Sleep is the new coffee.
Take, for example, Tim Ferriss’ recent podcast with guest LeBron James. The basketball star ended on a note that sleep was a cornerstone in his success.
French startup Moona thinks it is temperature regulation that can help us all get a better night’s rest. To find out more, Grit Daily caught up with Coline Juin, cofounder and CEO.
1. How are sleep patterns so important. Don’t we all just sleep (or try to)?
There are actually significant differences in how we all sleep.
We have different sleep needs: it is often said that we need 8 hours of sleep (to make it simple) but the reality is slightly different for all of us. Some people will only need 7, while others will need 9. 1 to 2% of the population may be fine with less than that, the “short sleepers”. Sleep needs are acquired genetically and are not something you can “learn”.
We have different circadian rhythms: early birds vs night owls. This is genetic as well. It is particularly important in work settings for example, as we have different peak times of productivity.
Our sleep patterns vary with age as well. Our circadian rhythm gets delayed during adolescence, which is why specialists recommend that high school classes start later. We tend to become more “early birds” as we age as well.
2. What does Moona do?
Moona uses temperature regulation around the head/neck to actively improve sleep throughout the night.
Temperature is a key factor in sleep quality (our body needs to cool down to fall asleep, which is why we flip the pillow to the cooler side to fall asleep)
Body temperature is interrelated with our vigilance level.
The head is a major heat exchanger for the body
Cooler temperatures applied to the head has been proven to help insomniacs fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.
Inversely in the morning, we need to raise our body temperature to get up to speed. This is something we’re accelerating with our gentle wake up feature. This slowly raises the temperature of the pillow pad.
3. What’s behind the name?
We wanted something that was simple, understandable in English and related to sleep.
4. How does the tech work?
Our thin pillow pad goes into any pillow. It contains a thin layer of water that is continuously being circulated by a bedside device, which will heat or cool down the temperature based on your preferences and the moment of the night (cool temperatures to fall asleep and stay asleep, warm temperatures to wake up).
5. Share some numbers. Any successes?
We tripled our objective during the Kickstarter campaign last year. We ended up pre-selling +500 units for close to $150 000.
We had a promising preliminary clinical trial with Nantes University Hospital in 2017. Our second trial is starting now.
6. How sleep deprived are we all? Be honest
It’s very bad and getting worse. Pick your stats:
Not to mention what research is currently finding about the role of sleep in depression, Alzheimer disease, cancers, obesity, etc. This is a an important mission, which is what’s driving us to work really hard.