Wait, wait, wait – you’re saying this thing helps you sleep better, but does that by waking you up? What is this, Opposite Day?!
If you’ll let me explain, you’ll see it isn’t so crazy after all. The Thim’s thing is “sleep re-training”, which gets you more accustomed and conditioned to the act of falling asleep, thus (so goes the theory) making it easier to nod off in the future.
So, practice makes perfect?
Yes. In training mode, the Thim, which is worn on your finger like cross between a ring and a thimble, will detect when you’ve fallen asleep (which it determines by your lack of motion). Then, after giving you three minutes of nap time, it vibrates to wake you up. You repeat the process until you’ve had enough; the makers recommend an hour or so of this training a day until you’ve picked up the habit and are capable of swiftly falling asleep.
How does the Thim work out when you’re asleep then?
Most sleep tracking systems use a method called actigraphy, which is simply based on lack of movement. That means they’re not especially accurate, as you can be not moving and yet not sleeping.
The Thim works differently – more accurately, says its makers – by emitting a soft vibration every minute. When you feel this, you respond by giving a slight movement of your finger. When you don’t feel it (because you’re in the land of nod) and don’t respond, it knows you’re asleep and stops vibrating. Thus it’s able to measure sleep from the minute you go under.
But – assuming this re-training works – doesn’t that make the gadget a bit redundant after a few weeks?
Sleep re-training is only one half of the Thim’s nocturnal skill set. It’ll also help you achieve a perfectly-timed power nap, by determining when you’ve entered “stage 1” sleep and waking you ten minutes later. Ten minutes is the ideal length for an invigorating power nap, apparently – any more and you’ll fall into a deeper sleep and wake up feeling groggy.
So how do I buy one?
Thim isn’t coming out until the middle of 2017, but you can reserve an early production model by backing it through Kickstarter. Assuming the campaign hits its funding goal of AU$120,000, a pledge of AU$129 (which converts to about £80) will be sufficient to get you your Thim, delivered in May 2017.