This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
In a 24/7 world, sleep is increasingly becoming a luxury, to the great detriment of millions around the world. In the US alone one out of every three people will experience an extended period of insomnia at some point in their lives, impacting their health and costing the economy billions due to lost wages and productivity.
Now, an Israeli start-up called SleepRate has a solution that it says will help people sleep more efficiently and take maximal advantage of the hours they do have to sleep, even if they can’t get the full allotment recommended by experts.
Sleep deprivation is by far the most common ailment affecting Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control – making it nothing short of an “epidemic.” The effects of lack of sleep is far more serious than walking around glassy-eyed, the CDC says. The body will not be denied; individuals who can’t sleep at night will end up falling asleep during the day, often at very inopportune moments. Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to what has become a public safety and health crisis.
“Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity,” said the CDC. For many of the sleepless, the problem is twofold. Many just can’t spare the seven to eight hours health officials recommend everyone get on a nightly basis. A globalized 24/7 economy requires an always-available workforce, and many workers fear being replaced by a less-expensive but just as skilled colleague on the other side of the world. For them, eight hours of sleep nightly is a faraway dream, to be deferred indefinitely until they reach financial stability – or retirement age.
SleepRate helps those seeking a sleep solution bring the principles of CBT-I into their lives. Key to the system is determining sleep habits to see what behaviors need to be corrected. Using a heart-rate monitor and an iPhone’s sensors and microphone (an Android version is on the way), SleepRate generates data that analyzes heart rate variability to understand how you sleep.
To continue reading this article on the TOI site, click here.
Photo by Tony Alter