The Denver-based parent company of the Dreampad, iLs (Integrated Listening Systems), launched in 2007 with a music and movement therapy for improving brain function. iLs is typically used by educators to improve concentration and learning ability, as well as by therapists working with sensory processing, autism, head injury and stroke rehab. The program includes a headset fitted with a unique transducer technology, which clinicians reported as having a noticeable calming effect on children with stress and anxiety. Many of these children; however, are unable to wear headsets due to their tactile sensitivity. iLs developed the Dreampad as a means of bringing that auditory technology, in the form of a pad, to those children.
The feedback to iLs was immediate and exciting. Clinicians reported the Dreampad was effective in helping a vast majority (~ 80%) of their clients improve their sleep. Parents wrote in saying their child was sleeping better at night, feeling better during the day, and in many cases the dynamic of the entire household had changed as a result. Over time, we heard a common refrain that went something like this: “Yes, my child is sleeping great now. When she’s asleep I ‘borrow’ her Dreampad and use it myself, and it’s helping me sleep too! When are you going to develop a Dreampad for adults?!” With that, we began the design process of turning the pad into a pillow, a process which has entailed multiple iterations of the product over a number of years.
The relatively gradual development of the product has given us a few advantages; most importantly, we can be confident that it is safe and that it works for most, but not all, people. It’s also clear that the Dreampad doesn’t act as a sleeping pill or narcotic to make you sleep, but rather it helps relax the body and mind, which puts users in a place conducive to sleep. We’ve also had the luxury of collecting data; researchers began contacting iLs to study the effects of the product on various populations, including ADHD, Autism, PTSD, seniors and adults with stress-related sleep challenges. Some of these were formal studies intended for publication, some were less formal. In all cases, the results were powerful indications of the product’s unique ability to help users de-stress, fall asleep and stay asleep longer through the night. iLs continues to look for research partners to examine the results of the product on different groups, how it can be improved, and with what other methods can it be combined to deliver the best results possible.