Minneapolis-based airbed manufacturer and retailer Sleep Number Corp. exhibited at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan. 8-11 and was actively involved in a number of other events during CES. Most notably, it hosted a panel discussion, “Sleep as the Competitive Edge,” with athletes and sleep experts.
The company’s multilevel booth featured a virtual-reality simulation on the first floor that illustrated the impact of sleep on physical performance. The second floor had the feel of a planetarium where groups of visitors took immersive test rides on the company’s 360 smart bed. On level three, bed testers were able to watch the bed sensing and adjusting to their bodies on the show’s largest horizontal LED screen.
The panel discussion on the impact of sleep on performance and overall health and wellness was kicked off by Shelly Ibach, chief executive officer of Sleep Number, and moderated by Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth.
Panelists were Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings; Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global and author of “The Sleep Revolution;” Gwen Jorgensen, Olympic gold medalist and triathlete; and Eve Van Cauter, a circadian rhythm expert in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Panelists discussed the science of sleep; the connection between sleep, well-being and recovery; and provided personal insights into the benefits of tracking sleep and its direct correlation to performance.
Huffington, on prioritizing sleep and providing advice to employers, said: “We are all athletes in our own way, in our own profession. We all need to refuel and recharge. One way to improve the performance of companies is to make the sizable connection between the well-being of employees and the bottom line.”
On the science behind sleep and why people need to make it a priority, Van Cauter said: “Science has shown us that humans in the 21st century are living a lifestyle in which our body is not prepared: up all night, trying to stimulate itself with stimulants and activities. Our stress response systems are responding to sleep deprivation or poor sleep in a way that is not appropriate — we are not wired to be awake in the dark.”
In closing remarks during the CES sleep panel, Ibach said: “We are at the beginning, the forefront of a digital health revolution. … In the future, our 360 smart bed will be smart enough to be able to predict health issues and identify things like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Or even the onset of a heart attack or stroke.”