70 Billion Dollars… That my friends, is the sleep industry.
Afterall, consistant, restful sleep is pricelice… right?
According to the numbers that’s what a lot of people think. From weighted blankets, headbands that track sleep patterns, smart mattresses and the simple Fitbit, there are many sleep tools that promise some form of restful renewal.
But does this stuff work?
The reality is that as far as scientific studies go, there is little evidence it does.
Typically with sleep aids and tools the marketing method most commonly used is is data about one thing being applied to an untested device.
For example, scientific studies show that blue light DOES suppress melatonin- the chemical that regulates circadian rhythm which in turn gets you ready for sleep. But do the new blue blocker suppression glasses or red night lights actually help you sleep better? I guess you’ll have to experiment and decide for yourself, because science really doesn’t say.
And the companies that do studies almost never conduct full independent clinical trials and reviews are only as good as the placebo affect determines they are.
In America we are constantly looking for quick fixes in all areas of our life. A magic pill to lose weight, instant money, instant gratification. Why is sleep any different?
Looking at the marketing of sleep and all the misinformation that the internet offers it’s easy to get caught up in the illusion that what you need to sleep better is the next newest gadget.
Yes, there’s a chance that a tracker or ambient blue blocking light can help, but you need to do your part too. What that means is making a bedtime that you more or less stick to. Creating a establishing a regular routine that’s healthy and supportive of your sleep and avoiding working out at night, and other stimulants like caffeine.
As for products you SHOULD buy? Stick to investing your money in a eye mask, and good mattress. If you find you sleep better with a little purposeful noise, look at getting a fan or using an app like Headspace that can play nighttime noises or tell you relaxing stories to fall asleep to.