Digital life reporter Katie Humphrey covers all things Internet and culture, from apps and social media to goofy memes and studies proclaiming tech will doom/save us all. Chat with her on Twitter: @HumphreyKatie.

Sleep with technology on a smart bed

Posted by: Katie Humphrey Updated: July 3, 2014 - 11:56 AM

Technology in the bedroom usually gets a bad rap. Put down the smartphone. Turn off the tv. Go to sleep.

But what if technology could help you sleep better? In an era when there are apps for everything, there apps and gadgets that promise to ease you into dreamland and monitor your sleep.

Plymouth-based Sleep Number took it a step further and put the technology in the bed itself, launching a Sleep IQ app and a super luxury Sleep Number x12 Bed. My colleague Dee DePass wrote about the bed's debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

It's definitely pricey, starting at $7,999.

But there's at least one local fan of all the bells and whistles. Ryan Libby, co-founder of 612 Brew in Minneapolis, has been sleeping on an x12 since early April. Full disclosure: the company gave him a bed and asked him to share his opinion.

"If I didn't like it, I wasn't going to keep it," he said. "We do get to keep the bed, thankfully, because it's amazing."

He and his wife can each position the bed however they are most comfortable, elevating it at the foot or the head. There's a motion-sensitve nightlight underneath. It tracks their heart rates, restlessness and total sleep time using a variety of sensors, sending all the info wirelesslessy to the Sleep IQ app.

The best part? Libby says it's the "partner snore" feature. When he starts snoring, his wife doesn't have to elbow him anymore. She just says "Sleep Number, partner snore" and the bed elevates Libby's head just enough to stop the snoring.

"I'm still sleeping so I don't know the difference," he said.

For those who are intrigued but unwilling to drop thousands for a bed, the Sleep IQ technology is built into some other Sleep Number mattresses, starting at $999 for a queen-sized bed.

Libby says the knowledge from the Sleep IQ app helped him change habits when he made a point of entering his daily activities and comparing them with the bed's sleep stats. Less caffeine, more exercise and a taking time to unwind with a book before bed all led to better sleep.

"The bed taught me some of those patterns," he said.

He doesn't always enter his daily activity, but does like to check it when he gets up in the morning.

"It's neat to see the detail on how you slept throughout the whole night," Libby said.

So maybe there is a place for technology in the bedroom. But if you stay up too late playing "Angry Birds," there's no hiding it from your smart bed.

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