Withings Aura – smart sleep system

bande1Withings is really taking sleep tracking to the extreme, with the new Aura system (shipping in Spring 2014).  Pads under your mattress detect body movements to help determine sleep quality, and a bedside device records environmental conditions (noise, light, temperature), as well as producing light and sound patterns to either help you sleep, or help wake you gradually.  It’s such a departure from peoples’ normal lives that I expect it’ll be slow to be adopted, but does offer an easy way for technology to influence how we spend a third of our lives.

Read more at TechCrunch or Withing’s website.

Negative health impacts of too little sleep

I came across a really interesting article over at Care2 that talks about the health impacts of not getting enough sleep.  I think everyone knows they ‘should’ get plenty of sleep, but why?  Just to feel happier?  Nope.  It turns out that not sleeping enough can affect many aspects of your health:

1. Neuropsychiatric disorders, impaired alertness and cognition, and headaches
2. Vision problems, including blurred vision, floppy eyelid syndrome, glaucoma, even temporary blindness
3. High blood pressure
4. Increased levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress
5. Cancer
6. Difficulty with sexual functioning
7. Increased food cravings and hunger
8. Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes
9. Hearing loss
10. Muscle weakness and decreased athletic performance
11. Heart disease
12. Skin problems and rashes, including eczema
13. Hair loss
14. Disrupted metabolism, weight gain and obesity

Or to put it another way…just about everything you can think of.  My personal metric for whether I’m getting enough sleep, is if I wake up on my own, feeling well-rested, before my alarm goes off.  For me, it’s just a matter of getting to bed at a decent time and letting the body do its thing.

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