Taking naps during the day can be a gift and a curse. A midday nap can lead to a more productive afternoon, but can also lead to grogginess, which in turn can lead to a lack of productivity. What if there was a product that gradually woke you up and didn't figuratively slap you with a blaring alarm? The Napwell might be the answer. Napwell hopes to eliminate nap drowsiness with a sleep mask that gradually wakes you.
"Sleep inertia" is the technical term for that grogginess you feel and it occurs when you are abruptly woken up during a sleep cycle. The Napwell sleeping mask is designed to gradually wake you up and leave you feeling refreshed. It does this by simulating a sunrise prior to waking up. You set the desired time on the front of the mask. As the time gets close, the luminous interior of the mask will gradually get brighter until your desired time is reached. A great idea, however I would recommend still setting an actual alarm, just in case.
The mask is ergonomic, and is made from high quality materials. Comfort is a huge factor when it comes to sleep masks, and Napwell seems to understand that. The straps used do look slightly uncomfortable, so hopefully that will be addressed before launch. Unlike some similar sleep masks on the market, the Napwell uses batteries and doesn't have to be recharged daily or weekly. That being said, there doesn't seem to be a low battery indicator on the mask, which would be very helpful in case it died during your nap. "Why were you late coming back from lunch?" "Well boss, the battery on my sleep mask died."
Still in the Kickstarter phase, the Napwell is set to release early 2014 and could be a great sleep aid for those midday nappers. Comfortable and innovative, the sleep mask is making a comeback in 2014.