The Somnox Kickstarter is successfully completed, what’s next?

The Somnox Kickstarter is successfully completed, what’s next?

An interview with the chief technology of the Somnox team, Stijn Antonisse. He tells us all about his experiences with the Kickstarter period and about what’s going to happen next.

The Kickstarter period went very well and brought €200,274 in investments. What’s going to happen next?

The coming months will be all about investing in fabrication equipment and the components of Somnox. Together with Auping, we will create Somnox out of these materials. Thanks to the Kickstarter period we’ve collected all the money we need to actually do these investments, because they are of course quite expensive.

‘The button to initiate the production line of Somnox can finally be pressed.’

How do you look back on the last weeks?

It was very hectic, there’s a lot of things coming at you. We’ve never expected to reach 70% of our goal in just the first day, and that we would achieve the actual goal in only 4 days. A crazy start to bring Somnox on the market!

Will the Somnox delivered to the people who’ve ordered them be exactly the same as Somnox is at this moment?

Mostly yes, aside from a few adaptations that will make Somnox even better than it is now. The model, the size etc. will all be the same. It is mainly about the adaptations to the software. The control panel and the software will be adapted to make them flawless and to optimize the interaction between Somnox and the user.

When can I expect my Somnox to arrive if I have ordered one through the Kickstarter page?

In the summer of 2018, the sleep robots will be delivered to the people who’ve ordered one through Kickstarter. In the coming six months, the Somnox will be further improved to be able to deliver an optimal Somnox sleep robot to your home.

Are you also still going to test with Somnox or is the test period over now?

We’re continuing the tests. Now that we have 10 fully functioning prototypes and enough money for logistics we can really iterate towards an optimal Somnox at launch. With the current prototypes, we can even let test sleepers keep Somnox for over a month instead of only one week. This will increase the accuracy of the results regarding the long-term use of Somnox.

The Kickstarter period is over now, can I still order Somnox?

At the moment you can order Somnox at Indiegogo with a 15% discount, though we’re not quite when this offer will expire. But from now on Somnox can be ordered anytime, though not always with a discount.

What does the future look like after the first batch in summer is delivered?

Eventually, our dream is to see Somnox being sold in retail stores where people can buy it and take it home straight away. Another idea that we have is to maybe work with a lease model. You pay a certain amount of money each month or year, and thereby you’re ‘renting’ Somnox.

Besides, we will always continue improving and optimizing Somnox. After the first batch delivery in summer, we will be very pleased to receive all the feedback to improve Somnox even further. We’ll not stand idly by!

The Somnox Sleep Robot: The Most Comfortable Sleep Companion For Everyone

The Somnox Sleep Robot: The Most Comfortable Sleep Companion For Everyone

The Somnox Sleep Robot has been designed to be a comfy, useful, and easy to use product. Comfort is mainly ensured by the ergonomic shape of the robot and the material used to cover it. The user hugs the Somnox sleep robot at night like a teddy bear, which means the shape of the Somnox Sleep Robot had to be carefully designed to be both easy to hug and pleasing to the eye. The materials that are used in Somnox have been carefully selected after reviewing and visiting several mattress factories. The sleeve is washable, fully breathable, and consists of natural fabrics. In addition to the breathing and audio function of the Somnox Sleep Robot, the huggability of the Somnox Sleep Robot creates affection which in turn contributes to a better night rest.

Why this shape?

The Somnox Sleep Robot shape is designed such that people maintain a natural position when hugging it without deviating from the natural neck and shoulder alignment. The curved shape of Somnox and the absence of sharp edges give a sense of peace and calmness since, as stated by Oshin Vartanian of the University of Toronto at Scarborough, humans prefer curves because they feel safer. The two-sphere-connected shape gives a sense of harmony, as the sphere shape allows higher volume over surface area ratio than other shapes. This is the principal reason why most natural objects ranging from water drops to planets are spherical.

How can affection lead to a better night of sleep?

Maybe some of you know what it’s like to sleep with a partner, sleeping together in a specific position, like spooning. Or maybe it only takes 10 minutes before you and your partner turn your back to each other and drift off. Either way, cuddling and the affection of your partner release chemicals that help you relax after a stressful day. These chemicals are hormones, called oxytocin. This hormone relieves pain, boosts your immune system, and relieves stress. Therefore, and that’s exactly where we’re heading, it can help you sleep (Kuchinskas, 2009). The study of Spiegelhalder et al (2017) showed that for both sexes, sleep quality was perceived to be better when sleeping together.

Three studies involving a total of around 1400 adults have shown that a deprivation of affection, the condition of receiving less affectionate communication than desired, is significantly associated with multiple facets of disturbed sleep and physical pain (Floyd & Hesse, 2017).

Of course, the Somnox Sleep Robot can never be compared to a partner, but it’s an inanimate object you can cuddle or spoon just as well. The Somnox Sleep Robot is designed to feel like having a sleeping companion through the night, like a living being instead of a mechanical robot. The Somnox Sleep Robot overcomes the archetype of robots by providing you all the good feelings that arise during the simulation of sleeping with someone.

Somnox’ shape is designed to allow the sleepers to comfortably place it on their chest, wrap their arms around it and hug it. In this way, the Somnox Sleep Robot can give you affection.

Holding an inanimate object when sleeping has many other benefits. There are many examples of people who hug their pillow at night. That way Somnox serves as a reminder for the brain during bedtime that it should start to settle down. In this way, it could function as “an environmental cue”. It can also function as a protective barrier during the night and therefore provide a sense of safety and security which will help to relax.

The fetus shape of the Somnox robot accommodates the fetal position that many people naturally adopt when they sleep. This natural adoption stems from childhood where we typically prefer the fetal position while sleeping and hold a stuffed animal or similar soft object.

Whether you’re an adult or child, everyone prefers the presence of a person, a stuffed animal, or Somnox over sleeping alone. There’s nothing wrong with that because adults often have problems with self-soothing skills. Somnox can promote these self-soothing skills and therefore take care of a better night’s rest (Owens, 2014).

Want to improve your sleep?

Our team has been working for the past 3 years to make our dream come true: creating a healthier and happier world, doing our best to deliver smart soft robotics that will make a major difference in people’s daily lives. You can try the Sleep Robot in your bed, with our 30-night trial. Not satisfied? Get your money back, no questions asked. (See the full conditions on our website.)

Click here to order your Sleep Robot today.

Why Soothing Sounds In The Sleep Robot Will Make You Sleepy Again

Why Soothing Sounds In The Sleep Robot Will Make You Sleepy Again

Somnox can play any sound you want. Choose from a variety of options or upload your own. It turns off when you fall asleep. Just let Somnox do the worrying for you. Our Somnox can play whatever you like: a guided meditation, lullabies, a heartbeat, audio books, white noise, and you can even play your own recorded sounds. Literally, everything is possible. Somnox has this playback function for a very important reason: to naturally induce your precious night of sleeping.

Why does Somnox’ ability to play sounds induce your sleep?

The previous blog, about why breathing in rhythm with Somnox induces your sleep, described why gradually slowing down your breathing rhythm achieves a relaxation mode. This relaxation mode is required for a decent night of sleep, and can be achieved by using breathing techniques. This brings us to Somnox’ sound function, which also acts as a helping hand in achieving this relaxation mode.

A night of normal sleeping consists of quiet and active sleep. Active sleep is characterized by slow and rapid eye movements, frequent motor movements, irregular heart rate and respiration. Quiet sleep, on the other hand, is characterized by the absence of eye and motor movements, regular respiration and heart rate. Sounds can reduce stress by stimulating the hypothalamus (and other brain centres associated with attention) at high frequencies. Therefore, the hyperactive brain cells will be calmed and the mind chatter will stop. Now the mind can finally progress naturally into the slower rhythms that lead to sleep.

Therefore, sound stimulation appears to reduce the latency to quiet sleep from sleep onset, and increases the duration of quiet sleep. Sound has also been shown to decrease the heart rate and spontaneous motor activity and to produce more regular heart rate and respiration (Schmidt et al., 1980).

Studies have shown that sustained stimulation with either human heartbeat sound or white noise can affect sleep and autonomic nervous system functioning. The study of Schmidt and colleagues tested 30 infants on the presence and the absence of a heartbeat or white noise sound. During active sleep the infants showed a significant response only while stimulated by heartbeat sounds. The sound also reduced spontaneous motor movements, whilst during quiet sleep the sound had no effect. The sound indeed increased the duration of the first quiet sleep epoch (Schmidt et al., 1980).

Listening to music to fight insomnia

Still we haven’t even talked about how listening to music can fight insomnia. Scientific evidence tells that music may be effective at improving subjective sleep quality in adults with insomnia symptoms. Slow-paced music is known to encourage slow brainwaves, leading to a semi hypnotic or meditative state which greatly reduces feelings of stress and thus ensures a relaxation mode. People report that their sleep patterns improve after listening to music and that they experienced fewer feelings of anxiety (Saarman 2006).

The study of Jespersen and colleagues examined the effect of listening to pre-recorded music characterized as sedative or relaxing daily, for 25 to 60 minutes, for a period of three days to five weeks and confirmed the positive effect of music on the sleep quality (Jespersen et al., 2015).

Therefore, by implementing these sounds in the Somnox Sleep Robot, while following its breathing rhythm, your body will achieve a full relaxation mode and a better night of sleep by improving your sleep quality and duration. Just try to relax, shut off your thoughts, focus on Somnox’ sounds and give yourself the chance to slowly dream away.

Want to improve your sleep?

Our team has been working for the past 3 years to make our dream come true: creating a healthier and happier world, doing our best to deliver smart soft robotics that will make a major difference in people’s daily lives. You can try the Sleep Robot in your bed, with our 30-night trial. Not satisfied? Get your money back, no questions asked. (See the full conditions on our website.)

Click here to order your Sleep Robot today.

Why The Breathing Regulation Of The Sleep Robot Will Help You To Sleep

Why The Breathing Regulation Of The Sleep Robot Will Help You To Sleep

Somnox has a specific breathing rhythm, which is slower than your usual breathing rhythm. If you hold Somnox you will automatically synchronize your breathing rhythm to that of Somnox. Therefore, Somnox makes your breathing gradually slow down.

Why does this induce your sleep?

Having your body in relaxation mode is required for a decent night of sleep. A way to facilitate getting into this mode is using breathing techniques. There are a lot of breathing exercises to achieve a relaxed and clear state of mind (Paul et al., 2006). The internet is full of them. They help you relax because they trick your body into feeling like it does when you’re naturally relaxed. In this case, a bit of misguiding your body is never wrong.


Therefore, Somnox was given the breathing function. Scientific research has shown that humans benefit from exposure to a breathing object. In a research done by Novosad and colleagues, they concluded that infants sleeping with a Breathing Bear showed neurobehavioural benefits and had a less negative temperament (Novosad et al., 2003). Another study showed that a cognitive behavioural intervention (a therapy for depression) combined with a breathing relaxation exercise could improve sleep in patients with depression, and the effectiveness was long-lasting (Chien et al., 2015)


By synchronizing your breathing rhythm to that of Somnox you will reach a steady and slower breathing rhythm. This deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body because it will send a message to your brain with the command to relax your body.

Which brings us to our nervous system: the autonomic nervous system, which is divided into two states. Namely, the parasympathetic, responsible for deactivating functions, e.g. stopping the stress hormones being pumped into the bloodstream, and the sympathetic state, responsible for activating functions, also called ‘the stressed state’. These two working together, maintain homeostasis. With deep breathing, you’re getting closer to the parasympathetic state, and therefore getting closer to dreamland (Coherence, 2006). In the picture shown you see a nice overview of how your breathing rhythm contributes to an autonomic balance. When you find yourself in the green box you would’ve achieved the autonomic balance through a weak stimulation of your sympathetic system and a strong stimulation of your parasympathetic system.

In short, breathing should definitely be the main point to focus on when you want to beat insomnia and when you want your autonomic nervous system to be in a balanced state. This insight helped us develop the best breathing rhythm possible for Somnox to help get you to dreamland faster and give you a better night of sleep.

Want to improve your sleep?

Our team has been working for the past 3 years to make our dream come true: creating a healthier and happier world, doing our best to deliver smart soft robotics that will make a major difference in people’s daily lives. You can try the Sleep Robot in your bed, with our 30-night trial. Not satisfied? Get your money back, no questions asked. (See the full conditions on our website.)

Click here to order your Sleep Robot today.

Why does light keep us awake and darkness make us sleepy?

Why does light keep us awake and darkness make us sleepy?

Many of us have heard that going to sleep when it is dark outside is healthy, as light and darkness influence our circadian rhythm. But how exactly does light affect our sleep-wakefulness cycle? New research may have found part of the answer.

Now that summer is here, those of us who want to sleep in after 6 a.m. will need a good pair of blinds; light tends to wake us up. But why does this happen? The majority of us know that light plays a role in regulating our circadian rhythm, but how light directly affects sleep is poorly understood. Researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena set out to examine the effect of light on sleep. The lead investigator of the new research – which is published in the journal Neuron – is David Prober, a professor of Biology at Caltech. Prof. Prober explains the motivation behind his research, saying, “Researchers had previously identified the photoreceptors in the eye that are required for the direct effect of light on wakefulness and sleep. But we wanted to know how the brain uses this visual information to affect sleep.” To get their answers, Prof. Prober and team chose to examine zebrafish, which are animals that have a sleep/wakefulness pattern similar to that of humans, and whose visual system is transparent, thus enabling researchers to take images of their neurons in a non-invasive manner.

How a protein responds to light

First author Wendy Chen conducted the experiments. She used zebrafish that were genetically modified to express a certain protein, called prokineticin 2 (Prok2), in excess. The researchers found that the zebrafish who had over-expressed Prok2 tended to go to sleep during the day and stay up during the night. Interestingly, this did not seem to depend on the fish’s regular circadian rhythm. Instead, the effect was influenced exclusively by whether the lights were turned on or off around them. The results of the experiments indicate that Prok2 can inhibit the waking effect that light normally has, as well as the sleep-inducing effect of darkness. Next, the scientists induced genetic mutations in both the zebrafish’s Prok2 and its receptor, to see how these would affect the light-controlled sleep-wakefulness pattern. They found that the zebrafish developed “light-dependent sleep defects.” For instance, fish with a mutated Prok2 receptor tended to be more active when the lights were on and less so when they were off – which is the opposite of what had previously been noticed in fish with excessive Prok2 but functional Prok2 receptors. Finally, the scientists set out to investigate whether light, in order to regulate sleep, needed other sleep-inducing proteins in the brain. The researchers found that excessive levels of Prok2 also raised the levels of galanin, which is a neuropeptide found in the brain’s anterior hypothalamus (which plays a key role in regulating sleep). More research is needed in order to understand the sleep-promoting interplay between genes and neurons in humans, as well as to investigate whether or not the Prok2 neuropeptide has the same effect in humans. If further research determines that the proteins behave similarly in the human brain, this study could pave the way for new sleep- or wakefulness-inducing medication. Prof. David Prober adds, “Though diurnal animals such as zebrafish spend most of their time asleep at night and awake during the day, they also take naps during the day and occasionally wake up at night, similar to many humans.”

“Our study’s results suggest that levels of Prok2 play a critical role in setting the correct balance between sleep and wakefulness during both the day and the night.”