S. Korean sleeponomics market thriving amid sleep deprivation

2016.01.15 16:51:01 | 2016.01.15 17:31:44

이미지 확대
Underscoring the rank of being one of the most stressful societies, the so-called sleeponomics industry is thriving in South Korea riding on the craving for a sound sleep or sweet slumber. The economy revolving on sleep dubbed sleeponomics ranges from products like sleep enhancing aroma, special beddings, and nutrients to sleep center retreats and servicers that assist sleep-deprived people to get good shut-eye.

South Korea`s sleep-inducing industry is estimated to have reached 1.7 trillion won ($1.4 billion). The market is still at the burgeoning stage compared with countries like the U.S. and Japan where the related industry generates a growth of around 20 trillion won. Experts say people turn attention to better sleeping condition when per capita income tops $25,000.

According to Yano Research Institute, the local high-end functional bedding market hit 600 billion won last year, up 14.3 percent from the previous year’s 525 billion won. Discount store chain E-Mart said its sales of sleep eye masks surged by 230 percent last year from a year ago, aromatherapy products up 36.3 percent, and chamomile tea that can help better sleep by 20 percent. The country’s online shopping site 11Street also saw sales of latex and functional bedding increase by 33 percent, candles and diffusers by 43 percent, sleep-inducing devices 22 percent, sleep eye masks 25 percent, earplugs 20 percent and tea bags and herbal tea 18 percent.

[Lotte Department Store]이미지 확대

[Lotte Department Store]

Lotte Department Store that operates 11 sales booths on bedding has been reporting steady growth in sales of high-end beds, up 20.9 percent in 2013, 19.6 percent in 2014 and 20.1 percent in 2015.

Internet shopping malls offer a range of inventive items that all can aid sleeping - perfumes for pillows, sleep essence for faces, 3-dimensional sleep eye masks that block out light, sprays that eliminate snoring, respiratory devices that reduce snoring by expending nostrils, bands that prevent the mouth from opening by pushing the jaw while sleeping and a pillow that makes people fall into a deep sleep soon by softly wrapping the head.

High-tech also has gotten involved. Wearable devices such as smart bands and smart watches can check biorhythmic states including sleeping hours, twisting and turning and wake-up time. The devices aid people to get up easily by vibrating 30 minutes earlier than wake-up time. Sales of smart bands surged 600 percent in 11Street last year compared to the same period of the previous year.

Sleep cafes and napping rooms where people can drop by for a siesta on an individual pod are sprouting in office-concentrated neighborhoods. The nap in the pod costs 5,000 to 10,000 won per hour. A new job in sleep therapy joined the industry to cater people to relax better and sleep soundly.

By Jeon Ji-hyun, Lee Sae-bom

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]