While the advent of winter usually sees us heading out to gear up with some cosy comforters and duvets, have you ever stopped to wonder what the future of bed technology might have to offer? We are living through a time of unprecedented technological advancement and, thankfully, many such advancements have real applications for helping people to get that much needed rest.
Arguably one of the most exciting fields of research in the world right now is nanotechnology. Research into nanotech essentially aims to develop microscopic mechanisms that can automatically clean or repair items and surfaces. Now everyone loves to climb into bed and feel the cool caress of crisp, clean sheets, but no one likes to go through the effort of cleaning them.
Imagine a self cleaning sheet that actively eliminates bacteria and allergens, while you sleep. This kind of technology is not far off, with self cleaning surfaces already in mainstream use. NanoTouch is a company currently producing what they call “Nanoseptic” surfaces, which combine nanotechnology and green chemistry to create a surface which is extremely hydrophilic and boasts antimicrobial properties. This kind of technology is only a few steps away from self-cleaning fabrics, which could then be used to make clothing and, you guessed it, bed sheets.
Dust and dust mite allergies are one of the biggest issues facing people with respiratory problems and the only option is to ensure that your bed is cleaned regularly. A nanotechnology enabled bedspread would make it impossible for allergens to accumulate on your bed, ensuring you sleep easy, every night.
Sleeping in Space
While hitching a ride into orbit is still a frightfully expensive endeavour, savvy entrepreneurs are pouring real money into making commercial space flights a reality in the next decade. Soon, more and more wannabe astronauts will be jetting off to catch a glimpse of the earth from outside its atmosphere and experiencing the bizarre world of zero gravity.
In space, sleeping is an entirely different affair with a whole new set of pros and cons. On the negative side, the sun rises and sets every 90 minutes in orbit, so if you wake up with the sunrise, you’re going to have a tough time getting a good night’s sleep. Fidgety sleepers may be a danger to themselves, as even a slight kick could send you careening into a wall at high speed, so you’ll need to sleep tethered to your spacecraft.
Despite these somewhat minor drawbacks, sleeping in space will be one thing most space travellers will simply have to try. There is no such thing as an uncomfortable mattress in space and one wonders if you’ll ever feel comfortable in a bed again after sleeping while floating, entirely weightless. While zero gravity might make it difficult to stay snuggled up to your loved one, inventions like the “2suite” are already being designed to make intimacy in space possible. This suit fastens sleepers to a stable surface – and each other – using Velcro strips and zippers.
If you love your sleep, you certainly have a bright future ahead of you.
About the Author
Kelly wrote this article after buying comforter sets for her new house