THE MANCHESTER Science Festival welcomed the UK premiere of the Chronarium Sleep Lab. 

Set up in the Arndale Centre, the Chronarium offered a chance for a 15-minute restorative sleep session to the passing shoppers.

Inside the Chronarium visitors were asked to take off their shoes and relax inside a giant silk hammock; whilst slightly difficult to get into gracefully, once inside it was very comfy.

The Sleep Lab is a controlled space where scientists can study brain waves and physical reactions to audio and visual stimuli.

Society is constantly surrounded and controlled by technology which makes it hard for many to switch off, however, instead of leaving technology behind, the Chronarium is making technology work to improve one of the most important part of life – sleep.

After settling in, there are breathing instructions to listen to and a specifically designed music score to help create an air of relaxation.

The Chronarium slowly all goes black and it is then when the opportunity to catch a short nap arises.

Designer Rachel Wingfield said she hopes the idea will go further by using the idea of sleep labs in hospitals to help improve patient’s mental health.

More importantly than just shoppers who fancy a quick nap, the fully immersive experience was also open to homeless people who wanted a safe place to rest.

Once the time was up, artificial lights mimic the natural light of dawn gently to wake you up.

As innovative and relaxing as this latest enterprise is, it certainly feels junta-positioned against the harsh backdrop of the bright, bustling Andale centre.

By Sapphire Beamish

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