Smart technology has helped us solve a wide range of problems in recent years, from shopping online to organising our lives and even running a business. A new smart pillow coming onto the market now promises to give you a better night’s sleep and stop you snoring. The ZEEQ Comfort Pillow has been developed via crowdfunding, links to your smartphone and is set to hit the shops this Christmas.
According to statistics, one in four people in the UK snore during sleep. It’s the most common sleeping complaint amongst adults over 40 where a third of us suffer from the problem. If you’ve ever had to suffer sleeping with a partner who snores, then you’ll realise how disruptive it can be. Many partners get less than 4 or 5 hours’ good sleep at night when they live and sleep with someone who snores. The noise is quite loud and you may be surprised that levels can reach between 60 and 80dB.
Around our nasal passage, tonsils and the palate is a lot of soft tissue that vibrates naturally when we breath. During sleep this movement can become more pronounced as the airways become relaxed and narrow, leading to a greater level of air pressure. This makes the soft tissue vibrate more and leads to the production of the typical snoring sound we all recognise.
A number of factors can lead to snoring and can happen to any of us whether we have a specific problem or not. Suffering from a cold or other health problem such as hayfever can cause disruption to the airways. If you are overweight or have had excessive alcohol during the evening that can create the perfect environment for snoring. Smokers also have a greater tendency to suffer from this problem.
While snoring can often be more of a problem for the person sleeping next to you, it does cause a disruption to the sleep patterns. If you are suffering from tiredness during the day, then it might be a sign that you are suffering from this kind of issue. While your partner might nudge you once you start to make a noise, other treatments have included wearing a snoring mouthpiece and nasal clips that help keep open the airways with varying success.
Most GPs will advise on cutting down on bad habits if you suffer from excessive snoring. That means losing weight if you are a little on the heavy side, stopping smoking or reducing your intake of alcohol. Introducing an exercise regime can also help to promote better sleeping patterns. In extreme circumstances, surgery is recommended to remove soft tissue that is causing the snoring though this is usually a last resort.
Help may be at hand with the development of a new smart pillow that not only gently sends you to sleep with mood music but recognises when you are beginning to snore and does something about it. The ZEEQ Comfort Pillow contains a number of microphones that pick up sound when you start to make a noise and will then softly vibrate, encouraging you to shift position. This should, hopefully, stop your snoring. It helps users maintain their natural sleep cycle rather than waking up suddenly, either by the sound of their own snoring or because partners have given them a shove in the back.
The ZEEQ Comfort Pillow isn’t just for those who suffer from snoring – there are 8 speakers that can lull you to sleep with your favourite music and which automatically stop playing once you have dropped off. The pillow will monitor your sleep pattern during the night, including how often you toss and turn. It will then wake you up in the morning with an equally gentle alarm.
This waking up process is important for a good end to your sleep. Many people immediately reach out and hit the snooze button when the bedside alarm goes off. That sends you off into a partial sleep where the normal cycle isn’t completed, often leaving you groggy and feeling that you haven’t had a good rest when you do eventually get up. Gradual waking using the ZEEQ pillow allows users to come out of their normal sleep pattern more naturally, hopefully feeling refreshed and wide awake.
You might think that all those monitors and speakers would make the pillow uncomfortable but that’s far from the case. The design uses a memory foam core with a Tencell pillow case, made from a wood based material that has antibacterial properties. All this means you don’t feel a thing apart from the normal comfort of a supportive, quality pillow.
The money for the ZEEQ pillow was raised by crowdfunding on Kickstarter. With an initial target of $50,000, designers Warrick Bell and Miguel Marrero managed to raise over 4 times that from interested investors. They wanted to create a smart pillow that actually responded to the user. According to the Kickstarter pitch:
“Your natural sleep movements are recorded and used to wake you up at the ideal moment in your sleep cycle, making groggy mornings a thing of the past. Most importantly, ZEEQ is the most comfortable pillow you will ever own.”
To do this, the ZEEQ Comfort Pillow links up with your mobile phone via an android or iOS app that collects all your information and helps you monitor your sleep patterns. While hi-tech is certainly making a difference here, the makers are also aware that comfort is top of the list when it comes to a good sleep.
If you suffer from snoring and want a hi-tech solution that works, then the ZEEQ Comfort Pillow will be on sale this Christmas. In the meantime, you can help reduce how much you snore by cutting back on smoking, not drinking too much alcohol and losing some weight if you’ve put on a few pounds. Even if you don’t have a problem with snoring, the pillow may still help you to get a better night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and raring to go in the morning.
Would you like to try this pillow? What do you think of the design? Let me know in comments.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!