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These days there are a plethora of different sleep aids on the market that all claim to be the next must-have solution for a better night's rest, but a recent viral blanket has caught our eye, and experts are praising its benefits. Its name? The 'sleep pod'.
The strange-looking bedtime accessory first featured on Shark Tank, and it has some sleep experts pretty excited. Essentially, it's an adult's answer to swaddling, wrapping you up in a cocoon-like sleeping bag for a cozier slumber. According to Hug Sleep's website - the brand behind the innovation - it 'applies gentle, calming pressure, just like a hug' which helps to 'reduce anxiety and get you ready for sleep.'
To find out whether the sleep pod ought to be the next addition to your modern bedroom, we asked some experts for their insights into the supposed benefits. Here's what they had to say.
What is the 'sleep pod'?
As the name suggests, the sleep pod is basically a giant cocoon-like blanket that wraps around your entire body to offer a gentle, calming pressure to help you sleep better. It's just like swaddling a baby, but designed for adults instead.
'The Sleep Pod is a fascinating innovation - picture an adult swaddle, embracing the sleeper with the comfort reminiscent of a gentle, protective cocoon,' says Richard Prasad, sleep expert at Sleep 365. 'Made mostly from polyester with a hint of lycra, it’s designed to envelop adults, aiming to curtail anxiety and foster a deeper sleep.'
The breathable material is machine washable and designed to stretch and compress so that it fits snugly against your skin. It can be used on its own or underneath your regular bedding for an extra layer of comfort.
What are the benefits of the sleep pod?
According to Hug Sleep - the company behind the sleep pod - their innovation has a whole host of benefits. Similar to other sleep aids such as weighted blankets and over-the-head pillows, it's said to reduce stress and promote calm to improve the onset of sleep, plus the swaddling effect can prevent you from tossing and turning during the night.
'The Sleep Pod is a product that certainly has the potential to help people improve their sleep,' says Bridget Chapman, Senior Product Editor at Sleepopolis. 'It can provide a sense of privacy and security, block out light and noise, and provide gentle, calming pressure.'
As Richard explains, the stress-relieving benefits are linked to the swaddling sensation, which in turn promotes some seriously important sleep hormones in our brains. 'The principle is somewhat akin to a hug,' he says. 'The even pressure all around can stimulate the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin and melatonin, preparing the body for a restful night.'
If you're a weighted blanket user the notion might sound pretty familiar, but the sleep pod might just have the one up. 'The weighted blanket offers deep touch pressure much like the Sleep Pod, however, while the blanket rests atop the body, the Sleep Pod envelops it,' notes Richard. 'In a way, it's the difference between a comforting pat on the back and a full-on embrace. While both aim to reduce anxiety, the Sleep Pod offers a more immersive experience.'
Is the sleep pod suitable for everyone?
So far, so good - but before you incorporate snuggling up in a sleep pod into your bedtime ritual, it's worth noting that it's not a fail-safe solution for everyone. 'This is due to its high cost, limited sleep positions, and potential to trigger claustrophobia,' explains Bridget.
With the price for a standard sleep pod at $90, it's certainly not a sleep aid that's accessible to everyone, and the benefits might not be worth the cost if you're already a relatively good sleeper.
'It’s also worth noting that while many might revel in the feeling of being cocooned, others, especially those with a hint of claustrophobia, might find it oppressive,' explains Richard. 'And, for people who love stretching out or changing positions frequently during sleep, the Sleep Pod might be a tad limiting.'
Of course, it also goes without saying that for anyone who values their mobility at night or who has genuine mobility issues, the Sleep Pod will inevitably pose challenges. If you're pregnant, a restless sleeper, or you suffer from claustrophobia, it's best that you give the sleep pod a miss.
Is the viral sleep pod worth the hype?
So, what's the verdict? While sleep experts aren't averse to the benefits of the sleep pod, it might not be the miracle sleep savior it claims to be across social media. You guys weren't blown away on initial impressions, either. A poll on our Instagram story revealed that only 30% of you were up for giving it a try - it seems being swaddled in a stretchy blanket isn't everyone's idea of comfort and relaxation...
All that being said, Richard doesn't think the concept is simply a mere fad, and it does have some scientific backing. 'Being in the sleep industry for as long as I have I've seen trends come and go, but the sleep pod resonates on a different frequency,' he says. 'The idea of mimicking the security of a swaddle for adults takes us back to our most primal comfort, an idea both nostalgic and progressive.' But, while its concept is sound, and rooted in the benefits of Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT), the application can be divisive. What feels like a gentle embrace for one might feel restrictive for another.'
As he goes on to summarize, sleep is as personal as a fingerprint. 'While the Sleep Pod is a commendable innovation, it’s essential to approach it with an open mind, and maybe even a dash of adventure,' he says. 'And hey, since it comes with a 30-night sleep guarantee, it's a risk worth taking for those intrigued!'
The Livingetc Newsletter
For style leaders and design lovers.
Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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