Whether it is owing to personal stresses, worries or just a lack of activity all day, there are quite a few of us out there who have a hard time falling asleep at night. As serious as this problem sounds, it is none other than Disney who has come to the rescue of these sleep-deprived people! Japanese scientists, in collaboration with Disney, have created the Hug and Dream Minnie Mouse doll, which, they promise, will slowly lull you to sleep every night. Even though it may look like any other doll you will buy your niece on her next birthday, it is actually so much more. Created by Ikuo Honma, expert in cognitive and respiratory sciences at Shōwa University, among others, this doll is fitted with a realistic breathing mechanism that makes Minnie seem like she is taking slow deep breaths. The idea is that by snuggling up to this “calmly” breathing Minnie, you will also begin to mimic the slow breathing patterns, and before long, your heart-rate has lowered, the stress-centre in your head is powering down and you start to drift off. Sort of like when a parent slowly pats their baby’s back to lull them to sleep.
The Hug and Dream Minnie Mouse doll is also colored in somber and clam “sleep friendly” colors. Not aimed at any particular demographic, you can give this to your little sister, or keep it for yourself! It currently retails at a discounted rate of ￥ 3,764 (approximately $50) over on Amazon.