As a nation, we now spend more time using technology than we do sleeping as UK adults reportedly spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared to the average eight hours and 21 minutes of shut eye each night.

And even when we’re sleeping, we can’t get enough. One study found that 1 in 5 people in the US are woken up by their devices in the night and half of those then picked them up to use them.  

As new studies reveal people are sleeping less, experts have made links between these statistics and the fact that we have become so technology-dependent. Time and time again we hear how detrimental technology is to us sleeping properly and, with sleep playing such an important part of a person’s wellbeing and productivity, sleep experts are encouraging people to switch off all devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

But what if technology could actually help us switch off?

Meditation app Calm claims to do just that. Today it launched a new audiobook – read to you by Stephen Fry – designed to make you enter the land of nod within 24 minutes.

And this app is not alone; in the age of the Internet of Things, we are spoiled for choice with many meditation apps and sleep monitoring gadgets promising to help us drift off and sleep easy.

But where could it go next? How can we use the data from these apps to learn more about how and why humans’ sleep patterns are changing? Could machine-learning and AI introduce new ways of intervening if someone is having trouble sleeping? Could doctors even encourage insomniacs to swap sleeping pills for smartphones? Let's see.