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THE INC. LIFE

This Sleep Toy May Make You More Productive at Work

Somnox just raised $200k on Kickstarter and tested the world’s first sleep robot in the U.S. Can it really help you sleep and work better? Here are the results.

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BY Nancy A. Shenker - 09 Dec 2017

This Sleep Toy May Make You More Productive at Work

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Lack of sleep is bad for business. Although you may brag about how we wake up at 4am to be more productive, studies show that failing to sleep enough can result in business fails. From natural and pharmacy drugs to behavior habits, experts provide hacks and tips on falling and staying asleep night after night.

Now Somnox is entering your bedroom and launching at CES 2018. Advertised as the world's first sleep robot, this four pound peanut-shaped pillow-like prototype device was visiting the United States last week and, as a writer, I was offered an opportunity to test it.

The company has been running a Kickstarter campaign which has raised $200,000 to date. You can choose from a selection of sounds, including lullabies and white noise to lull him to sleep. The breathing techniques that Somnox uses are based on "thousands of years of buddhistic breathing techniques." The company founders came up with the idea as robotics students at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, where they experienced the impact of sleep deprivation, according to The Next Web.

My associate Scott agreed to sleep with Somnox for two nights in a row. "It was a weird experience," he said. "But it trained me to breathe. I fell asleep quicker and slept through the night."

Breathing has a huge impact on sleep quality, as evidenced by the fact that a symposium on sleep and breathing takes place annually and medical and psychological professionals often offer-up breathing techniques to help you fall asleep. Your breathing changes when you sleep and Somnox softly prompts you to inhale and exhale properly.

Scott's main criticism of the sleep robot were that he was worried he would roll over and break it (which Somnox says can't happen). The device is not as soft and furry as a teddy bear and, until Scott drifted off, he felt like he was sleeping with a machine.

If you're concerned that sleep deprivation is having an impact on your work performance, you might want to consider inviting a bot into your bed next year. But be sure to ask your partner first. In order for Somnox to work, you need to cuddle it all night long. On the bright side, it never snores.

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