Sleep Number's smart bed adjusts to your nighttime fidgeting

The shape and firmness of the mattress will change as you roll onto your back or side.

Sleep Number

There's more to a good night's sleep than turning in early. Alongside a decent diet, and avoiding the temptations of caffeine and smartphone screens at night, it's important to have a comfortable bed. Sleep Number is taking this to the extreme with the 360 smart bed, a contraption that subtly adjusts to your movements in the night. If you roll onto your side, for instance, the bed will acknowledge this and alter one of two air chambers in the mattress, matching the shape of your body. Switch to your back and the bed will tilt your head upwards if you start snoring.

Other luxuries include a foot warmer and tiny lights to guide you to the bathroom at night. (Bonus: You can pretend your bed is a car from the original Fast and Furious movies.) Sleep Number says its new bed can also be personalized with custom sleep goals and bedtime routines. So if you want to nod off at 11pm, the bed's companion app will remind you at 10:30pm to get ready. Ten minutes later the foot warmer will kick in so that everything is toasty when you clamber into bed. Then, in the morning, an alarm will go off when the system thinks you're in the lightest part of your sleep cycle.

The bed uses SleepIQ, a somewhat ambiguous "biometric sensor technology" to track your heart rate, motion and breathing. (Sleep Number is hesitant to explain how it all works -- this is the secret sauce, essentially.) The company says it takes "hundreds of readings per second," which are then fed into an algorithm to produce a personalized SleepIQ score. The metric is then used to adjust the bed to your individual needs, and explain each morning the quality of your rest.

Sleep Number has offered mattresses with SleepIQ before, but they've never responded to your movements in real time. Users typically wake up, review their score in the app and then adjust the bed for next time. The problem, of course, is that they can only optimize for one sleeping position each night. The 360 smart bed, meanwhile, can compensate for multiple.

The company isn't the first to offer a real-time adjustable bed, however. The ReST bed, which my colleague Devindra checked out at CES last year, offers a similar level of comfort and responsiveness. There's also the Balluga bed, which was crowdfunded on Kickstarter and Indiegogo last Spring. (It was supposed to ship last October, but has since been delayed to March 2017.) Sleep Number is hoping to compete with superior smarts -- you can link apps such as Nest and Fitbit, for instance, for further insights and automation. That's useful if you've just had a workout, and need a softer mattress to support your back, or want to know the temperature that sends you to la-la land the fastest.

The 360 smart bed will roll out slowly both online and in stores during the first half of 2017. There's no word on pricing, although Sleep Number has said it will be "similar" to its current range of Sleep IQ mattresses and adjustable bases.

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