THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP

 

Explore our research in the area of sleep, the effectiveness of our sleep robot and much more.

 

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“We believe that we can make a major impact on millions of people’s daily wellbeing through soft robotic companions. That’s why we designed the Somnox Sleep Robot, a soft robotic device that helps people improve their sleep and wake up more refreshed. We will continue improving our products in order to achieve our goal.”

Our mission:

 

Help 100.000.000 people sleep naturally by 2030.

Science & Research

Global Sleep Crisis.

One out of five people suffers from sleep problems. These problems include difficulty initiating sleep, frequent awakenings and early morning awakenings [1]. The consequences of these symptoms have a large impact on people’s quality of life [2]. Chronic sleep deprivation can even lead to diseases such as depression, diabetes and cardiovascular problems [3].

The most important risk factor for sleep deprivation is stress. We take this stress with us when we go to bed, thus depriving us of a good night’s rest. This results in lower resilience to stress, which further worsens sleep quality [4].

In order to combat sleep problems, many people have turned to pharmaceuticals which can have harmful side-effects [5]. The Somnox Sleep Robot can help improve people’s sleep quality in a natural way. In our Whitepaper, we explain how and why the Somnox Sleep Robot can help people in various ways.

Research Highlights

Breathing

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in shallow breathing, increased heart rate and poor sleep quality. In order to feel more relaxed, our autonomic nervous system should be in balance [6]. This can be achieved by slow breathing techniques: breathing frequency of 4-10 breaths per minute. Slow breathing can namely reduce perceived stress levels and therefore improve sleep [7-10].

Somnox Sleep Robot

The Somnox Sleep Robot has been designed to decrease your breathing frequency during the night and bring the body to a relaxed state. The Sleep Robot guides you towards slower breathing by synchronization of your breathing with the breathing frequency of the Sleep Robot. This synchronization concept is based on a study with infants that adapted to a regular breathing frequency of a “breathing” teddy bear [11].

Figure 1: balancing the autonomic nervous system by slow breathing

Figure 2: users can select calming sounds on the Somnox mobile application

Soothing Sounds

Researchers have shown that musical interventions improve perception of sleep and quality of life [12,13]. In particular meditation music and nature sounds are known to induce a calm state and reduce feelings of stress [14].

Somnox Sleep Robot

The Somnox Sleep Robot can play meditation music, white noise, pink noise and nature sounds. You can select the desired sound through the Somnox mobile application. The sounds can strengthen the calming effect of the Sleep Robot’s breathing pattern.

Affection

The shape of the Sleep Robot was designed to maintain a natural sleep position while hugging it without deviating from the natural neck and shoulder alignment. In this way, it accommodates the most common fetal sleep position. Moreover, the curved shape of the Sleep Robot gives a sense of peace and calmness. The dimensions of the Sleep Robot have been determined based on the TU Delft anthropometric database [15].


Somnox Sleep Robot

The Sleep Robot is designed to be a comfy, useful, and easy to use product. Affection is mainly ensured by the ergonomic shape of the robot and the material used to cover it. The Sleep Robots’ shape is designed to allow sleepers to comfortably place it on their chest, wrap their arms around it and hug it. In this way, the Sleep Robot is able to give affection.

Figure 3: the shape of the Sleep Robot accommodates comfortable positions.

Sleep Well Again


First user test results suggest that the Somnox Sleep Robot can have a positive effect on relaxation and sleep quality. The Somnox team will continue improving the Sleep Robot in order to increase usability and user experience. Moreover, in the near future, research will be performed to validate the positive effect of the Sleep Robot. We hope you will sleep well tonight.

References

  1. Eén op de vijf meldt slaapproblemen [Internet]. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. 2018 [cited 15 April 2019]. Available from: https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/nieuws/2018/11/een-op-de-vijf-meldtslaapproblemen
  2. Bolge S, Doan J, Kannan H, Baran R. Association of insomnia with quality of life, work productivity, and activity impairment. Quality of Life Research. 2009;18(4):415-422
  3. Morin C, Drake C, Harvey A. Insomnia disorder. Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 2015;1:1-18
  4. Bonnet M, Arand D. Hyperarousal and insomnia: State of the science. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2010;14(1):9-15
  5. Glass J, Lanctôt K, Herrmann N, Sproule B, Busto U. Sedative hypnotics in older people with insomnia: meta-analysis of risks and benefits. BMJ. 2005;331(7526):1169
  6. Buijs RM. The autonomic nervous system: a balancing act. Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;117:1-11
  7. Pal GK, Velkumary S, Madanmohan. Effect of short-term practice of breathing exercises on autonomic functions in normal human volunteers. Indian J Med Res. 2004;120(2):115-21
  8. Brown RP, Gerbarg PL. Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part II—Clinical Applications and Guidelines. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2005;11(4):711-717
  9. Russo A, Santarelli M, O’Rourke D. The physiological effects of slow breathing in the healthy human. Breathe. 2017;13(4):298-309
  10. Sunil Naik G, Gaur G, Pal G. Effect of Modified Slow Breathing Exercise on Perceived Stress and Basal Cardiovascular Parameters. Int J Yoga. 2019;11(1):53-58
  11. Ingersoll, E. Thomas E. The breathing bear: effects on respiration in premature infants. Physiol Behav. 1994;56(5):855-9
  12. Jespersen K, Otto M, Kringelbach M, Van Someren E, Vuust P. A randomized controlled trial of bedtime music for insomnia disorder. Journal of Sleep Research [Internet]. 2019;(e12817)
  13. Feng F, Zhang Y, Hou J, Cai J, Jiang Q, Li X. Can music improve sleep quality in adults with primary insomnia? A systematic review and network meta-analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2018;77:189-196
  14. Largo-Wight E, O’Hara B, Chen W. The efficacy of a brief nature sound intervention on muscle tension, pulse rate, and self-reported stress: Nature contact micro-break in an office or waiting room. HERD. 2016;10(1):45-51
  15. Molenbroek, J. DINED – anthropometric database. 4TU.Centre for Research Data. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:199467d8-5c40-4a1f-a2f2-f2040db26270

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