Sleep Number literally expanded “quantified health” technology from the size of a wrist fitness tracker to a full-scale bed when the company introduced its first smart bed in 2014. In 2020, Sleep Number added circadian rhythm insights, heart rate variability (HRV) tracking, and monthly wellness reports to its SleepIQ monitoring system. Then, in April 2021, the company announced a new function within SleepIQ known as My Daytime Alertness that helps to center sleep as essential to overall health and wellness. A few weeks later, Sleep Number received the 2021 MedTech Breakthrough Award for best overall sleep tech solution, confirming that smart beds have more to offer than simply enhanced physical comfort.
SleepIQ is integrated into all of Sleep Number’s Smart 360 mattresses. The technology uses ballistocardiography, a method that measures slight motions triggered by each heartbeat. SleepIQ takes hundreds of readings every second; it can detect when someone gets in or out of bed, position changes, the time it takes to fall asleep, heart and respiration rate, and other biometric signals.
Sleep IQ automatically makes adjustments in the firmness and position of the mattress when it detects restlessness or snoring. Users can access SleepIQ on a computer or mobile device to make precise mattress adjustments. The platform also provides a morning sleep score, insight into optimal sleep and wake times, and biometric trend tracking.
My Daytime Alertness lets users input how alert or sleepy they feel each day. It uses AI algorithms to compare the self-reported information with personal sleep data, findings gleaned from Sleep Number’s massive user base, and the latest sleep science. Based on the results, the feature provides users with individually curated suggestions to increase energy and alertness, insight into daytime activities that impact sleep performance, and personalized tips to improve nighttime sleep.
Of course, smart beds remain cost-prohibitive for a huge portion of the general public, meaning Sleep Number’s user database skews toward more affluent demographics. Nevertheless, My Daytime Alertness could offer some significant benefits. The insights provided by the new feature might help some users recognize signs of sleep apnea or an underlying health condition, such as heart failure or thyroid issues. For example, a user might choose to see their health provider if SleepIQ shows they get plenty of sleep at night, but they still feel tired every day.
All of SleepIQ’s features increase awareness of the factors that contribute to a good night’s rest. That kind of awareness has the potential to mitigate some of the complications associated with chronic sleep issues, such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression.