Research from the National Library of Medicine shows lack of sleep does more than make you feel tired. It actually hurts the economy.

The lack of adequate or restful sleep produces documented loss of work productivity. In fact, when the economies of five different countries were studied, it was found that up to $680 billion was lost each year due to employees getting insufficient sleep.

In the United States, insufficient sleep cost businesses up to $433 billion.

These are just a few of the reasons the sleep tech market has become a rapidly-growing industry. According to an industry report compiled by Graphical Research, the North American sleep tech market is expected to exceed $17 billion by 2027.

But this growth isn’t limited to startups and direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies. Legacy brands like TEMPUR-Pedic, for example, are introducing sleep tech innovations that are embedded into their product lines, too.

Jill Johnson, Vice President of TEMPUR-Pedic, said the key to tackling this issue has been to study the many variables contributing to why people aren’t sleeping well.

How do they do that? Sleep-tracking apps like TEMPUR-Pedic’s Sleeptracker AI have been integral in developing sleep tech innovations, as they are able to track users’ quality of sleep through indicators like heart rate, movement, and breathing rate.

All of this user data helps provide sleep tech innovators with insight into the main obstacles surrounding a good night’s sleep.

In the case of TEMPUR-Pedic, they partnered with Stanford University’s Division of Sleep Medicine to study data from over 26 million nights of sleep tracked through the app to find out what types of innovations to their mattresses and mattress bases would most help improve users’ sleep quality.

A common theme was heat-related issues, and as such, the resulting innovations were things like the brand’s SmartClimate Cover, which absorbs heat while staying cool to the touch, as well as three different cooling materials used in its mattresses, all of which were designed to absorb excess heat, pull it away from the body, and promote airflow around the sleeper.

But they didn’t stop there. TEMPUR-Pedic also developed three tech innovations to integrate with its ProSmart bases to promote mental rest, including a Soundcape Mode, a Wind Down Program, as well as Wave Form Massage, all of which work to promote mental and bodily relaxation for a good night’s sleep.

Introducing advanced, tech-enabled features into a standard product you’ll find in nearly every home means breathing new life into a category that’s been inundated with DTC newcomers in recent years.

This begs the question: Will sleep technology be the next frontier in the mattress space?

According to Dr. Whitney Roban, Sleep Specialist and founder of Solve Our Sleep, “Sleep technology is a great adjunct to traditional sleep education and support, and can help people understand the nature of their sleep problems and how to improve upon their sleep."

As innovators push forward here, keep an eye out for more tech-powered, data-driven solutions, as they very well may be the next differentiator in this crowded vertical.

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