Sleep Initiative

2024 Trends

Recent trends in the sleep industry showcase a dynamic landscape shaped by the power of AI for personalized recommendations and proactive products, a shift away from traditional sleep tracking methods towards more actionable insights, the emergence of the ‘sleep divorce’ trend among couples seeking optimal rest quality, and the rise of sleep tourism as a key segment in wellness travel, offering specialized programs for sleep rejuvenation and stress reduction.

Harnessing the Power of AI for Sleep

The rapid progress of AI technology is poised to transform and disrupt major industries, services and consumer experiences, and the sleep industry is no exception.  Within the sleep category, the ability of AI to rapidly analyze, interpret and communicate data trends and insights will completely change how sleep data and services will be delivered and consumed in three major ways:

1. Personalized Recommendations: With the broad set of sleep-related data being collected with trackers, services that harness the latest generative-AI platforms, such as ChatGPT4, can aggregate this data and contextualize a variety of sources, analyze and collate this data for correlations and trends, and summarize and communicate those insights in an intuitive, conversational manner for any user.  These engines are capable of discovering insights that sleep scientists and researchers can’t see due to the substantial amount of data processing required to observe such relationships.  These insights can be combined with targeted or global knowledge databases to generate meaningful and impactful recommendations. Powerful AI-engines, now available across platforms, such as Open-AI, Microsoft and Google, can now be harnessed to provide significantly improved sleep concierge services that greatly enrich customer support experiences.  We expect to see many companies incorporating AI engines to transform their customer support and concierge services, raising the collective bar on personalization, a central focus of future sleep services and products. 

2. Targeting Customer Demographics for Greater Personalization: The power of AI to quickly perform pattern recognition and classification on very large demographic datasets and groups will provide businesses and organizations with incredible new insights on new emerging trends and preferences across a virtually infinite number of different demographic groups.  Those heightened insights will enable a broad set of businesses within the wellness and sleep industries to deliver much greater levels of personalization in their products and services.   

3. Pro-Active Products and Services:  One of the most exciting advancements is products and services that leverage predictive AI to help proactively make decisions and take actions for the user, preventatively and in real-time.  A broad set of products are already beginning to harness this powerful technology, from AI-powered smart beds and sleep wearables to personalized digital sleep services.  We expect to see an explosion of exciting new AI-driven proactive sleep products and services over the next few years.  

Shifting Away from Sleep Tracking: A Counter-Trend Emerges

As technology advances, sleep tracking has become increasingly prevalent, promising insights into our sleep patterns and overall health. However, a growing trend challenges the effectiveness and impact of these tracking devices.   

One of the fundamental challenges with sleep tracking is the gap between the data provided and its actionable insights. While sleep trackers offer data on sleep stages and duration, this information often needs more context and relevance to the individual. For instance, interpreting whether a specific amount of deep sleep is beneficial or detrimental remains ambiguous, as it depends on various factors unique to each person. 

Moreover, the reliance on sleep data can lead to negative outcomes, such as sleep anxiety or orthosomnia. Constant monitoring of sleep metrics may exacerbate stress and anxiety, ultimately hindering sleep quality rather than improving it. Likewise, the subjective nature of sleep experiences adds another layer of complexity to the accuracy of sleep tracking. Users may perceive a night of restful sleep differently from what their trackers indicate, raising doubts about the reliability of the data. 

As we continue to explore the latest developments in sleep technology, it is essential to prioritize personalized and actionable insights that genuinely enhance the sleep experience for all users. There is also an opportunity for technology to evolve its approach to sleep tracking by simplifying data interpretation and emphasizing long-term trends over nightly scores, making sleep monitoring more user-friendly and less overwhelming. 

The Rise of the ‘Sleep Divorce’?

A seismic shift in how we view sleep dynamics is underway, and it is challenging traditional bedtime norms. According to sleep specialist Wendy Troxel, a senior behavioral and social scientist at RAND Corp. who authored “Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep,” more and more couples are considering the merits of a “sleep divorce,” or the use of two separate bedrooms, to maximize their sleep quality. 

Cameron Diaz is the latest celebrity to vocalize support for separate sleeping arrangements with her husband, pushing for a normalization of individual sleep spaces to optimize rest quality. While Diaz is not the first celebrity to speak out on this topic (Carson Daly declared getting “sleep divorced” back in 2019 and Bette Midler cited separate bedrooms as one of the keys to a good marriage back in 2015), her advocacy urges us to reconsider the delicate balance between intimacy and personal space in relationships. 

Interestingly, while objective measures may indicate improved rest when alone, subjective preferences often prioritize the emotional comfort of shared sleeping environments. And while solo sleep experiences dominate research, the influence of a bed partner remains largely uncharted territory.  

As conversations surrounding sleep habits continue to evolve, there’s a pressing need for further scientific exploration into the ramifications of co-sleeping versus separate sleep. With the widespread use of sleep tracking technology, individuals are increasingly attuned to how their sleeping arrangements affect their overall wellbeing, underscoring the intricate interplay between subjective experiences and objective sleep metrics.  

Rest and Relaxation Gets Literal as Sleep Tourism Continues to Rise

The quest for holistic wellbeing has transformed global tourism, with a significant trend towards sleep-focused retreats and vacations. Reflecting society’s heightened focus on comprehensive health and stress reduction, travelers are now seeking destinations that offer specialized programs for sleep rejuvenation. 

The Global Wellness Institute’s landmark report traces the remarkable trajectory of wellness tourism, now a major force in the global travel market. From 2012’s valuation of $439 billion, the sector has expanded to $639.4 billion in 2017, with sleep tourism emerging as a key segment. As the wellness economy has consistently been one of the fastest-growing areas, sleep tourism rides this wave, buoyed by an annual increase of 8.6% in wellness trips and a 7.3% rise in wellness tourism expenditures leading up to 2019. 

 Despite the pandemic’s impact, the recovery has been strong. From 2020 to 2022, wellness trips increased by 30.2% annually, and spending surged by 36.2% each year. Sleep tourism reflects this resilience, offering travelers a way to restore themselves in tranquil environments designed to enhance sleep quality. Renowned resorts like Six Senses Douro Valley and Kamalaya Koh Samui exemplify this demand, reporting robust occupancy and positive feedback for their personalized sleep-enhancement programs. 

Notably, wellness tourists spend more than the average traveler, with domestic wellness tourists spending 175% more per trip in 2022, while international wellness tourists spent 41% more. This high yield makes sleep tourism an attractive market segment for destinations worldwide. 

As travel continues to recover, sleep tourism is poised for significant growth, projected to maintain strong upward trends through 2027. This sector’s evolution, fueled by increasing consumer awareness and demand for stress-reduction solutions, positions sleep tourism as a vital component of the future of wellness travel. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.