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Japanese "Sleep Room" Promises a Full Night's Sleep

If you're one of the many people who don't get enough sleep each night you might be interested to know that a Japanese company has developed a sleep machine system it says will deliver a full eight hours of Z's in your own bedroom. Matsushita Electric Works will open its "Sleep Room" to the public in Tokyo next week. The 30-minute session in the sleep room--about the size of a small hotel room and programmed with a control panel in the wall--starts with the bed upright like a recliner. A huge TV screen is positioned high above the dresser to meet perfectly with your line of vision, showing verdant scenes of a river ambling through a forest. Gentle guitar and piano music plays against a backdrop of trickling water and birdsong. After a few minutes relaxing like that, the sleep machine takes over: the lights slowly dim, the TV screen goes blank, the music dies down--but the stream still babbles--and the bed lowers into sleeping position. Next comes a mechanical massage. The mattress vibrates and bulges strategically under your upper and lower back, stretching your spine to its limits. Eventually, the lights turn off completely, the massage peters out and air is released from the mattress, allowing your body to settle gently into place--and into the first dream of the night. The whole system is expected to go on sale in June 2005--to the tune of $30,000--but if you don't want to spend that much you could try to make your own peaceful room to sleep in, including some relaxing music and sleeping in complete darkness. Check out my Guide to a Good Night's Sleep for more sleep tips.

Red Nova June 13, 2004

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