No, Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Making His Wife Sleep In A Box – But He May Have Cured Her Insomnia

Something... positive... for... the ... world?! Are you sure, Mark?

Mark Zuckerberg Priscilla Chan

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Stop the press, Mark Zuckerberg might have created his first ever selfless invention that doesn’t exploit women or sell people’s private data to companies that enable huge election fraud! Seriously. The Facebook co-founder announced yesterday that he has designed a ‘sleep box’ that allows his wife to sleep through the night after she's suffering bouts of sleeplessness sincehaving children. And, he’s not even profiting off of it (yet).

A small wooden lightbox that can sit on a nightstand, the ‘sleep box’ emits faint light from the bottom between the hours of 6-7am, the time at which Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, typically get up with their children. ‘Since we've had kids Priscilla has had a hard time sleeping through the night,’ he stated in an Instagram caption, ‘She'll wake up and check the time on her phone to see if the kids might wake up soon, but then knowing the time stresses her out and she can't fall back asleep.’

According to Zuckerberg, if Chan now wakes up and the light isn’t on, she knows to simply fall back asleep without worrying about what time it is whereas if the light is on she knows to wake up. ‘So far this has worked better than I expected and she can now sleep through the night,’ he stated.

Click through for expert advice on sleeping through the night with a newborn...


How to get a good night's sleep with a newborn baby - SLIDER

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Keep your baby close

For the first six months of their life, it is highly recommended that you keep your baby in the same room as you. Invest in a bedside crib, ideally with a mesh panel so your baby can see you. Specifically designed to allow you and your baby to sleep next to each other, these cribs are particularly useful if you are nursing, allowing you to feed without having to leave the comfort of your bed.

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Power eat

With more than half (65%) of mums with young children having their sleep disturbed on a regular basis, it is often tempting to have a 'midnight snack'. However, too much refined sugar – found in processed foods or sweets – can in fact prevent you from sleeping well. Instead, try to pick foods containing high levels of sleep-inducing chemicals; serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin such as bananas, almonds and cherries, to help you drift off to a more relaxed sleep.

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Introduce a bedtime routine early on

With almost half of UK mums stating that a lack of sleep means they are frequently irritable and short-tempered, it can be helpful to introduce a loose bedtime routine. If you do this from an early stage it can help small babies to differentiate the difference between day and night. To accomplish this, buy black-out blinds for their bedrooms, keep lights throughout the house off or dimly lit, speak in low and quiet tones, and keep the same bedtime routine for your baby every day.

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Say no to caffeine

We get it; the lure of caffeine is strong when you have small children. But however tempting it may be, indulging in your favourite coffee to help you stay alert during the day can have a negative impact on your sleep. Avoid drinking caffeine after mid-day and switch to drinks such as chamomile tea, or join your little one with a glass of milk - which is rich in sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.

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Remember – sleepless nights won’t last forever

It may feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you are regularly woken up several times a night. During these tough months, focus on self-care, introducing a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself such as: a hot bubble bath, relaxing music and a good book. As well as this, confide in family and friends, as well as expressing any worries via parenting forums and websites. The main thing to remember is that you are not alone, so seek support when you need it.

Not checking the time when suffering disturbed sleep is often advised by sleep experts. ‘It is completely normal to wake during the night,’ Dr Nerine Ramlakhan, a physiologist, sleep and stress management expert, told Lifehacker, ‘but if you're a sensitive sleeper then checking the time can send you into a whirl of calculations and worry about how much sleep you will or won't be getting.’

With this invention, Zuckerberg - who met Chan, a pediatrician and philanthropist, back in 2003 when they were both sophomores at Harvard University - has stated it’s the best way he can think of to express ‘love and gratitude’ to his wife since ‘being a mum is hard’.

However, he’s not expressing that same love to the rest of us as he doesn’t actually intend to sell the sleep box, but simply show it off to people so they can make it themselves if they so choose – and also have engineering experience apparently, as he does.

‘A bunch of my friends have told me they'd want something like this,’ he stated, ‘so I'm putting this out there in case another entrepreneur wants to run with this and build sleep boxes for more people!’

So selfless, Mark. So humble, so kind to humanity you are

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