A good night’s sleep is an essential for health and well-being — but it’s not always cheap.
With new innovation — the number of patents in the sleep space has increased by 12 percent in the last decade, per McKinsey & Co. — and an uptick in interest (45 percent of consumers say better sleep is a “very high priority”) — the category is brimming with new supplements, mattresses and wearable devices all designed for a better night’s sleep.
“In some ways [it’s] a bit of a desperate search anywhere and everywhere — for products, tools, meditations,” says Wendy Liebmann, chief executive officer of WSL Strategic Retail, a consumer and shopping insights firm.
For many, wearable sleep-tracking technology is the starting point.
“More people are taking sleep more seriously. More people are starting to measure their sleep, and the most common technology that I see people using is the Oura ring,” says Dr. Frank Lipman, chief medical officer at The Well, a wellness destination that offers everything from facials and massages to I.V. drips and acupuncture.
The Oura ring, $299 to $499, has become synonymous with sleep. The sleek ring, which requires a $5.99 monthly membership, houses seven temperature sensors that track sleep and dictate the amount of rest the wearer needs each day.
Oura CEO Tom Hale, speaking at a recent WWD event, likens sleep to “a drug that could keep you from getting heart disease, keep you from getting type two diabetes, make you look better, make your mood better, give you more energy, make you a better collaborator, make you more productive at work [and] make you a healthier, better person.”
Whoop also offers a wearable band device ($30 per month for the device and subscription; $39 to $89 for the band depending on style) with a similar sleep-tracking function. Whoop also sells a moldable Sleep Mask, $39, and Blue Light Blocking Glasses, $79, meant to help to decrease the heart rate and promote healthy melatonin levels.
Oura’s goal is to help people track their sleep and determine which habits may be deterring them from achieving efficient rest. Every morning, Oura’s app produces a sleep score, ranging from 0 to 100, to notify the user how well they slept.
For those with low sleep scores, there are an increasing amount of shoppable options.
There’s the Muse S (Gen 2), $399.99, an EEG-powered, brain sensing headband with sensors meant to track brain activity to cue the body when it’s time for sleep. The brand compares the technology to “digital sleeping pills,” which employ “responsive stories and soundscapes with sleep induction technology.”
Therabody’s SmartGoggles, $199, an eye mask that heats, vibrates and massages to reduce eye strain and headaches, is another option. The mask has three different modes, including sleep, focus and SmartRelax, and uses SmartSense Technology to personalize the experience to each wearer. It can also be paired with the TheraMind app for meditations.
Eight Sleep, which makes a $3,395 mattress with a host of features, aims to use technology to help people sleep better.
“Sleep is something that should be measured, should be prioritized and should be optimized, and the way to optimize it is by making it as personal as possible,” says Alexandra Zatarain, Eight Sleep’s cofounder and vice president of brand and marketing.
The brand’s Pod 3 Mattress modulates temperature for each sleeper, provides vibration wake-ups and tracks sleep each night. It can also customize the experience on each side of the mattress should two people be sleeping in the bed.
For those looking for a more traditional waking experience, there’s the Hatch Restore 2 alarm clock, $199, which offers sleep sounds for bedtime, a calming sunset feature and a sunrise alarm. The sunrise and sunset are meant to modulate the circadian rhythm. There’s also the Canopy Humidifier, $150, which is meant to heave skin benefits while also providing an aromatherapy and white noise component.
On the more affordable end of the spectrum are sleep supplements.
Brands like Olly, Goli, Natural Vitality and Hello Bello sell candy-like sleep gummies formulated with melatonin, magnesium and L-Theanine. Moon Juice also makes a berry-flavored drink packed with magnesium and L-Theanine meant to support relaxation and sleep.
Sleep travel enthusiasts may find rest at an increasing number of sleep-centered resorts and retreats. The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An in Vietnam offers complimentary cocooning meditations where guests are guided through relaxing meditations while wrapped in antigravity yoga hammocks; the Sha Wellness Clinic in Spain employs diagnostic technology to identify sleep disorders and treat patients accordingly, and visitors to the Park Hyatt New York can sleep on Bryte mattresses, which use AI technology to customize the feel for each sleeper.
Lipman also designed a Better Sleep program that’s available at certain Auberge Resorts.
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“It’s not just one thing. People are not finding just one area, one product,” Liebmann says. “Where there is a display or section that’s focused on sleep, people are spending time.’”