The Evolution of Sleep


It was 350 B.C. when Aristotle concluded that sleep is a time of physical renewal. Since then, there have been countless scientific, cultural, and technological advances that have shaped the way that we sleep today.

Did you know that people didn’t always sleep for a single block of time each day? In pre-1800 days it was common practice to have two periods of sleep per day, separated by a few hours of wakefulness, often spent reading, praying, studying, or having sex. They even called this ‘first sleep’ and ‘second sleep’.

In 1929 physicians first started monitoring brain waves during sleep, to better understand what’s happening during our slumber. Now, 87 years on, we have the ability to track our sleep from the comfort of our own beds.

We’ve come a long way since the days of straw palliasses and tufted horsehair mattresses (yes, we were around in those times!), and there’s so much we’ve learned about sleep and how to make the most of it along the way. For instance, there is no magic rule for the perfect sleep. Everyone’s needs are different, and everyone’s needs change over time. Data from our 6 Week Sleep Challenge tells us that people under 30 are more likely to suffer from erratic sleep patterns or trouble getting to sleep, whereas people over 30 are more inclined to report interruptions or pain during the night.

This shouldn’t be surprising, knowing that as we age, our circumstances, our families, and our bodies change… so why wouldn’t our sleeping needs? The trouble is, we’ve come so far in the world of mattresses, that they’re now designed and built to last 8-10 years. But so much can change in these years – how can you buy a mattress in your 30s that is still going to suit your needs in your 40s?

This is where the next step in the evolution of sleep comes in. Sleepsense is a bed designed to change with you. With adjustable firmness, an adjustable base, and built-in sleep tracking capabilities, it quite literally is the smart bed for every body. The innovation of the adaptable mattress means that there’s no need now to debate over plush or firm. You can set the firmness to match your ‘just right’, and your partner can set their side to their preference too! With the built in sleep tracking, you can even test out what level of firmness gives you the best night’s sleep, and monitor if and how this changes over time.

What we know about sleep and it’s role in our overall health and wellbeing is advancing alongside our technology, science, and society. After centuries of theorising and studying, we’re finally in a position to be smart about our sleep. This is the age of the smart bed – what a time to be alive!

If you’d like to see what all the fuss is about, Sleepsense is now available at selected retailers.

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