The sleep aid market is booming in Japan as the pandemic changes lifestyles

According to research firm Fuji Keizai Co, the market for food and beverage products designed to relieve stress and aid sleep has grown from 1.1 billion yen in 2013, when a survey began, to 16.1 billion yen in 2020 , which is a 15-fold increase. It is expected to continue growing to 33.1 billion yen by 2022.

Sleep analysis in the hotel

Last December, Nine Hours, Inc, which operates capsule hotels, launched a service that rates guests’ sleep quality using infrared cameras and mattresses equipped with sensors to measure body movements.

The guest is offered data such as heart rate, snoring and the length of breathing pauses or sleep apnea. You can use the service without any additional fee. This service has made it possible to collect such data from about 200 people per day, and food and beverage companies have asked the hotel operator for cooperation to develop products.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey conducted by the Department of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2019, about 30 percent of respondents aged 20 to 59 said they were dissatisfied with their sleep quality at least three times a week. The pandemic may have caused sleep problems in more people.

In March of this year, an organization was formed to set quality standards for sleep-aid products and services. Members include long-established bedding manufacturer Nishikawa Co, University of Tsukuba, Itochu Corp, Nippon Life Insurance Co and Asics Corp.

“The boom in the sleep aid market is welcome, but the products and services are mixed,” said Takuto Nonomura, head of Nishikawa’s Japan Research Laboratory of Sleep Science. “We want to make a social contribution to help people sleep better, for example by establishing quality standards across industry boundaries.”

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