Health & Wellbeing

The sleep tracker that wakes you every 3 minutes to help you sleep better

The sleep tracker that wakes y...
Thim will keep waking you up three minutes after you fall asleep, in order to retrain your sleeping patterns
Thim will keep waking you up three minutes after you fall asleep, in order to retrain your sleeping patterns
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Thim is designed to be unintrusive, worn on the finger as you go to bed 
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Thim is designed to be unintrusive, worn on the finger as you go to bed 
With its ability to track the minute you fall asleep, Thim is also designed to be able to wake you up after a nap of exactly 10 minutes
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With its ability to track the minute you fall asleep, Thim is also designed to be able to wake you up after a nap of exactly 10 minutes
Connected to the iOS and Android app, Thim also acts a regular sleep tracker
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Connected to the iOS and Android app, Thim also acts a regular sleep tracker
Thim will keep waking you up three minutes after you fall asleep, in order to retrain your sleeping patterns
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Thim will keep waking you up three minutes after you fall asleep, in order to retrain your sleeping patterns

If a partner or a pet kept waking you up three minutes after you fell asleep, you'd be kicking them out of bed pretty quickly, but a new sleep tracker does just that, with the goal of training insomniacs to fall asleep faster. Based on research out of Australia's Flinders University, Thim is a small wearable device designed to readjust a user's sleeping cycles over the course of a week without too much disruption, and is also claimed to come in handy for better naps and more accurate sleep tracking.

There are plenty of sleep tracking devices jostling to join you in bed, but most, like the Juvo, Samsung's Sleepsense and the Sleepace RestOn, are content to monitor sleeping patterns and use the data gathered to provide tips on getting a better night's rest. Others, like the FitSleep, are designed to lull you into dreamland faster, but experts question the science behind them.

Thim is designed to be unintrusive, worn on the finger as you go to bed 
Thim is designed to be unintrusive, worn on the finger as you go to bed 

Based on studies conducted at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, the Thim takes a more active (and research-backed) role in improving sleep patterns. The researchers found that people who have trouble sleeping could learn to nod off sooner through a process called sleep re-training, where they repeatedly experience the sensation of falling asleep. According to the team, just one hour of interrupted sleep per night, for five consecutive nights, is enough to reboot a person's habits into a more restorative cycle.

"Thim is based on 10 years of university research which has shown a better way of improving sleep," says Professor Leon Lack, a researcher on those studies and the inventor of Thim and the Re-Timer glasses. "For the first time, our research is being transferred into the home environment through Thim."

Worn on a finger when the user goes to bed, the Thim prompts sleep re-training by vibrating gently once every minute. A twitch of the wearer's finger tells the device that they're still awake, and it will repeat the process until it doesn't get a response. Knowing they must have dozed off, it then waits three minutes before vibrating again to gently wake the person. Since they aren't in too deep yet, it's only a mild interruption, meaning sleep won't be too far off again. Thim will continue waking the wearer every three minutes for an hour, after which it lets them drift off undisturbed for the rest of the night.

Connected to the iOS and Android app, Thim also acts a regular sleep tracker
Connected to the iOS and Android app, Thim also acts a regular sleep tracker

With its once-a-minute check-ins, Thim is said to be able to determine the point a wearer falls asleep much more accurately than other trackers, which studies show can be consistently wrong. Through the iOS and Android app, the device can monitor the usual data and calculate a sleep score, or be set to nap mode to wake the wearer up exactly 10 minutes after they fall asleep, which the team claims is the perfect power nap duration to not leave you feeling groggy.

The team is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund Thim, where pledges for the device start at AU$129 (US$100). With 20 days to go, the campaign has raised almost $80,000 of its $120,000 goal, and if all goes to plan, Thim is expected to ship in May 2017.

The campaign pitch video can be viewed below.

Source: Thim

Thim: better sleep through science

3 comments
Bob Flint
I'm not convinced of the equivalent of an electric mosquito waking you up intentionally so that you can the re-train to fall asleep again? "the goal of training insomniacs to fall asleep faster" It's an oxymoron your not sleeping so you can't really be awakened, & then put back to sleep?
Timelord
If this re-training idea is correct, then maybe it's worth adopting biphasic or segmented sleep on a regular basis, where you divide sleep into two or more segments per day.
HerrDrPantagruel
Could be something in this. It reminds me of how sailors and soldiers who live and work in incredibly distracting and chaotic environments supposedly become trained to fall asleep almost instantly even when there's quite a racket going on. Ocean pounding, cannons firing, planes taking off, etc. Perhaps they have trained themselves to wake but then fall asleep quite easily. To the point that eventually even sudden loud disturbances won't even wake them at all. Eventually, of course. At first it's pure misery.