Blog: Sleep Science’ Category

The science behind adjusting your circadian rhythm with light

September 27th, 2018

In very simplistic terms, sleep is regulated by two body systems: the homeostatic sleep drive and the circadian biological clock.

Homeostatic sleep drive is a fancy way of saying that we get tired when we have been awake for a long period of time. If this were to only process regulating our sleep patterns, then it would mean that we would be most alert as our day was starting out, and that the longer we were awake, the more we would feel like sleeping.

But it’s obviously not as simple as this, as anyone who has struggled to fall asleep at night has experienced, and that is in part due to the fact that our circadian biological clock regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day. So if you’ve ever felt more sleepy at noon than midnight, that’s most likely a result of your circadian rhythm. (more…)

Sleep products at CES 2018 — from the eye of a scientist

January 16th, 2018
Sleep Products at CES 2018

The Sleep Tech section at CES 2018 (photo by Biquan Luo)

Being genetically prone to poor sleep, I’ve spent all my life searching for sleep solutions. I’ve tried countless sleep products on the market that make sense from the scientific standpoint: blackout curtains, melatonin, sleeping pills, white noise apps, meditation, and finally cognitive behavior therapy with a sleep doctor in Stanford Sleep Clinic. My passion for solving the problems of my own led me to start a sleep company. While we are still developing prototypes, I realized that I should see what new technology is available for sleep problems at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV.

It was a technology feast for me as both a tech entrepreneur and a consumer. Truly fascinating. More than 30 companies were sharing their sleep technology, ranging from market-ready products to early-stage prototypes. As a startup founder who researches and talks about sleep products all day, I often see the problem of products selling promises more than science. Is it the case for the products at CES? With this thought, I went out to try different sleep products at CES. (more…)

9 Tips to make your holiday travel healthier and more pleasant

December 21st, 2017

One more day and we are saying hello to the holiday! No matter whether you are a VC who is on 5-hour sleep schedules most of the year, or a CEO who has teleconferences day and night with business partners around the globe, or a parent who has been sacrificing your sleep for the kids in the past year, you have been working hard all year and it’s time to take a break and enjoy the long-overdue vacation that you deserve.

A lot of you may have plans for holiday travel. Exciting! Not entirely, only if you could skip the annoying part of travel and get to the meat directly. The good news is, while you are waiting for the sleep mask that lets you travel without jet lag, there are still things that you can do to make your travel healthier and more pleasant. As a biomedical scientist from Stanford and a veteran long-distance traveler who makes multiple cross-continental trips every year, I’d like to share a few tips that I’ve collected in the past ten years: (more…)