Stress and over-stimulus in day to day life is contributing to our inability to fall sleep and stay asleep. We are all being hyper-aroused and over-stimulated from the moment we wake up through all of our visual, sound and tactile senses. Many things are triggering our 'fight and flight' mode. Unnatural sounds and artificial lighting can interfere with our biological clock delaying the natural cues our body receives throughout the day to which circadian phase we are in and ultimately the onset of sleep.
For many our normal pattern of winding down before bed now involves watching films, using smart phones or tablets, catching up with social media or browsing the internet before bed. But it is these devices that emit blue light to which our body is most sensitive. Such sub-optimal lighting suppresses melatonin and disturbs our biological clock delaying our natural cues to sleep.
Does any of your day play out like this?
Award winning medical
device inventor Richard Mills had suffered from insomnia for many years, unable
to switch off a busy mind and fall asleep. Richard
was so desperate to find a natural way of falling asleep, and determined to
overcome his addiction to sleeping pills that he turned to what he knows best –
technology. He believed that the secret was in reversing the ill effects of the daily stimulus and helping the mind and body wind-down with natural sleep cues to a sleep ready state.
Richard explains what drove him to develop SleepCogni.(2min video)
Our objective is to help the world rid itself of sleeping tablets
They are addictive and harmful, with over 75M prescriptions for sleep disorders written in the US/UK alone in 2014, an average growth of 23% on the previous year. The Centre of Disease & Control (CDC) say sleep deprivation is now a global health epidemic.
Call for sleep pioneers from the Kickstarter community
After three successful rounds of prototyping and supported by extremely positive results from a small, clinical trial at Sheffield Hallam University, we now wish to extend this project to the Kickstarter community. We are looking for 700 early pioneers to help us continue to test and refine SleepCogni with deliveries beginning in June 2016. Your sleep data will go on to shape SleepCogni and will help the world of sleep sufferers.
IMPROVING SLEEP QUALITY & HELPING YOU FALL ASLEEP
SleepCogni is the world’s first bedside sleep device that integrates cognitive science, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and stimulus control. SleepCogni's patented technology monitors the bedroom environment, but more importantly measures you physiologically, that then allows you, the individual, to self-manage and induce sleep. Our independent clinical research has proven that the way you wind-down to sleep can actually improve your overall sleep quality and duration too.
Monitoring You and Your Environment
SleepCogni combines environmental and personal data into an interactive sensory experience using techniques based on CBT, the proven gold standard insomnia treatment. The bedside device produces a personalised programme of audio, visual and tactile natural sleep cues based on the user's physiological state, winding the user down to a relaxing, sleep ready state. Engaging with SleepCogni via the trigger component distracts a busy/wandering mind and the gradually decreasing sleep cues act as confirmation (bio-feedback) that you are relaxing and unwinding from the blur and stress of the day, allowing you to drift off to sleep.
The bedside device works together with our sleek, comfortable and wireless wearable - the trigger. The trigger monitors the heart rate, mental alertness (by measuring the reaction to a sleep cue), skin temperature and movement. It is a non-invasive, non-intrusive accurate way of taking heart measurements and is as simple to use as pressing a button.
The uniqueness of SleepCogni is that it is personalised to the user; it monitors the body and – unlike any other device on the market – interacts with it, to produce a programme of audio, visual and tactile cues to help them to reverse the ill-effects of the day and to induce sleep. SleepCogni also works as a training programme, which means it becomes more effective the more it’s used as it teaches you to wind down.
AS FEATURED IN
HOW IT WORKS
The device works by the taking the user's resting heart rate (your heart rate in sleep) as the base line for the product, which vary depending on age, fitness, health etc. This is taken from the first night’s data. The trigger automatically calculates this through its optical light heart rate sensors worn on the index finger. For example, when a user with a resting heart rate of 50bpm (beats per minute) first gets into bed the current heart rate could be as high as 100bpm after running upstairs and preparing for bed, this is registered on the trigger.
This is where the trigger device interacts with the base unit. As the heart rate reduces from the 100bpm to the target of 50bpm the lights start in a random pattern to gain attention quickly turning into a sequence pattern (the modern version of counting sheep), becoming dimmer and slower in speed as your heart rate reduces, confirming you are relaxing. The non-stimulating colours (wavelengths) of light also change to your heart rate starting with the green spectrum, amber and red sequence until the user is rested. The trigger reaction button measures your mental alertness and also combines with the heart rate registered on the device to reconfirm you are relaxing. It also uses sound and tactile cues in the same manner, incorporating natural sounds & sound wavelengths that your body naturally associates with winding down and waking up.
CLINICALLY PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE
Supported by Sheffield Hallam University the device has been scientifically developed by an expert team to help you ‘wind down’ and drift off to sleep. An independent, small pilot trial at the University confirmed that SleepCogni is effective as 50% of those trialed reported an improvement in quality of sleep and 40% reported an increase in sleep duration, in comparison to the leading gold-standard meditation CD. This was calculated by analysing the participant's responses to the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) before and after using SleepCogni. The PSQI has been shown to be sensitive in measuring response to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in randomised trials conducted in patients with insomnia (Buysse et al. 2011). Ethics approval was received from the Sheffield Hallam University ethics committee.
So groundbreaking is the approach that, when international sleep expert Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, founder of the London Sleep Centre, Harley Street, first met Richard Mills and was introduced to the device, he gave it his backing within minutes. He said “I have been waiting for someone to come to me with something tangible that patients could use themselves to treat their insomnia. SleepCogni is an integrated piece of scientifically validated research-based treatment for insomnia. With devices like SleepCogni I see a trend to provide the patient with the tools to treat their own insomnia rather than relying on seeing professionals and leaving only the more serious insomnia to be treated one-to-one”.
Watch Dr Irshaad Ebrahim (interview)
Dr Maan van de Werken, Chronobiologist & Chief Scientific Officer at SleepCogni says, “In our stressful and 24-hour society many people experience difficulties with initiating sleep which can reduce sleep duration. Problems may occur during workdays when an alarm clock awakens you from a short sleep, increasing grogginess in the morning. In contrast during non-workdays, sleeping-in can delay sleep initiation the subsequent evening, generating a negative spiral: increasing problems to fall asleep, shortening sleep duration further and increasing grogginess in the morning. The combined action of SleepCogni helping you awaken in the morning by providing light, and the several features helping initiate sleep in the evening to improve your sleep timing and duration can improve your performance and well-being during the day.”
SleepCogni has 3 core sleep functions, but alongside this, the product works as a contemporary bedside light and immersive stereo music experience. All controlled via a simple phone App.
SleepCogni Therapy: We know that what might work for one person, may not for another. So the great thing is SleepCogni is personalised to each and every one of you. Just select the function on our app, grab the trigger from the base unit, pull the device across in whatever position you're comfortable (back or side) and just click when you see, hear or feel the relaxing sleep cues. The device works off of your resting heart rate (i.e. the goal), so as you relax and wind-down, your heart rate naturally decreases and so will the sleep cues, allowing you to drift off into the deep and restful sleep you crave.
Sunset: This function winds you down over a 30/45-minute period by using wavelengths of light avoiding the blue spectrum, which crucially does not suppress melatonin which interferes with natural sleep cues. We combine the non-stimulating green and red wavelengths to replicate a sunset, perfect for a read before bed but with a natural cue for your body to sleep. (You could simply use this as a bedside light. And also have the ability to select music or/and light)
Sunrise: This function wakes you up naturally, representing a sunrise getting brighter and brighter over a 30-minute period. Research has found that light in the morning can improve the process of waking up. Many people use blackout blinds to avoid light pollution at night, but this also blocks exposure to natural dawn light. Just set your alarm time on our app the previous night and SleepCogni knows when is best to begin the Sunrise. (You can also select to play our morning sounds along with the light.)
A sensory wind down program.
After extensive research, we found that your senses all naturally wind down as you get ready to sleep. Firstly through visual cues and the light sequence. Secondly on audio cues through our stereo speakers washing soundwaves over you, listening more intensely as your eyes become tired. Finally a gentle vibration for tactile cues through the trigger device.
(You have the ability in the APP to switch on/off each of the modes)
Recent studies have shown that blue light (short-wavelength) has a greater effect on shifting the circadian clock and on melatonin suppression.
One study examined the effects of reading on a light-emitting device compared with reading a printed book. Participants who read on light-emitting devices took longer to fall asleep, had less REM sleep [the phase when we dream] and had higher alertness before bedtime [than those people who read printed books].
SleepCogni avoids using blue light. Instead, we use non-stimulating wavelengths (≥ 510nm) in our engaging system of natural sleep cues, gradually moving through the green-red spectrum of our RGB LEDs. NASA have recently used a similar LED technology on the International Space Station, which helps astronauts differentiate between day and night to reduce daytime grogginess.
3D Immersive Sound
Unlike other bedside sound systems which hit one ear side-on, SleepCogni's unique aerial position and curved inset electrostatic stereo speakers are designed to wash soundwaves of music over both ears evenly without headphones. Your face actually feels the soundwaves and helps your whole body wind-down. We are also able to manipulate 3D sounds to make sounds more distant etc. (optional earphone socket if required). However, the knowledge that sounds we are supposed to listen out for, such as a crying baby, intruders etc. can still be heard increases comfort and generates a feeling of safety.
Sound is a critical part of the sleep process, either hindering or helping you to fall asleep. Spotify recently reported that 12% of album sales were sleep related. Sound specialist at SleepCogni, Martyn Ware, member of bands Human League and Heaven 17, and one of the pioneers of electronic pop, was invited to develop the sound element of SleepCogni. Martyn says, "Sound is always the bridesmaid, but actually it is one of the most important factors in sleep and our senses. Masking sounds really help to distract the mind and forget the worries of the day and gently fall asleep. Also music or compositions with certain rhythms, tempos or timbres will scientifically help with relaxation."
SleepCogni has an array of sensors that feeds back into the generation of specific sounds which will bring down your heart rate, calm down the mind and help the user sleep quicker. The music and soundscapes (of which there will be more than one and personalised) will consist of elements that can change tempo, timbre and pitch.
Our research has found that our 'touch' sense is important in inducing sleep, and is often overlooked by other devices.
Tactile sense is the final sense to switch off before sleep. A gentle vibration that slowly reduces in both intensity and length the more you relax, is the final sleep cue.
SleepCogni has been beautifully designed by our expert team of designers, incorporating a contemporary aesthetic to fit into the bedroom environment and be multifunctional. Designed to replace your bedside lamp and sit on your bedside table/dresser, SleepCogni is the ideal, purposeful, modern addition to your bedroom.
The head is designed with a sleek inset curve to ensure no light or noise pollution affects your bed partner.
SleepCogni knows when you have fallen asleep (as the trigger detects no user response) and automatically retracts to the upright position in complete silence. Thus, ready and perfectly positioned for the Sunrise function the following morning. How? We use a height adjustable electromagnet and a perfectly calculated counterweight rather than noisy, unreliable motors.
Starting out as a sketch in a notebook over one year ago, the SleepCogni journey has involved hundreds of concept drawings, independent research and testing, numerous CAD renders, 3 prototypes, complete back-end software development, the addition of 20+ team members, a granted patent and plenty of smiles along the way.
Improving at every stage:
Where we are today:
We have most recently built a full pre-production prototype and finalised the CAD and electronic component specifications. We have selected our plastic tooling manufacturer overseas and electronics PCB, assembly & distribution is to be carried out with a medical device manufacturing company in Derby, UK.
The back end software development for how SleepCogni responds to your heart rate in real-time has all been programmed. This was completed shortly before our University trials in June and works effectively.
To be done:
Although we have begun our partnership with Fusionex, we need to personalise our data analytics platform and set up our remote server connection with the product. Also, we need to refine our mobile app and User Interface (UI). CE & electrical certifications to be gained and approved. Refinement of software and other trigger device sensors like SpO2 and skin temperature.
And don't forget, we promise to keep you updated at every stage of this journey.
MEET THE TEAM
Based in the University of Sheffield's Bioincubator and our London Soho Square offices. We have built a team of over 20 committed professionals who are capable and ready to deliver SleepCogni. We feel it is important that the Kickstarter community can trust us to deliver on this project, and our expert, credible team is our most valuable asset. Customer relations involving consistent updates and communication is vital - that's why we have a dedicated, full-time Social & Customer Relations Manager already on board. Take a look at a few of our bios:
The SleepCogni system includes:
SleepCogni bedside unit
Wearable trigger device
Mobile application to operate functions and provide a unique insight into your sleep pattern
SleepCogni is associated with:
Pledging to help others, Richard Mills,
founder of SleepCogni has made it
his personal mission through the success of his invention to eventually help
children, especially those with autism. After meeting Victoria Dawson, founder
of the Children’s Sleep charity, he learned that SleepCogni could really help children with sleeping disorders. So
he decided to share some of the success of SleepCogni
if he achieves the funding required. He has offered to provide five of the
devices (a value of $1995) in September when SleepCogni
is ready to retail to the general public.
The Children's Sleep
Charity' based in the UK, uses cognitive and behavioural approaches to children's sleep issues.
The charity offer training to both parents and practitioners around sleep
Creating hardware is not to be underestimated, especially when designing and manufacturing a 'world first'. SleepCogni is now at a design-for-manufacture stage. All the necessary development has been considered on how and where to manufacture, assemble and distribute.
Tooling, Printed Circuit Board (PCB) production, software refinement and assembly has all been factored into our timeline. One challenge could be the difficulty in sourcing parts from across the world during two main holiday periods in particular: Christmas and Chinese New Year.
We have a dedicated Customer Relations Manager already on board to deal with any concerns either you (the backer) has, or to relay information in consistent updates to all our supporters. We realise the importance of this and want the Kickstarter community to have trust in what SleepCogni stands for and can reliably deliver.
Yes (as long as you are looking towards SleepCogni to engage with the sleep cues). Whether you prefer to lie on your back or on your side when trying to fall asleep, SleepCogni's convenient rotatable arm and head adjuster gives you the choice
Sound is a critical part of the sleep process, either hindering or helping you to fall asleep. Martyn Ware, member of bands Human League and Heaven 17, and one of the pioneers of electronic pop, is developing the sound element of SleepCogni. Martyn explains that masking sounds really help to distract the mind and forget the worries of the day and gently fall asleep. Also music or compositions with certain rhythms, tempos or timbres will scientifically help with relaxation. SleepCogni has an array of sensors that feeds back into the generation of specific sounds which will bring down your heart rate, calm down the mind and help the user sleep quicker. The music and soundscapes (of which there will be more than one and personalised) will consist of elements that can change tempo, timbre and pitch.
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU: Have your name featured on our 'thank you' wall on our website. You also receive a personalised thank you from our founder and get to follow our exclusive backer updates & loyalty programme offer, when we start retailing to the wider general public in Sept 2016.
MEET THE TEAM & STAY IN LONDON: Enjoy a one night stay in central London where you will meet the CEO and some of SleepCogni team who will be delighted to take you for afternoon tea. Have your SleepCogni personalised. Choose your own colour and be the first to take a SleepCogni home with you - (Limited edition with name engraved). (Travel not included).
Note: If buying as a Christmas gift, we can provide a digital certificate of purchase in time for you to send.