“Being a mom is hard, and since we’ve had kids Priscilla has had a hard time sleeping through the night. 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,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Chan, 33, is a philanthropist and pediatrician. The daughter of immigrant parents from China, she was born and raised in Massachusetts, speaking Cantonese and English growing up.
She then attended Harvard University where she met Zuckerberg. They dated for nine years before tying the knot in 2012.
In November 2015, the couple welcomed their first child, Maxima. Nearly two years later, in August 2017, their second child August was born.
To help Chan sleep, Zuckerberg built a “sleep box” that emits a faint light when one of them can start getting the kids.
“I worked on building her what I call the ‘sleep box.’ It sits on her nightstand, and between the hours of 6 – 7 a.m. it emits a very faint light — visible enough that if she sees it she’ll know it’s an okay time for one of us to get the kids, but faint enough that the light won’t wake her up if she’s still sleeping.”
Zuckerberg added that the lack of a clock in the device supposedly eliminates Chan’s worries.
“And since it doesn’t show the time, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she knows to just go back to sleep without having to worry about what time it is. So far this has worked better than I expected and she can now sleep through the night.”
He then invited any willing entrepreneur to consider developing his invention.
“As an engineer, building a device to help my partner sleep better is one of the best ways I can think of to express my love and gratitude. A bunch of my friends have told me they’d want something like this, so I’m putting this out there in case another entrepreneur wants to run with this and build sleep boxes for more people!”
Zuckerberg’s post, which somehow included a Sharpie marker, drew mixed reactions from users. Some praised him for being a loving husband, but others challenged the novelty and necessity of his invention.