Article by Becky Errico | 710 words
Restful sleep can elude us sometimes, often when we need it the most. Maybe you toss and turn or wake up groggy, wishing you could have just five more minutes. Help is on the way, though. There will soon be a pillow insert that promises to not only monitor how you sleep but also use that information to help you sleep better throughout the night. The invention is called Chrona, and it’s already making waves thanks to all the attention it’s receiving on Kickstarter.
The Chrona’s Kickstarter Success
When the Kickstarter project was launched, the goal was to raise $50,000 to bring the product to life. As of April 25, the total money raised was over $65,000 with over twenty days left in the campaign.
One of the most compelling incentives to help the makers is getting one of the pillow inserts for a reduced price. If a person donates $79 to $120, they can get a Chrona when it’s released in December of this year, as opposed to the advertised price of $169.
Dreaming of a Convenient Way to Analyze Sleep
The technology was created by Zimin Hang and Ben Bronsther, graduates of Washington State who were just trying to study and monitor sleeping when they came up with the idea. According to RiverfrontTimes.com, the duo wanted to find a way to conduct sleep research not in a lab, but rather from the comfort of a patient’s home. Their answer was to remove the caps and wires that were placed on the patient in a sleep lab. Instead, they had sensors on sheets that could be placed in the pillowcase and used to measure sleep patterns. And so, the Chrona was born.
How the Chrona Turns Any Pillow into a Smartpillow
Chrona itself is not a pillow, but rather memory foam that can be placed inside any existing pillowcase without changing how it feels. It keeps track of what is going on while you sleep by analyzing how your neck and torso move throughout the night. The pillow then syncs wirelessly with an app on your smartphone or tablet and transfers the data that’s collected, as an article in Digital Tends reports.
The memory foam is placed inside your pillowcase, where you’ll barely notice it at all. Credit: Kickstarter.com
Once Chrona figures out that the person is in a deep sleep, it plays low-frequency sound waves through a set of tiny speakers within the insert. These low frequencies are said to enhance the deep sleep that the person is in, which benefits their memory and cognition. But the makers behind Chrona are not just going by research that has already been collected. They are also completing a study of their own on how low-frequency sounds affect sleep. It’s being funded by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, according to an article from The Huffington Post.
This pillow enhancement doesn’t just help its user through the night: it’s supposed to make getting up easier too. According to the Kickstarter page, Chrona “plays high-frequency sounds to help you enter a lighter state of sleep before your alarm plays in the morning. When you’re relaxed with your eyes closed, your brain expresses the highest activity in the alpha-frequency range (like during meditation). Perfect Wake-Up uses sound in the same frequency range to prepare your mind to wake up.”
But what if the person using Chrona shares their bed with someone else? Well, Bronsther told Huffington Post in an interview, “Even if your partner does not have Chrona and you have one, the sounds are so low in volume that they probably won’t hear it.” He continued by saying that even if they did hear it, it could help them sleep as well.
One helpful change that needs to be figured out is how to strengthen the signal from the pillow insert to the consumer’s smartphone or tablet. Right now, the smartphone or tablet has to be kept in the bedroom, but that can distract certain people, as Huffington Post points out. However, the creators still have time to fix that problem before the release in December; the Kickstarter funding should help as well. Hopefully, the dream of getting a better night’s sleep will become a reality.
If you would like to find out more about this project, then please visit its official Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ultradia/chrona-sleep-smarter-not-longer.
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