Sleep Gadgets & Technology for Blissful Snooze
7 min read
Last Modified 1 June 2023 First Added 6 August 2018
Has our 24-hour culture and addiction to technology made it impossible to get the perfect night’s snooze? It might feel that way sometimes. However, there are sleep gadgets and technology out there that can improve your bedtime routine and health.
Join sleep expert Dr Pixie Mckenna as she chats with Jack Rear, a technology journalist, about what sleep tech is available and its benefits. In this episode, things take a slightly different turn too! We invite Gary Lancaster to join the conversation. A self-confessed bad sleeper, Gary brings the real world to the discussion. Listen in as he chats with Dr Pixie and Jack Rear about how Dreams sleep tech helped him improve his routine.
According to NHS Choices, one in three are affected by insomnia. And night owls, those who sleep less than six hours per night, have a higher mortality rate. One of the biggest reasons for this is our dependence on and addiction to technology. Our 2022 Sleep Survey found that in the hour before bed, most people use technology to unwind:
An overwhelming amount of tech in our lives makes it challenging to switch off at night, whether that’s shutting off the TV or prizing ourselves away from social media. But we shouldn’t look at all technology negatively regarding bedtime.
The answer to your woes could lie in sleep gadgets and technology specifically for sleep routines. Like reading a child a bedtime story or singing a lullaby to a baby, sleep gadgets help us switch off even though they’re switched on.
This kind of tech relies on you putting it down and resting. Through tracking with sleep gadgets, we can now figure out the quality of sleep we’re getting – for instance, whether you’re a peaceful sleeper or restless and whether you get deep or light sleep. Tracking in this way can inform you how to improve your sleep.
The Dreams SleepPal+ Sleep Tracker is a sleep gadget which has an unobtrusive sensor band that rests between your mattress and sheet to measure your sleeping habits. It works alongside the Napp app, where you can monitor and review your sleep quality daily while receiving tips on improving your sleep.
A key reason behind technology’s influence on our lack of sleep is blue light, artificial light emitted from such things as smartphones. Its short wavelength and higher energy affect melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, more than any other light colour. Tricking our brains into thinking it’s daytime can have a devastating effect on sleep and general health.
The way to combat this is red spectrum light, as its longer wavelength is far less harmful to us and our sleep. Exposure to a red light is more beneficial and can aid our sleep because it won’t negatively impact melatonin. Instead, it can help its production.
On the back of this, light can be used to ease us into sleeping and help us wake up in a non-invasive manner. The Dreams SleepRise Sleep Light brightens to kickstart your body clock – using light to wake you up naturally. When you are ready for bed, you can access sleep aid from the Napp app to help you drift off. The device will then work with your body and the timers you set to help you get to sleep peacefully and wake up calmly. You can also play your music through Bluetooth to aid in waking.
Using something that our bodies are naturally programmed to respond to will feel like a more organic way to wake up, as if you’re awoken by the morning sun and soothing sounds rather than a screeching alarm.
Scents are powerful; they can trigger a memory, place, person or emotion, impacting our nervous system and sleep. Essential oils, or aromatherapy, have come onto the market and have been proven to aid sleep by helping you fall into a slumber.
These oils have been around for centuries, but now, aromatherapy and technology combine with matching today’s modern, connected society. Together they create an environment to fall asleep quickly and be as mentally and physically healthy as possible.
One new piece of sleep tech that focuses on aromatherapy is an ultrasonic diffuser like this Beuer one, which provides light, sound and aroma to help you go to sleep and wake up naturally. The essential oils used are proven to assist sleeping, available in jasmine, orange blossom or lavender. The light and sound will help you wake up peacefully, a welcoming start to your day.
In a fast-paced world and society that lives 24 hours a day, getting the right amount of sleep has never been more vital. With sleep gadgets, you might find the perfect solution. Below, we explore some of the best sleep gadgets and sleep technology:
One of the best-known meditation apps on the market, Calm is an excellent addition to your bedtime routine. There are many options, from mindful movement progressive relaxation, and restful nature noises, so you can customise what you want and get yourself into the sleep zone.
Falling asleep is often the more difficult part of sleep. This is where the Muse Headband steps in. This sleep tech comfortably wraps around the head, using sensors to measure brain activity. It then feeds this information to an app that can guide you through meditation exercises before bed.
This sleep monitor uses motion detection technology to pick up when you move in the night while also assessing whether the temperature and lighting in your room are suitable for sleep. It does all this without physical contact, so you only need to place it in your bedroom.
Under Armour’s Athlete Recovery Nightwear was developed with the help of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. These pyjamas feature a hexagonal infrared pattern on the inside, which helps your body to recover faster while also promoting sleep and reducing inflammation. If you’re a bit of a gym bunny, you may want to consider adding this sleep teaching to your repertoire.
This alarm gradually brightens 30 minutes after waking you up to help your eyes adjust to the brightness. You can choose from five different alarms or the sound of an FM radio to wake you up. After you’ve woken, the light brightens your bedroom to kick-start your circadian rhythm into wake-up mode. Plus, it’s a super stylish bedroom addition.
A non-invasive, silent and incredibly portable piece of sleep technology, NORA is the perfect solution for those people who have to use nose strips and ear plugs. A padded insert that you place inside your pillow will inflate and deflate whenever it detects snoring. The movement shifts the head of the snorer, thereby shifting the obstruction, causing snoring.
If the light seeping through your curtains bothers you, you’ve probably invested in blackout blinds and an eye mask to ensure you sleep all night heavily. However, these are nothing compared to this new innovative sleep tech. The Go To Sleep And Wake Mask cleverly uses a dimming light to put you to sleep comfortably. It also features a brightening one to wake you up in the morning gently.
For intrepid travellers, the PowerSiesta is the best answer to all those long-haul flights with sore necks and an inability to get any decent shut-eye. It is easily transportable and folds into a 3D structure perfectly designed to rest your head. If relieving that flight tension wasn’t enough, a scientist rocket intended this ergonomic sleep solution.