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Texas has created a smart mattress that helps you fall into a deep sleep
Engineers from the University of Texas at Austin presented a new technology to combat insomnia.
Engineers from the University of Texas at Austin presented a new technology to combat insomnia. Scientists have created a mattress with a set of electronic components, which analyzes the human condition and adjusts its temperature accordingly. The system induces a feeling of sleepiness, and more quickly puts the user into a deep sleep. A series of tests showed that with the smart mattress, volunteers fell asleep about 58% faster than without it.
As scientists explained, a person's level of alertness and sleepiness is partly determined by the "ebb and flow" of the circadian rhythm, often called the biological clock. This process is accompanied by temperature changes in different parts of the body. Texas engineers decided to take advantage of this fact to create a system that tells the body when it is time to go to sleep.
"We facilitate a person's readiness for sleep by manipulating internal sensors sensitive to body temperature to briefly adjust the body's thermostat so that it thinks the temperature is higher than it really is," explained Shahab Shaghayegh, one of the study participants.
The mattress and pillow developed by the scientists consist of several heating and cooling elements. The system simultaneously affects several related areas. Users' necks, arms and legs are heated slightly to increase blood flow to dissipate heat, while the torso is cooled for an additional relaxing effect. Scientists are now looking at two prototypes for this technology -- one relying on water as a heat carrier and the other relying on air.
In a series of experiments, scientists asked 11 subjects to use the mattress on a specific schedule. On some days, the volunteers went to bed two hours earlier than usual, and on other days they went to bed at a time that was convenient for them. The study showed that in all cases the mattress accelerated the process of falling asleep, by 58% on average. Not only did adjusting the internal body temperature significantly reduce the time it took to fall asleep, but it also resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of sleep, the project participants noted.