DESIGNTOY Blog

A SLEEP TRAINER FOR CHILDREN

30 March 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

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DESIGNTOY Blog

A SLEEP TRAINER FOR CHILDREN

30 March 2020 — by Fabio Guaricci

If you have always dreamed of sleep like a baby in adulthood, just know that, according to the Italian Society of Pediatrics, 25% of children under 5 years of age suffer from sleep disorders and after 6 this percentage drops around at 10-12%. These data leave little space for interpretation and tell of a widespread problem that affects first and foremost the development of children. These are some of the reasons behind the design of a sleep trainer for children.

Children have an extremely need for sleep, it is fundamental for their growth, especially the brain one; for example in the REM phase, that of light sleep, the child consolidates in his memory what he has learned during the day. The consequences of insufficient sleep can therefore be many and range from eating or learning problems to the risk of developing depressive disorders in subsequent years.

You don’t need to be a parent to imagine how easily this bother is reflected from the child to the whole family; Parents are the ones who take care of their children in times of need, welcome them to their bed at dawn and reassure them at night and all this, like a domino effect, also affects their rest and therefore their physical and mental health.

Now that we have framed the problem, we present a possible solution developed by two parents to teach their children the concept of time; Pali is a sleep trainer for children, to help them sleep better. This small clock/alarm clock has a digital screen on the front and a small drawer on the back. It is controlled by an app to set the night and afternoon sleep times and adjust some interface parameters such as the color of the ring on the screen.

Pali lives in the bedroom environment, where the child sleeps alone, more precisely is positioned on the bedside table. The fatty cat look is designed to be reassuring, to keep company; the interface is simple but immediate, in the upper part a face that changes expression according to the set mode dominates and, at the bottom, there is an indication of the time and an icon for the time of day (sun-moon) ; everything is surrounded by a circular progress bar.

This element is certainly the most interesting, and what distinguishes this product from others on the market too. The progress bar clearly shows how long the child has to stay in bed to complete the sleep cycle. It is a familiar symbol for the child, who is used to seeing it on YouTube (or more generally on any video playback service) and who recognizes its function.

The screen is surrounded by a bright and colorful ring; this is adjustable through the app and indicates to the child not only when it is time to get up (or when it has not yet arrived…) but also when the time for bed is approaching, so that the little user can perceive the temporal proximity. Finally Pali, as a good sleep coach, is designed to reward the child who respects the times through a small drawer on the back that the parent will fill with a prize. This will remain closed (a little out of spite) in case the child falls into the parents’ bed in the middle of the night, otherwise everyone will sleep soundly.

Pali, a sleep trainer for children, is on Kickstarter, it has already tripled the target set by his inventors and certainly deserves this recognition for the small but significant innovations on a little explored topic. However, there is room for improvement in the aesthetic aspect, where form, materials and surfaces seem to be treated in a slightly superficial way, as well as for the interface, generally flattened at the level of the competitors.