Waking up is hard to do — and if you’re anything like me, that includes most days that end in “y.” Add in dark, gloomy skies, and I’ve been known to let a few curse words fly. Not the best way to start the day. But there may be a more graceful way to ease into wakefulness. Lumawake, a “smarter” iPhone dock set to hit nightstands early next year, creates a simulated sunrise to help people wake up at the optimal time in their sleep cycle. The device also tracks sleep patterns throughout the night and churns out a detailed report each morning (which can be accessed via a free companion app).
How It Works
The Lumawake is no bedside psychic. The iPhone dock uses infrared motion sensors to determine (based on the body’s movement) when the lightest phase of sleep has been reached. The dock’s built-in LEDs then gradually illuminate, growing brighter and brighter, until the person wakes. Think seeing the sun rise (real or fake) is overrated? The natural cue of light falling on the eyes is believed to help align the body’s circadian rhythms, which regulate normal sleeping and waking patterns and promote better overall sleep Sleep and circadian rhythms in humans. Czeisler, CA and Gooley, JJ. Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 2007;72:579-97..
Under Lumawake’s watch, there’s also little worry of sleeping in. If the gentle sunrise effect doesn’t do the trick (which the designers claim is rare), the more traditional alarm backup will ensure no one misses roll call.
The crowd-funded device also serves as an iPhone charger and lights up as you approach it (pretty clutch for clumsier folks). Integrate it with home automation systems like SmartThings and Belkin’s WeMo, and that could mean the ability to automatically turn off your bedroom light and TV when you fall asleep, or turn on the coffee pot when you wake (score!).
Among Lumawake’s many features, our absolute favorite might be what it lacks: There’s no awkward headband or armband to wear while you sleep, and nothing you’re required to bring into bed. For those sleeping with company (significant others, children, or pets — no judgments!), just keep in mind that positioning of the dock is key. Too many bedheads moving around at once might confuse a device, however smart it is.
Lumawake pre-orders are currently available at an early adopter price of $149 (shipping in early 2013). The price point’s a little high and we haven’t had a chance to test out the dock to see if it really works, but if Lumawake can help us sleep better, then that $149 might not look so steep.
Which sleep-focused technologies are on your list to try? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet the author at @jshakeshaft.