Virtual Reality, also known as VR, has been one of the big buzzwords of the past decade.
As the technology matures, it has led to many new surprisingly useful use-cases that go beyond just video games.
One of the lesser-known use-cases for VR has in fact to do with the quality of your sleep – who would’ve imaged that!
Yes, it is no longer a myth – VR can help you sleep better at night.
Before we explain why, let’s just make sure we all understand what VR actually is!
What is Virtual Reality?
VR is a fairly new form of tech which makes use of software generated images, sounds, and other sensations to replicate a real environment.
VR stimulates and mimics the user’s physical presence in an environment while allowing the user to interact with the things around him or her.
Someone who is using VR equipment is able to look and move around, as well as directly interact with the virtual reality world around them.
Most virtual realities are displayed either on the monitor of a computer, a projector, or through using a VR headset (a head-mounted display, also known as HMD).
These HMDs are shaped like goggles with a screen placed right in front of your eyes.
Some HMDs are also capable of providing sounds through speakers or headphones.
So, How is Virtual Reality Related to Sleeping?
One of the latest use-cases for VR has been to improve your sleep.
But hold on – aren’t screens bad for your sleep, and aren’t they in fact the biggest culprits for lack of sleep?
Blue light from smartphone screens suppress the production of melatonin, which is a natural sleep hormone which helps you sleep.
So, what makes VR different?
Can Virtual Reality Improve Sleep?
Here’s the kicker: virtual reality is capable of providing a better sleep!
While playing video games in VR will most certainly not make you sleep any easier, the idea is instead to transport your mind to a calm and peaceful environment.
This way, VR can help you relax and wind down after your stressful day.
Basically, these goggles might take you on a relaxing holiday for a few minutes – amazing isn’t it?
Research has shown that VR, when combined with proper relaxation techniques, can improve your sleep quality and quantity.
One study even showed that VR is able to help teens suffering from insomnia to get their much needed sleep!
The same study also indicates that the sleep quality of teens without sleeping problems improves when combining VR with relaxation techniques.
Here’s also another study from Korea, which explored the effects of VR on intensive care patients.
It found that meditating in VR had positive effects on the sleep quality of their patients.
Virtual Reality Used Correctly Can Help You Relax
As we all know, relaxation is not only great for a better sleep, it has other benefits as well.
Relaxing regularly will allow you to:
- Control your stress levels better
- Improve your mood
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Have improved cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration
- Have a reduced chance of physical illnesses in the future
Virtual Reality as a Sleeping Aid
Have you heard of Inter-Dream?
It is a VR tool made by researchers of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.
To make things simple: it’s the first virtual lullaby machine!
Say good bye to good old fashioned books and hello to VR lullabies!
The mix of dynamic kaleidoscopic visuals and ambient music is said to induce sleepiness.
To experience this, you would have to wear an EEG along with the VR headset.
This allows your brainwaves to control the entire experience within the digital space, including sound, smell, sight, taste and even haptic feedback.
The researchers were able to find out that Inter-Dream significantly reduces cognitive arousal before bed – the exact opposite of of what our smartphones do.
In addition, their work also indicates that the virtual lullaby machine promotes restorative sleep, as well as cognitive stillness.
At the moment, the tool is being used as an art exhibition.
While it is not as easily accessible to the average user, there are many new ways every day to make use of VR to promote sleep at home.
One of those are the Virtual Reality videos from Vita Talalay.
Virtual Reality Videos from Vita Talalay
Vita Talalay has been very active with the preparation of videos for VR goggles.
The company created a few different videos for people to relax on.
All of the videos can be found on the YouTube channel of Vita Talalay.
Three of the videos are 360 videos filmed in Bali, Indonesia. They contain a time-lapse of a sunrise at Sanur beach.
There are also two videos filmed in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Maastricht is the hometown of Vita Talalay, which is why there are also great 360 films from there.
They both include the nature around Maastricht. One is a boat ride on the Maas river, and the other one is the view from a bridge in a forested area.
Vita Talalay and Virtual Reality
Vita Talalay is all about creating the healthiest sleep experience possible.
While their main way to do so is by producing latex mattresses, latex mattress toppers and latex pillows, VR was one of their ways to venture out of the norm.
Innovation is very important to the company, and that includes going beyond the product itself.
If you haven’t already, go and check out one of the nearest retail stores in your area and let the product speak for itself!