The $12B+ sleep industry, explained

Lack of sleep costs the American economy up to $400B a year.

Did you get less than 7 hours of sleep last night?

The $12B+ sleep industry, explained

If so, you’re in the majority. More than ⅔ of Americans fail to hit that number for daily ZZZs, per The Economist.

This sleep deficit leads to problems — like poor health and lower productivity — estimated to “cost America’s economy as much as $400B a year.”

The culprits are many

Widespread caffeine and alcohol consumption doesn’t help. Neither does having a rectangle distraction machine in our pockets all day.

Back when there were no smartphones or laptops, the great-grandparents of today’s Americans got an average of 2 more hours of sleep a night.

Sleep tech is trying to fill the void

Per The Economist, the industry was worth $12.5B in 2020, including:

  • Oura, a $1B startup selling a $300 titanium ring that can track activity, heart, and oxygen levels
  • Kokoon, a company selling $200+ wireless earbuds that play relaxing music and can track a user’s sleep stage based on blood-oxygen levels
  • Eight Sleep, maker of a $2k+ mattress that heats and cools as a person’s body temperature changes throughout the night (it’s called the “Lamborghini of mattresses”)

Major consumer tech players — like Huawei, Google, and Samsung — also sell sleep-tracking products. Meanwhile, a small company called Apple has activated 100m+ smartwatches with sleep (and health-tracking) features.

Does any of this work?

The Economist says that ~40% of sleep-wearable users “abandoned their device” when the effects didn’t take hold. Also, the tech lacks the “gold standard” to prove health efficacy: randomized controlled clinical studies.

But with a total addressable market of **checks notes** anyone who sleeps, the business case for sleep tech isn’t going anywhere.

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