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Innovative products designed to improve sleep quality boom in Japan

Megurhythm eye masks are seen in the Umeda branch of Tokyu Hands in Osaka's Kita Ward. (Mainichi)

Creative products designed to help people get a better night's sleep are becoming increasingly popular in Japan.

    Japanese firms have picked up on the growing interest in the length and quality of sleep in the country, as seen in the term "sleep debt" becoming a buzzword, and have devised various solutions aimed at improving the sleep quality of people in modern-day Japan loaded with busy schedules.

    One of the factors currently affecting people's quality of sleep is staring at computer and smartphone screens for lengthy periods of time -- as this heightens tension and makes sleep lighter.

    In order to ease such tension, it is believed that warming the area around one's eyes is effective, which is why various firms have launched eye masks that heat up.

    For example, Kao Corp. has developed a product called "Megurhythm," an eye mask that heats up in a similar fashion to a disposable heat pad, and maintains a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes after being opened.

    In addition, Atex Co. has created "Lourdes Meme Hot Charge" (4,900 yen excluding consumption tax), which is a chargeable eye mask with an in-built electric heater that can be used repeatedly. "People also buy the product to give as a present to others," a spokesperson for Atex reveals.

    There are other products too, such as adhesive tapes, which are designed to trigger nasal breathing as opposed to oral breathing -- which is said to be a factor behind low-quality sleep. Other items include Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co.'s "Naitomin," which is attached to the upper and lower lips to help keep your mouth closed while sleeping. The product has been selling far better than expected.

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