“We move unconsciously during the night,” states Dr. Neil Stanley, sleep expert. “We make 12 to 20 major positional changes, and sleep deprivation is a problem to our physical, mental, and emotional health.” The challenge isn’t necessarily that we’re moving, but that when our partner moves, they might just encroach on our side of the bed, becoming a “bed hog.” Studies have proven out that one in four people in relationships actually sleep better alone. Dr. Stanley continues, “When sleeping together, many couple each have less space than a small child has in a single bed. Humans are most vulnerable when sleeping, so we’re programmed to wake when something or someone touches us unexpectedly. If someone moves onto your side of the bed this defense mechanism will kick in and you’ll have a broken night, often while they continue to sleep soundly. I’ve seen it ruin relationships.”
Ford is looking to make a difference in this situation, creating a “Lane-Keeping Bed.” Using technology similar to that which helps keep your car in its lane, the bed helps keep your partner on his or her side of the bed. When they roll into your space, the bed actually pulls them back across onto their own side—all without waking either of occupant. It’s a simple innovation, but one that could have huge dividends, not only in safety and health, but in keeping people together.