Somnox Sleep Robot Review
With anxiety and stress being a common cause of wakeful nights, its crucial to find ways to rid ourselves of stresses from the day when on the quest for a good night’s sleep. We can all find it hard to switch off, but the answer could lie in something as simple as the way we breathe.
I was therefore excited to be trying the world’s first sleep robot, the Somnox Sleep Robot. Based on scientifically proven techniques it was developed to help people fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply and awake feeling more refreshed. Resembling a bean-shaped pillow, albeit a firm rather than a soft one, the Sleep Robot has a specific breathing rhythm, which is slower than your usual breathing rhythm. When you hug the Sleep Robot around its middle, it begins to gently expand and contract or breathe. Feeling a breathing rhythm subconsciously influences your own breathing rhythm so by cuddling up to the Sleep Robot you automatically synchronize your breathing rhythm to its steady and slower breathing rhythm. This deep breathing has been shown to have a range of benefits with the main effect being a relaxation response to the body’s fight or flight response that occurs when stressed, making it easier to drift off to sleep. The shape of the robot is designed so that users maintain a natural position when hugging it to their chest without deviating from the natural neck and shoulder alignment and to also create a safe and secure feeling in its user. The robot is covered in a removable fabric cover so it can be easily washed.
As well as relaxing our fight or flight response to stressful situations, the Sleep Robot is designed to help banish anxious thoughts and feelings and promote feelings of calm by using bedtime sounds such as guided meditation, lullabies, a heartbeat, audiobooks or white noise according to your personal preference. As soon as you fall asleep, the sounds stop.
I found the Sleep Robot straight forward to use. Its Android and iPhone compatible apps enable you to customise its setting, allowing you to select the bedtime sounds and configure your breath settings – you can choose one of the pre-set settings or create your own. The robot can also be programmed for a nap, sleep or to relax. The breathing rhythm of the robot is surprisingly gentle and as someone who is familiar with controlled breathing in yoga, I found it fairly easy to synchronise my breathing to that of the robot and within a short period of time found myself drifting off to sleep. I woke definitely feeling more refreshed than usual. Some users may however find it takes a few nights to successfully synchronise their breathing rhythm and Somnox actually advises that it can take up to seven nights. There is no doubt that the Sleep Robot is a sleep aid with a difference and once you get over the fact that you are snuggling up to a robotic device, I can easily see why users start to become fond of it, enjoying in addition to its sleep benefits, the feeling of companionship it delivers.
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