Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently created a ‘sleep box’ for his wife, Priscilla Chan. It lets her know when their children are likely to wake up.
Chan said she found that her sleep had been impacted by checking the time when the children were likely to wake up. Zuckerberg then built a wooden box that gently lets her know when it’s time to get up.
The box sits on her nightstand and emits a soft glow between 6 am and 7 am. That is the time when their daughters usually wake up. The light is apparently bright enough to visibly alert her to the time and let her know that they need to go and check on the children. But it is also faint enough to not disturb her sleep.
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Being a mom is hard, and since we’ve had kids Priscilla has had a hard time sleeping through the night. She’ll wake up and check the time on her phone to see if the kids might wake up soon, but then knowing the time stresses her out and she can’t fall back asleep. So I worked on building her what I call the “sleep box”. It sits on her nightstand, and between the hours of 6-7am it emits a very faint light — visible enough that if she sees it she’ll know it’s an okay time for one of us to get the kids, but faint enough that the light won’t wake her up if she’s still sleeping. And since it doesn’t show the time, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she knows to just go back to sleep without having to worry about what time it is. So far this has worked better than I expected and she can now sleep through the night. As an engineer, building a device to help my partner sleep better is one of the best ways I can think of to express my love and gratitude. A bunch of my friends have told me they’d want something like this, so I’m putting this out there in case another entrepreneur wants to run with this and build sleep boxes for more people!
Zuckerberg suggested that this was a great idea for other entrepreneurs to develop and create more sleep boxes. He has a podcast with more information on this.