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The Future of Sleep

by Dr Ian Pearson(more info)

listed in sleep and insomnia, originally published in issue 242 - November 2017

Levitating beds and dream-reading apps? The future of sleep is revealed as part of bold new report from leading expert

  1. Beds that eradicate smelly sleeping revealed as tech of the future;
  2. By 2027 apps could be recording and monitoring our dreams;
  3. Levitation set to take sleeping to a whole new level.

Levitating beds, dream controlling apps and a mattress that destroys body odour? These are the sleep technologies we are likely to see in the future, according to a world-leading expert, in a bold new report. Sealy UK, in conjunction with renowned futurologist and author, Dr Ian Pearson, undertook the Future of Sleep study, to help it gain an insight into the trends shaping the world of sleep over the next 20 years.




In compiling the report, Dr Pearson studied a combination of factors; including emerging technological, social and economic trends. The results are certainly eye-opening, and include:

  1. Levitating mattress - graphene, a new material with amazing properties, will allow for near-sci-fi mattress technology, such as magnetic levitation. Electronic magnetic ‘muscles’ could even be used to convert body movement into electricity to power other devices and sensors;
  2. Smart beds - Electrical nerve activity monitoring will allow alarms to wake someone at the optimal part of a sleep cycle instead of disturbing dreams and waking someone feeling groggy. This will also allow for thought recognition, which can recognize what a person is dreaming about;
  3. ‘Clean sleeping’ beds that remove odours - circular or elliptical micro-holes would change a fabric’s porosity if stretched in one direction and can be used to diffuse scents or other chemicals. Similarly, micron-sized spikes vibrating up and down could rupture bacteria to offer electrical sterilization function;
  4. Muscle-like contracting fabrics – electro-active can emulate muscles contracting when a voltage is applied. These will be woven into smart fabrics that can alter shape or tension, allowing a mattress to vary in firmness to each customer’s preference. These can even be app-adjusted or automatically reactive to enable active personalized support;
  5. Bio-sign monitoring – smart pillowcases or sheets incorporating electronics circuits will monitor body temperature and skin moisture levels - in turn revealing sleep phases or dream states, allowing for a more natural flow of sleep.

Neil Robinson, Sales and Marketing Director at Sealy UK, said: “The advances in technology, particularly in the sleep sector are mind-blowing and we’re incredibly excited about the innovations and developments soon to be at our fingertips.

“As leaders in sleep technology and innovation, Sealy is committed to designing products that deliver on comfort, support and most importantly, provide a great night’s sleep. We’ve been amazed by the findings Dr Ian Pearson has uncovered and we look forward to incorporating certain elements into our progressive research and development department.”

For the full Future of Sleep Report from Sealy, visit here.


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About Dr Ian Pearson

Dr Ian Pearson BSc DSc CITP FBCS FWAAS is an all-round futurist/futurologist with a sound engineering foundation and over 1800 inventions. He has delivered well over 1000 conference presentations and appeared over 700 times on TV and Radio, often following writing done for PR campaigns. He has written hundreds of commissioned reports, press articles and seven books, most recently Society Tomorrow, Space Anchor, Total Sustainability and You Tomorrow (2nd Edn). He is a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Fellow of the World Academy for Arts and Science and the World innovation Foundation. Dr Pearson may be contacted on Tel: 01473 710870;


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