Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg boasts his own device for new parents and his inspiration was absolutely personal - sleep deprivation. More specifically, he aimed to please his wife Priscilla Chan who often stressed over ‘time’ throughout the night so he designed a ‘sleep box’.
Essentially, Chan, a pediatrician and philanthropist needed a smart, effective solution for staying sleep. During the night, she would habitually wake up and check the time on her phone to see if her kids might be waking up soon. Being aware of the time directly caused Chan to stress, preventing her from falling asleep again.
Zuckerberg’s thoughtful innovation for his wife sits conveniently on her nightstand, and between the hours of 6-7am it emits a very faint light. It is visible enough that if Chan sees it she will know it's an okay time for one of them to get the kids, but faint enough that the light won't wake her up if she is still sleeping.
With the sleep box not displaying the time, if Chan wakes up in the middle of the night, she knows to just go back to sleep without having to worry about what time it is or sleeping too long. Zuckerberg admits that it has worked out much better than he initially anticipated and that Chan is now able to sleep through the night.
Clinical director of the University of Michigan's behavioral sleep medicine program, Dr. Deirdre Conroy, justifies the ‘sleep box’ is a great idea because so often people with insomnia check their phones throughout the night, which triggers a whole stream of worries - creating a sense of anxiety.
Zuckerberg and Chan parents to two daughters - Maxima “Max,” 3, and August, 1 understand first hand that parenting is difficult. The tech entrepreneur affirms that building a device to help his partner sleep better is one of the best ways he could think of to express his love and gratitude.