Why big data may help you sleep better at night

At CES 2020, Sleep Number debuted its latest smart beds, which feature climate-controlled technology that gathers data while you snooze.

Why big data may help you sleep better at night

TechRepublic's Karen Roby talked to Stacy Stusynski, vice president of product at Sleep Number, at CES 2020 about the Climate 360 smart bed and how the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics can help you get a better night's sleep. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Karen Roby: We're coming to you from CES 2020 in probably the most comfortable spot I have been in the entire week, so no complaints here. Stacy with Sleep Number is joining me now. Stacy, we all want a better night's sleep, right? We're all searching for it, and technology is being integrated in our sleep patterns and what we're actually sleeping on. Tell us about what you guys are announcing here.

Stacy Stusynski: There are two technologies that Sleep Number's launching at CES this year. Two years ago, we launched our 360 platform, which is a fully integrated heating and cooling temperature bed that allows us to really optimize the comfort of each individual. This is our Climate 360 smart bed--it has the ability to warm the feet, warm and cool the core, and through Sleep Number's 32 years, we know that no two people sleep the same. Nine out of 10 couples don't agree with the firmness.

Karen Roby: We actually fight over it sometimes.

Stacy Stusynski: And the ability to change your sleep number setting on both sides, you get the firmness that you each choose. 

Well, 80% of people don't sleep comfortably because they're too hot or too cold. This bed is designed to create what I call your own personal comfort bubble with your personal microclimate where your feet will warm, helping you fall asleep faster. The cooling in the core will help you to stay deep asleep all night long and then will gently warm you to wake you in the morning.

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Karen Roby: That sounds amazing--and it is almost lunchtime, so I'm about ready for a nap. Stacy, our audience on TechRepublic and ZDNet, we talk a lot about cloud and AI and data points and privacy with our data. Talk a little bit about what kind of data points you're collecting and how that's going into helping people sleep better.

Stacy Stusynski: Every night, SleepIQ technology--the operating system of our bed--collects each sleeper's heart rate, respiration, motion, and presence and provides you with insight every morning into how you slept. It gives you a SleepIQ score so you can see the quality of your sleep.

As we are collecting that data, Sleep Number has 700 million sleep sessions that we are able to leverage anonymized data to create a research repository where we are always looking at how do the best people sleep and how do we invest in each individual so that they can get their best night's sleep and learn from others that are doing more of that.

So the bed, which is an IoT-connected bed, provides the data to a secured cloud that is provided in each individual's mobile device every day in their SleepIQ application. They're the only ones that have access to their personal data on a daily basis, and it's decentralized in the cloud. Sleep Number puts customers' privacy and security front and center. And we also know that the bedroom is a private place, so we've developed a privacy setting where if you don't want your data to be collected, you can put it into privacy mode, and everything will be handled locally and no information is provided to our cloud, and then you have that control. We don't want anyone to feel like they don't have control of where their data is going and how it's being used.

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Karen Roby: Amazing to think how these buzzwords we used to hear like IoT and AI are making their way into the bedroom, but hopefully to make things better for us in the end, as sleep is so important.

Stacy Stusynski: You spend a third of your life in your bed. And you really do need to get your best sleep because it is the center of your health and well-being.

The Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] just said that our sleep deprivation is becoming an epidemic. And so through SleepIQ technology, we're helping everyone understand how they can continue to get good sleep. What are the sleep habits that the best people do that they can then get more of and coaching on a daily basis so that you don't feel like it's just a bed? We want to be actively involved in helping your overall health and well-being.

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Sleep Number's Climate 360 smart bed at CES 2020.

Image: TechRepublic