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The Sleep Guardian Plus gently wakes kids up before they enter nightmare territory

When kids have nightmares, parents are often stuck feeling helpless in the moment and then sleepless the next day. That’s why a smart device called the Sleep Guardian Plus aims to keep kids from ever reaching the night terror sleep phase, without waking them up completely in the middle of the night.

As you may have guessed from the name, the Sleep Guardian Plus is actually a new-and-improved version of the original device. Designed by San Francisco-based creator Lully, the Sleep Guardian Plus is a smaller device, and its nightmare detection algorithm is even further improved. While hiding discretely under the mattress, the device learns children’s sleep patterns so that it can gently vibrate about ten minutes before they enter night terror territory. Because it activates before the nightmares begin and it only partially wakes kids up, children are able to sleep through the night with minor interruption.

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The algorithm that powers Sleep Guardian Plus collects data so that parents can best help their terrified children. It provides weekly assessments of the child’s sleep patterns, tracks improvement in avoiding nightmares, and can help determine what ambient factors might be triggering the night terrors to begin with. Apparently, most kids experience 80% fewer night terrors within four weeks of using the Sleep Guardian Plus technology.

Conceptually, Sleep Guardian Plus bases its effectiveness in a series of sleep studies that focus on children. Children tend to have higher “sleep pressure” than adults, so it’s easier for them to return to deep sleep from partial stirring in the night. The Sleep Guardian Plus website cites a 1988 study that demonstrated how scheduled awakenings could reduce up to 90% of nightmares in kids. And what’s more, Lully is hoping that kids who get through the night with Sleep Guardian Plus are also able to improve their daytime functioning and limit daytime drowsiness based on research in sleep studies like these.

Lully raised $2.1 million in seed funding to bring the Sleep Guardian to market, and it has clearly done well enough since launching in June 2015 to merit a new and improved version not even a year later. Sleep Guardian Plus is currently available for $199, and it works with devices running iOS 7 and higher in order to get the full data tracking and analysis functionality.