7 of 7

The product: SleepPhones
Headquarters: Bellefonte, Pa.

In 2007, Wei-Shin Lai, a family physician, was having trouble sleeping, especially after she came back home from emergency calls."I couldn't take a sleeping pill because I needed to be aware for the next call and even though I was tired, I couldn't relax my mind," she said. Eventually, someone recommended she listen to soothing music on headphones.

But the headphones were uncomfortable. That is until her husband covered both speakers in cloth and then inserted them into a headband. "Once we came upon that idea, we realized it might help a lot of people sleep, including some of my patients who take sleeping pills," said Lai.

From there, Lai and her husband, Jason, spent about $10,000 of their own money creating a prototype and launching their company, AcousticSheep, LLC. In 2009, they worked with the Penn State Small Business Development Center on their business model. It was a good move. Sales in 2010 were about $600,000 and projections for this year are expected to be $1 million.

"I think people are starting to realize just how important sleep is," said Lai. "Previously it was work-work-work, but I think people are starting to realize that to live a holistic lifestyle it's really important to sleep well."

More galleries
LAST UPDATE: Apr 07 2011 | 12:44 PM ET
6 crazy businesses Entrepreneurs, who pursue and sometimes profit from wacky ideas. More
5 most inventive states These states are generating the most independent inventor patents per capita. More
Lies companies tell you Iconic brands like to have romantic startup stories. Here's the truth behind 5 myths. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.