Sweet dreams are made of this

Good for business…even better for your brain. The sleep industry is booming, but is the technology actually making a difference?

01 September 2023

Dr Dale Rae, Sleep Science

Are you getting enough sleep? If you look at the amount of apps, products, pills, wearables and devices promising sweet dreams, it’s easy to see that sleep is big business. According to Statista, the global sleep industry will be worth $585 billion by 2024. The research is interesting, especially when you take a deep dive into the relationship between workplace incidents and a lack of sleep. While driving sleep-deprived is obviously a risk, there have been nuclear incidents (including the Chernobyl disaster and the event at Three-Mile Island in 1979) that occurred due to human error – and that may have been due to sleep deprivation of employees. 

Can the solution to better sleep be found in an app? For Dr Dale Rae, a sleep researcher and senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town and the director of Sleep Science – a consultancy focused on helping individuals improve their sleep – there’s a lot more to consider and the obsession of monitoring sleep using a wearable isn’t necessarily a good thing. 

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