Why are we tangled up in our sheets?

Le Futiloscope is like everyone else:  we love to be right.  “Why is sleeping the new trend?” we already asked in a 2016 post.  We talked about “Sleep Revolution”, a best seller by Ariana Huffington, who at that time traveled college campuses to persuade students to sleep at night.  Three years later, insomnia is still all the rage, generations X, Y or Z included.  But in the interval, sleep has become…a huge market, a hyperactive segment of “lifestyle”!  And because of that, it merits a slight “update”.  And even if this time we skip over the boring pro-sleep apps, our nights have changed significantly since:

We buy a “bed in a box”

If you’ve ever taken the subway in New York these past 5 years, you will have seen the cult ads of Casper, the new brand that disrupts the mattress industry and claims to become "the Nike of sleep". Their product line is limited and the mattress in question, chosen in three clicks, is delivered – by bike –like your Uber Eats dinner – in a big gift package, with a little handwritten message inside (in the beginning they even added a book!).  In this competitive, but lethargic, universe Casper is the first bedding enterprise to bet on communications, social networking and events.  Examples:  “chatbot” which chats to insomniacs; a sleep-truck that crisscrosses the country; hilarious videos showing the unpacking of mattresses; and even a range of mattresses for dogs (with the participation of “canine influencers”)!  In their wake, hundreds of e-commerces “bed in a box” are born.  And the nifty French brand Tediber has clearly been inspired by them. 

We invest in our bed

HatchSleep sleep pods

Wander through aisles of flowered sheets in a department store or the VPC site, Boring!  And the new brands have understood.  Like Bonsoirs and their bedding 100% from the Vosges.  Their slogan: “Hotel quality at a reasonable price”.  You hesitate between percale and satin, but you want to avoid all the technical talk?  Take an amusing little test (You prefer sushi or maki?).  In the US, the sites Parachute or Brooklinen are very popular.  The Europeans are discovering the comfort of American beds (mattress toppers, throw blankets, multiple pillows…).  Americans lighten up and adopt our yuppie crumpled linen sheets.  And specialized start-ups prosper.  Like the French Petits Cadors and their irresistible Nomad Pillows.  On the other side of the Atlantic they swear by the “Gravity Blanket”, a heavy blanket – from 5 to 15 kilos – that supposedly calms nocturnal anxiety.  The Sleeper, The Napper, The Boyfriend, there are lots of different models including “sleep pods”, which reproduce the sensation of being “hugged” while you fall asleep.  These all take their inspiration from therapeutic tools conceived …to help calm autistics and is called “heavy bedding”.  Clearly it is heavy!

We nap in the city

The Dreamery by Casper

“Nap pods” – these little alcoves that allow you to take a snooze anywhere – have been around for a long time. You would think they would be super popular in offices.  But it’s in airports, malls and business districts that these stores are opening.  In Hudson Yards, the newest Manhattan district, 3DEN just opened its first Urban Lounge (they are planning on opening 40 more).  You reserve your time slot on the app:  $6 for a half hour.  Casper was the first with its “Dreamery” which even furnishes pajamas.  The founders’ idea was to “push New Yorkers to integrate naps into their daily wellness routine just like going to the gym”. Is napping the new yoga?

“Sleep maven”, the up and coming business

In the US there are lots of “sleep doctors”, stars who go on to produce best sellers, talks and associated products.  Many different sectors want their expertise.  Today, with this specialty you can offer your counsel to cosmetic companies (Sephora has just launched a campaign on the theme, “how to sleep your way to better skin”).  Or you can get a job with an airline.  The sleep maven for Turkish Airlines has conceived a whole range of herbal teas anti-stress and anti-bloat to help you snooze on those long flights.  And of course, deluxe hotels – and their “glamor sleep cures” – are also there to help you.  But these palaces aren’t the only place to find them.  In NY the ultra trendy Ace Hotels; adored by millennials, and known for its pool parties and lobby concerts, has just opened a boutique-hotel, Sister City, that is betting its all on …rest!  In its super Zen rooms, through its partnership agreement with the meditation app Headspace, you can hear or see “sleepcasts” instead of hitting the clubs.  The boutique sells machines that produce hypnotic “white noise” and sleep masks with activated charcoal.  Clearly the city that never sleeps isn’t what it once was!