From a pillow with armholes to glasses with a built-in alarm, a report from Motherboard examines five unusual products designed to improve sleep.
Everyone needs to sleep, and necessity is the mother of invention, so of course there are like a million sleep-related patents granted in the United States. Whether you’re trying to fall asleep or trying not to fall asleep—or trying to make your child believe they’re being eaten by an alligator in their sleep—ingenious American inventors have you covered.
Here are some of my favorites that I’ve found. Reading patent applications is usually enough to put anyone to sleep, so I’ve also translated the patent descriptions into ordinary English.
“Sleep Apnea Avoidance Process and Apparatus”
Patent description: A sleep apnea avoidance process includes selecting a pillow having a pair of sides, angled at a predetermined angle and shaped to hold a person’s head face down on one side thereof. The selected pillow has a pair of arm openings thereunder to position a person’s arm to assist in holding a person’s head face down on the pillow angle side such that the user can use one or the other arms when placing the head on one or the other angled side of the pillow. The process includes resting on one of the pillow’s angled sides with one arm placed through the arm opening whereby jaw movement and sleep apnea are avoided.
Translation: A pillow with armholes, for people who like to put their arms under their pillows while sleeping but don’t like waking up with numb arms.
Also treats sleep apnea.