Technologies that not only track our sleep patterns but can also proactively manage our sleep environments could revolutionise the way we sleep and help us to improve this vital aspect of our health and wellbeing.
From smart pillows that adjust to stop us snoring to sensors that adjust lighting, temperature, and white noise, we actually already have all the technology we need to do this.
This is the first ThrowForward Thursday in our new 2023 series, and you’ll see we’ve upgraded our green screen studio setup. Next week you can join me to learn how to apply this scenario to your work environment. This will be the new approach to ThrowForward Thursdays, with a future scenario one week and an application session the next.
Do you need help getting a good night’s sleep? Do you need some assistance making sure that you are really resting? A lot of us do, so come with me to 2028 where we have a look at what technology can do to help us get a better night’s sleep.
My name is Graeme Codrington, welcome to the New Look Studio for ThrowForward Thursday, and let’s have a look at what we can do with a smart device, a smart bed, and a smart bedroom to try and get some smart sleep.
What we’ll be able to do is have sensors on our bodies, maybe even in our bodies, but certainly just a wearable device somewhere on your body and sensors in our beds and our bedrooms that will enable us to be able to match the biorhythms of our sleep with the surroundings around us. The more we understand about sleep, the more we understand that there are natural sleep cycles with REM sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep, normally lasting about 90 minutes in terms of their cycles, and most of us get a bad night’s sleep because that cycle is interrupted. It’s interrupted by noise, it’s interrupted by light, and it’s interrupted by our surroundings.
So, what we really need to do is to make sure that we have some kind of smart device that is checking where we are in the sleep cycle, making sure that we are where we are supposed to be. This will need to be personalised, not everybody obviously is identical in their sleep cycles and then adjusting the environment around us to make sure that we stay where we are supposed to be in the sleep cycle. So, for example, you could have a smart pillow if you begin to snore and that snoring is an indication that you’re lying in the wrong position or that you’re not getting the amount of air that you should get, that pillow could just inflate slightly and just push your head over, which will move your body over.
You could have a smart bed that allows for a little bit of vibration, maybe changing both hardness and the tilt of the bed in order to just keep your body where it’s supposed to be. And this could be everything from blood pressure to your pulse rate and your blood flow. Of course, we could link that to smart sensors in your bedroom that close or open the blinds, switch on and off fans and air conditioners, and switch on and off any lights or background white or ambient noise. Everything that will help you to have a good night’s sleep and to manage the sleep cycles that you need to go through basically not just gets programmed in advance but is responsive to the signals that the system gets from your body.
I say that we need to jump forward to 2028 to get a smart bedroom for smart sleep. But you know what? All of the technology I’m imagining already exists or is very easy to create and integrate with existing technologies that you might already have in your house. All of us could do with sleeping better, it would make our lives a better place. I honestly believe it would make the world a better place.
I’m looking forward to the next few years where we apply what we have in terms of our smart technologies, our medical devices that are integrated with our smartphones, and our smart watches to help us to improve our lives and improve the world as we improve our sleep.
What we’re planning to do in this new Look ThrowForward Thursday studio is take a topic like I’ve talked about today, smart sleeping, and extend it over two weeks. What we’re going to do next week is we’re going to show you how you can take this little case study in some future trend or future technology and apply it to your life and your business. You may, in fact, be in the healthcare environment, you may in fact be in an industry where I’ve just given you a really great idea to work on and think about how you can get going developing the technologies to help us with smart sleep.
But you’re probably in some other industry, so what would this mean if you were a car manufacturer or a financial services company or a tourism company, or a hotel chain, how might you integrate this idea, not specifically smart sleep, but maybe even extending your thinking into some of the devices. What can we learn from a human body? How can we control the environment around us?
Anyway? Now I’m getting ahead of myself, you can come back next week to the Throwforward Thursday studio, and I will take you step by step and guide you through the types of conversations you can have with your team. For now, just keep dreaming about better dreaming. See what I did there?
This is ThrowForward Thursday. I’ll see you next week.
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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.