without the cool breeze. It comes with adjustable tones, and 10 volume settings to help you customize the right noise for your perfect sleep. 

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SNOOZ WHITE NOISE MACHINE, IMAGE BY SNOOZ

It seems the sleep industry won’t be slowing down anytime soon, as the market is estimated to reach $114 billion in revenue by 2025. With so many different products available, it’s guaranteed that there’s something out there for everyone. It should be noted that before relying on any sleep aids, we should always start by taking a look at our lifestyle and make appropriate changes. Dietary intake, exercise, and creating a bed time ritual can all boost the quality of sleep naturally. When all else fails there are always new innovations arising and with that there’s no telling where technology will take us in our quest for a better sleep.

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