At M.I.T.’s Media Lab, the digital futurist playground, David Rose is investigating swaddling, bedtime stories and hammocks, as well as lavender oil and cocoons. Mr. Rose, a researcher, an inventor-entrepreneur and the author of “Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire and the Internet of Things,” and his colleagues have been road-testing weighted blankets to induce a swaddling sensation and listening to recordings of Icelandic fairy tales — all research into an ideal sleep environment that may culminate in a nap pod, or, as he said, “some new furniture form.”
在麻省理工学院(MIT)的媒体实验室——一个未来主义数字乐园——戴维·罗斯(David Rose)正在研究襁褓、睡前故事和吊床，以及薰衣草油和蚕茧。罗斯是一名研究员、发明家兼创业者，也是《魔法物品：设计、人类欲望与物联网》(Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire and the Internet of Things)的作者。他和同事们在试验用厚重的毯子创造一种被襁褓裹住的感觉，同时倾听冰岛童话故事的录音——这些研究都是为了创造一种理想的睡眠环境，可能最终做出一种小睡舱，或者就像他说的，“某种新的家具形式”。
“For me, it’s a swinging bed on a screened porch in northwestern Wisconsin,” he said. “You can hear the loons and the wind through the fir trees, and there’s the weight of 10 blankets on top of me because it’s a cold night. We’re trying a bunch of interventions.”
Meanwhile, at the University of California, Berkeley, Matthew P. Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology and the director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory there, is working on direct current stimulation as a cure for sleeplessness in the aging brain. Dr. Walker is also sifting through the millions of hours of human sleep data he has received from Sense, a delicately lovely polycarbonate globe designed to look like the National Stadium in Beijing that measures air quality and other intangibles in your bedroom, then suggests tweaks to help you sleep better.
与此同时，在加州大学伯克利分校(University of California, Berkeley)，神经科学与心理学教授、睡眠与神经影像实验室主任马修·P·沃克(Matthew P. Walker)正在研究使用直流电刺激治疗老化大脑的失眠问题。沃克博士还在筛选他通过Sense收集的数百万小时的人类睡眠数据。Sense是一个精巧可爱的聚碳酸酯球，外观像北京的国家体育场，它可以监测卧室空气质量等无形的东西，然后提供一些调整建议，帮你睡得更好。
“I’ve got a mission,” he said. “I want to reunite humanity with the sleep it is so bereft of.” Sense is the first product made by Hello Inc., a technology company started by James Proud, a British entrepreneur, for which Dr. Walker is the chief scientist.
“我有一个使命，”他说，“我想用睡眠重新团结人类，人们现在严重缺乏睡眠。”Sense是英国创业者詹姆斯·普劳德(James Proud)开创的技术公司Hello Inc.制造的第一款产品，沃克是该公司的首席科学家。
In Paris, Hugo Mercier, a computer science engineer, has invested in sound waves. He has raised over $10 million to create a headband that uses them to induce sleep. The product, called Dreem, has been beta-tested on 500 people (out of a pool of 6,500 applicants, Mr. Mercier said) and will be ready for sale this summer.
That is when Ben Olsen, an Australian entrepreneur, hopes to introduce Thim, a gadget you wear on your finger that uses sound to startle you awake every three minutes for an hour, just before you go to sleep. Sleep disruptions, apparently, can cure sleep disruption (and Mr. Olsen, like all good sleep entrepreneurs, has the research to prove it). It is his second sleep contraption. His first, the Re-Timer, a pair of goggles fitted with tiny green-blue lights that shine back into your eyes, aims to reset your body’s clock. He said that since 2012, he had sold 30,000 pairs in 40 countries.
For years, studies upon studies have shown how bad sleep weakens the immune system, impairs learning and memory, contributes to depression and other mood and mental disorders, as well as obesity, diabetes, cancer and an early death. (Sedated sleep — hello Ambien — has been shown to be as deleterious as poor sleep.)
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls sleeplessness a public health concern. Good sleep helps brain plasticity, studies in mice have shown; poor sleep will make you fat and sad, and then will kill you. It is also expensive: Last year, the RAND Corporation published a study that calculated the business loss of poor sleep in the United States at $411 billion — a gross domestic product loss of 2.28 percent.
联邦疾病控制与预防中心(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)将失眠列为公共健康问题。在小鼠身上进行的研究表明，良好的睡眠有助于大脑的可塑性；睡眠不良会让你变得肥胖、忧伤，并可导致死亡。它也让我们付出了沉重的代价：去年，兰德公司(RAND Corporation)发表了一项研究，称它估计美国公司因睡眠不良而损失了4110亿美元，占国内生产总值的2.28%。
Companies now fight “presenteeism,” a neologism that describes the lackluster performance of foggy-brained, sleep-deprived employees, with sleep programs like Sleepio, an online sleep coach, and sleep fairs, like the one hosted last month in Manhattan by Nancy H. Rothstein, director of Circadian Corporate Sleep Programs and otherwise known as the Sleep Ambassador, for LinkedIn. For the last few years, Ms. Rothstein has been designing sleep education and training programs for a number of Fortune 500 companies. At the LinkedIn sleep fair, she taught attendees how to make a bed (use hospital corners, please) and gave out analog alarm clocks. (It was her former husband’s snoring, she said, that led her to a career as a sleep evangelist.)
很多公司现在通过一些睡眠项目来对抗“出勤主义”(presenteeism)，这是一个新词，指的是睡眠不足、昏头昏脑的员工无精打采的表现。那些睡眠项目包括在线睡眠教练Sleepio和睡眠博览会——比如南希·H·罗思坦(Nancy H. Rothstein)上个月在曼哈顿举办的那场。罗思坦是生理节奏公司(Circadian Corporate)睡眠项目的总监，她也是领英(LinkedIn)的“睡眠大使”。在过去几年里，罗思坦为许多财富500强公司设计了睡眠教育和培训项目。在领英的睡眠博览会上，她向与会者介绍如何铺床（请使用医院床单折角法），并分发了模拟闹钟（她说是前夫的鼾声让她走上了睡眠传道者的职业道路）。
If sleep used to be the new sex, as Marian Salzman, a trend spotter and chief executive of Havas PR North America, proclaimed 10 years ago, today it is a measure of success — a skill to be cultivated and nourished — as a “human potential enhancer,” as one West Coast entrepreneur told me, and life extender.
正如潮流预测者、哈瓦斯北美公关公司(Havas PR North America)首席执行官玛丽安·萨尔兹曼(Marian Salzman)10年前宣布的，曾经的说法是睡眠是新的性爱，如今，睡眠是衡量成功的指标——一种需要培养的技能——正如西海岸的一位创业者在接受采访时说的，它是“人类潜力增强剂”，具有延年益寿的作用。
“Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body,” Dr. Walker of U.C. Berkeley said. “We have a saying in medicine: What gets measured, gets managed.”
Sleep entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and beyond have poured into the sleep space, as branders like to say — a $32 billion market in 2012 — formerly inhabited by old-style mattress and pharmaceutical companies.
But the growing pile of apps, gizmos and gurus — some from unlikely corners — has led to “pandemonium in the bedroom,” Ms. Rothstein said.
Mr. Mercier sent me his Dreem headset, a weighty crown of rubber and wire that he warned would be a tad uncomfortable. The finished product, about $400, he said, will be much lighter and slimmer. But it wasn’t the heft of the thing that had me pulling it off each night. It skeeved me out that it was reading — and interfering with — my brain waves, a process I would rather not outsource.
I was just as wary of the Re-Timer goggles, $299, which make for a goofy/spooky selfie in a darkened room. My eye sockets glowed a deep fluorescent green, and terrified the cat.
The Ghost Pillow, $85, has “patent-pending thermo-sensitivity technology” designed to keep your head cool. It is wildly comfy, but when I read what it is made from, a polyurethane foam, I lost sleep. I bought a Good Night Light LED Sleep bulb, $28, which comes with its own “patented technology” to support your body’s melatonin production. I can’t tell if that’s what happened, but since the bulb is too dim for my middle-aged eyes, I struggled to read my go-to sleep aid, a worn copy of “The Pursuit of Love,” by Nancy Mitford, and knocked off a good half-hour earlier than usual. I was up again at 3 a.m., however, as my new Sense pod alerted me the next day, through an app on my phone. And again at 5 a.m., when the cat swatted the pod off the night stand and it glowed red in protest. “There was a noise disturbance,” the app explained.
85美元的“幽灵枕头”(Ghost Pillow)拥有“专利待审的热感技术”，旨在保持头部凉爽。它特别舒适，但是当我看到它的材质是聚氨酯泡沫时就失去了睡意。我花28美元买了一个“晚安LED光睡眠”灯泡(Good Night Light LED Sleep)，它拥有自己的“专利技术”，促进你身体的褪黑素生成。我不知道到底是怎么回事，但是由于对我这个中年人的眼睛来说，它的灯光太暗，所以我在读一本破旧的南希·米特福德(Nancy Mitford)的《爱的追求》（它是我的助眠工具）时觉得很吃力，比平常早半个小时入睡。但是我在凌晨3点就醒来了，因为我的新Sense设备通过手机上的应用程序提醒我第二天到了。早上5点，我又醒了，因为猫把那个设备从床头柜上碰到了地上，它发出红光，表示抗议。应用程序解释说：“有噪音干扰。”
My so-called sleep summary, as provided by Sense, was both compelling and off-putting. Why is my air quality “not ideal”? And how comfortable am I sharing my sleep habits with a Silicon Valley start-up?
Ms. Rothstein taught me her relaxation recipe, a practice that mixed gratitude with body awareness and breathing. Start with your toes, she said, and thank your body parts for their hard work. (My favorite: “Knees, I know it’s not always easy for you. You can rest now.”)
Still, the best sleep I’ve had in weeks cost $22, and lasted 33 minutes. It was a Deep Rest “class” at Inscape, a meditation studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan designed by Winka Dubbeldam, the sought-after Dutch architect, to evoke the temple at Burning Man, and other esoteric spaces, and created by Khajak Keledjian, a founder, with his brother, Haro, of Intermix, which they sold to the Gap for $130 million in 2013.
不过，我几周内最好的睡眠花了我22美元，持续了33分钟。那就是Inscape的深度休息“课堂”。Inscape包括曼哈顿切尔西社区的一个冥想工作室和其他一些神秘空间。那个工作室是由很受欢迎的荷兰建筑师温卡·杜贝尔丹(Winka Dubbeldam)设计的，让人想起了火人节(Burning Man)的寺庙。该公司是卡雅克·克勒德吉安(Khajak Keledjian)和他的兄弟哈罗(Haro)共同创立的。2013年，他们以1.3亿美元把自己的Intermix公司卖给了Gap。
Mr. Keledjian, a meditator, aims to make the practice both secular and modern: a “mindful luxury,” he said. Though there are human “facilitators” in each class, who gently touch the feet of snoring attendees if they get too loud, the practice is guided by a recording made by an Australian female member of Mr. Keledjian’s company. “We call her ‘Skye,’” he said. It was lunchtime on a rainy Tuesday, and I settled onto a soft mat outfitted with a bolster, a pillow and a cozy fleece blanket. “Skye” urged me to stay awake, and then delivered a script like Ms. Rothstein’s, in mellifluous antipodean tones. I drifted once or twice, and from the muffled snorts of the other attendees, they did too. That night, I slept until dawn.