One million years ago, our ape-like ancestors would have considered a fireplace an incredible discovery (some of us still do). One thousand years ago, antibiotics would likely be considered witchcraft. One hundred years ago, smartphones would be seen as a kind of magic. And yet in every generation new technologies will keep being created, aiding us in our quest towards comfort and health, with constant surprises.
This article will explore a few modern inventions and emerging technologies, which are able to bring a sense of wellbeing into our lives. From sleeping and meditation apps, to virtual reality relaxation software, there is no doubt that the future is bright for the interconnection between health, and the ever-evolving machines of the world.
Sleep seems like such a simple concept. You go about your day, and when you start to feel sleepy, you get some good night's rest. Or a siesta, during the day. But then what about that big project you have to spend all night working on? Or the fact the baby is up all night, and you have to get up early in the morning for a presentation?
In short, with everything that's going on, the modern world has made it a bit more difficult to get regular sleeping patterns. This gets further exacerbated with an active social life, children and the inevitable all-nighter binge with your favourite TV show. To counter this problem, various technological advancements have risen to help people improve the quality of their evening rest. In addition, multiple studies have come out with explanations for why so many people are addicted to sleeping pills.
For example, you probably already knew that staring at bright screens before going to bed doesn't really help, when it's finally time for a bit of shut eye. Light from TV, laptop and smartphone screens suppress the production of melatonin, an important sleep-regulating hormone. This is why falling asleep while reading is often effective.
To help with this modern problem, there are a number of modern solutions. One example is F.lux, a browser app which changes the colour of your laptop's display, so it adapts to the time of day â€” similar to sunlight during the day, and warmth at night. Another promising sleeping app is the Sleep Cycle, which uses AI to analyse your sleep, and wake you up at the lightest moment of sleep, so you can feel fully rested. Or at least not feeling all groggy because you were awoken during your REM sleep.
Considered highly unusual just a few decades ago, meditation is now fully ingrained in the western world as a core tenet of natural wellbeing. This is not by accident. As the world became more globalised and stresses increased, cultures around the world got more connected, with meditation practices from Japan and India, for instance, getting exported to Europe, North America, and the Commonwealth countries.
The modern pace of things, with its focus on â€œbusynessâ€ has left little room for mindfulness and self-reflection, so it was only a matter of time until apps like Waking Up, with its soothing meditation practices and lectures were created. Waking Up markets itself as a guide to understanding the mind, for the purpose of living a more balanced and fulfilling life. It uses guided meditation and calm sounds to achieve it.
Similarly, the Muse Headband was envisioned as an immersive meditation device, providing real-time biofeedback on your heart rate, breathing, mental activity, and body movements. The idea is to use this data to create a personalised meditative practice, based on breathing exercises using the sound of waves (neutral), storms (bad) and birds tweeting (good) as an indication of how calm and focused you are.
Ask five strangers what they would like to improve about themselves, health-wise. Chances are, at least one of them will say they'd like to quit smoking. Yet, because of its hundreds of toxins, with some like nicotine being highly-addictive, it's incredibly difficult to quit once the habit is formed. However, it's not impossible, as many people do it every year. Some by their parenthood, for health reasons, or even by sheer will.
Whichever the way, it doesn't hurt to have a highly intelligent application on your side. Especially one which has already helped millions of people around the world. Smoke-Free, which was co-created in partnership with the UK and US government guidelines, uses the best research to provide a very effective quitting app. It does it by tracking your cravings and progress, as well as using the latest in health science.
One of the most promising technologies of the 21st century is Virtual Reality, aka VR. Among its potential reality-upgrading benefits is its ability to provide highly immersive scenarios, such as being in another continent, on the moon, underwater, or even to transmit the sensation of feeling light and translucent. Ideal for visualised meditation.
This is the concept behind Deep, a state-of-the-art VR application, allowing you to somehow control your movement within a relaxing, virtual world, using only your own breathing patterns. Once inside Deep, you can navigate in a calm, aesthetic underwater environment, invoking a meditative, stunning underwater seascape.
The world of saunas is pretty ancient. The oldest ones likely date back more than 10 thousand years ago, well before the Romans, the Greeks and even the Sumerians, in Ancient Mesopotamia. Originally, Scandinavian saunas of Finnish origin were not much more than earth pits, covered up with animal skins. We have since gone a long way in sauna technology, culminating in the advanced, full spectrum infrared saunas.
Infrared rays are the healthiest ones produced by the sun, with an ability to penetrate deeply into our skin, dissolving toxic substances which over time accumulate in our bodies. These infrared wavelengths, or infrared light, vitalise your cells and optimise your metabolism, by providing a very soothing warmth with a wide variety of benefits.
There are many different kinds of infrared saunas, but it's important to choose the highest quality ones, so you can get all the health and wellbeing benefits, such as improved blood flow, muscle relaxation and glowing skin. If you'd like to talk to one of our infrared sauna consultants, you can connect with us here, so you can find out the perfect sauna for your home, or your business. Or to just ask us any questions.
Whether it's quitting smoking, immersing in a peaceful seascape, improving your sleep or meditating with calming sounds, every year will surely see more amazing technologies which allow us to counteract the many stressors of the modern world. All while leveraging the latest advancements in tech, to find our balance in wellbeing.