Hugo Mercier, CEO
In his book “The Interpretation of Dreams”, Sigmund Freud mentions, “When we wish to fall asleep we are accustomed to strive for a condition similar to that obtaining in Strumpell’s experiment. We close the most important sensory portals, the eyes, and we endeavor to protect the other senses from all stimuli or from any change of the stimuli already acting upon them. We then fall asleep, although our preparations are never wholly successful.” The situation is worse for the millennials in particular—getting a good night’s sleep is a distant dream for many. Mindlessly scrolling through the latest Instagram feed, binge-watching the cult favorite movies, overdosing on strong coffee, sweating about last minute submissions, you name it—the millennials, a major percentage, have eroded their sound sleep in numerous ways. While some might think that the adverse effects of insomnia are limited to just dark circles and itchy red eyes, in reality, they take a toll on a person’s overall health, ranging from mild to significant cognitive impairment, cardiovascular diseases, and also neurodegenerative and mental disorders.
Guided by a mission to help people be better at sleep, Dreem has introduced a holistic sleep solution designed with real human behavior first and supported by a global community of sleep experts. The CEO of the company, Hugo Mercier begins, “When I started Dreem four years ago with Quentin (the CTO of the company), our idea was simple. We wanted to build a consumer device that would take a recent discovery in neuroscience—one that showed how auditory stimulations, when sent at night at a specific moment, is able to significantly enhance the quality of deep sleep.” Born out of a major neuroscientific breakthrough, Dreem has built a team of 70 experts, comprising engineers, designers, and scientists, and has garnered the support of thousands of users while collaborating with leading research centers. A perfect blend of science and technology, Dreem’s ingenious and comprehensive sleeping solution—consisting of the Dreem Band, Dreem Techniques, and Dreem Coach— helps people tackle sleep crisis by monitoring, analyzing, and acting on brain signals overnight.
Finding One’s Way to Sound Sleep
The compact, ergonomic, and comfortable Dreem Band comes with EEG Sensors, Pulse Oximeter, and Accelerometer to precisely measure key biological signals: brain activity, movement, heart rate, and respiration rate. The band’s sensors monitor the statistics throughout the night, and when coupled with artificial intelligence tools, the readings reach a degree of accuracy similar to that of a laboratory.
Powered by a miniature electronic core, the Dream Band is equipped with machine-learning algorithms and sophisticated signal processing. On analyzing the data received from the sensors and adjusting its response in real time, the core ensures that the band stays in sync with a person’s biological signals. On top of that, users do not need an active Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection while using Dreem, which adds to its convenience.
The Dreem Techniques make use of auditory stimulation. As such, the headband transmits the sounds through bone conduction, directly from the forehead to the inner ear without the requirement of headphones. In case someone prefers to use headphones, they can plug it in the audio jack that comes with the device.
Designed in collaboration with Swiss designer Yves Béhar and his agency, fuseproject, the Dreem Band is attractive, lightweight, and fits all head shapes and sizes.
For Dreem, technology is the vector for action; the company is constantly innovating and researching to build and enhance its product on recognized scientific concepts
In addition, the band is made of soft and breathable materials that take the comfort quotient a notch higher. Further Dreem integrates different relaxation techniques Dream techniques that promote an uninterrupted sleep, allowing the mind unwind and calm down with the help of breathing exercises, sophrology, neurofeedback, and diverse soundscapes. These deep-sleep stimuli form the core feature of the Dreem Band. One can also use it during the daytime to relax and focus; all they have to do is put the headband on, close the eyes, and relax while the sound flows. Besides, during deep sleep intervals, Dreem emits non-invasive sound stimulations to increase the frequency and amplitude of Delta waves.
The perpetual feeling of drowsiness and fatigue on waking up is related to sleep inertia that often accompanies the transition from the sleeping state to being awake, and Dreem intelligently deals with the problem. The smart alarm feature on the band is aligned with the concept of deep-sleep and light-sleep inertia—waking up abruptly during the deep-sleep phase induces greater sleep inertia than that generated during light sleep. As such, to help people avert sleep inertia, the Dreem band tracks a person’s sleep in real time to trigger a Smart Alarm when they are sleeping the lightest. It is activated as late as possible, up to 30 minutes before the chosen time, so that one can wake up when they are ready and sleeping the lightest, and not prance out of the bed when the alarm rings loud.
The Ultimate Sleep Expert at Fingertips
Restoring quality sleep requires both psychological and physiological work along with a few adjustments to the environment. Long lasting change in sleeping pattern occurs through an ongoing process that takes time. To this end, Dreem guides and helps the client through every step of the journey by keeping a tab on a user’s sleeping behavior. The first seven nights are focused on studying the sleep of users, during which the Dreem Band collects key physiological data to objectively evaluate their sleep.
Every morning, the intuitive Dreem Coach app, a part of the solution package, shares the hypnogram and the key sleep data: how long a person slept for, his heart rate, if he woke up at night, and more. During the day, the Dreem Coach asks in-app questions to better assess a person’s health while helping users interpret the information to reveal important findings. The app also tracks the sleeping pattern of users over time to provide them a detailed sleep report at the end of each week. The report sheds light on important aspects related to sleep: structure and general averages, chronotype, types of sleep-related disorders and their causes, and more. Following which, the Dreem app suggests an action plan customized to the needs of a user to improve their sleep cycle.
Upon detecting any behavioral or structural abnormalities in the previous stage, the Dreem Coach recommends a bespoke program to help users reconstruct their sleep. Dreem has developed various programs with varying objectives, intensities, and durations to cater to users’ distinct sleeping needs. After the first sleep assessment, the Dreem Coach assigns a personalized program—CBT program, sleep basics program, Winning back sleep program, Rituals program, and more—to each user along with tailored exercises to follow. Further, handhold a user through the process of reclaiming lost sleep, the app motivates them and keeps a track of their progress, night after night.
Rooted in Perpetual Innovation
For Dreem, technology is the vector for action; the company is constantly innovating and researching to build and enhance its product on recognized scientific concepts. The Dreem team is constantly developing, testing, and iterating on the company’s novel product through two research pipelines. As per the scientific standard, Dreem deploys traditional clinical trials that recruit patients who volunteer to validate the solutions either at home or in a clinical setting. However, as traditional sleep clinical trials consume both time and money, Dreem also conducts fast, iterative research using its Adventurer program. The program allows Dreem to involve a large number of Dreem users in diverse study protocols, which is aimed at piloting new features and improvements.
Reaching a new milestone in unraveling the complexity of sleep disorders, Dreem has recently raised a funding of $35 Million from Johnson & Johnson—one of the world’s leading healthcare company, and BPI France—one of Europe’s largest investment fund. For the impending years, Dreem looks forward to making the product more affordable and available to a larger population. “We believe that our technology in partnership with thousands of our users can bring incredible value to science, and we have been signing new research partnerships every year since the beginning of the company,” Mercier mentions. The company is working on the latest technological breakthroughs to further enhance ‘the dreem experience’ for its users. Finally, Dreem is well on its way to be the best company to work for in Europe, striving relentlessly to recruit the best talent and nurture an environment of innovative excellence.