Has our 24-hour culture and addiction to technology and screens made it impossible to get the perfect night’s sleep? It might feel that way sometimes. However, there are sleep gadgets and technology that can improve your sleep routine and health.
Why do we need sleep gadgets?
You know the classic line that we need eight hours sleep a night, but how much can lack of sleep truly affect our lives in years to come? According to NHS Choices, one in three are affected by insomnia and nights 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 and addiction to technology.
There’s an overwhelming amount of tech in our lives that makes it challenging to switch-off at bedtime, whether that’s shutting off the TV or prizing ourselves away from social media. But, we shouldn’t look at all technology in a bad light when it comes to bedtime. The answer to your woes could lie in sleep gadgets and technology for sleep routines. Just like reading a child a bedtime story or singing a lullaby to a baby, sleep gadgets help us to switch off even though they’re switched on.
Related: How Will We Sleep in the Future?
There are different devices that have varying effects, depending on what you want to gain. Here, we explore sleep technology from Dreams alongside a whole host of other sleep technology gadgets.
Read more: Sleep Tech That Can Improve Your Sleep
The benefits of sleep trackers
Despite it being something we all do every day, sleep remains a bit of a mystery. But there’s science behind the snoozing to make sense of our individual night-time behaviour. We know how our choices in nutrition and exercise affect us, but what about the time we go to bed and get up?
Through tracking with sleep gadgets, we are now able to 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 how to move forward with improving your sleep.
Technology takes from this with strips that usually sit on the underside of your pillow or mattress to monitor your sleep and position accurately, while not being invasive.
The SleepPal Sleep Tracker is a new sleep gadget by Dreams which consists of a small circular tracker that fits onto your pillow to measure your sleeping habits. It works alongside their brand new Napp, an app where you can monitor and review your sleep quality daily, while also receiving tips on how you can improve your sleep.
The Dreams SleepPal+ Sleep Tracker offers all the same insight but differs by having a strip that sits between your mattress and sheet, allowing for better data gathering and unobstructed sleep while automatically syncing with the Napp.
Blue light and sleep technology
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 colour of light, tricking our brains into thinking it’s daytime and 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 red light is more beneficial and can aid our sleep because it won’t negatively impact melatonin, instead, it can aid 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 timers you set to help you get to sleep peacefully and wake up calmly. You can also play your own music through a Bluetooth connection to aid waking.
By using something that our bodies are naturally programmed to respond to, this will feel like a more organic way to wake up, as if you’re being awoken by the morning sun and soothing sounds rather than a screeching alarm.
The power of sleep scents
Scents are powerful; they can trigger a memory, place, person or emotion or now, through impacting our nervous system, sleep. Essential oils, or aromatherapy, have come onto the market and have been proved to aid sleep, by helping you fall into a slumber and make it more restful.
These oils have been around for centuries, but now, there’s a combination of aromatherapy oils and technology to match today’s modern, connected society. They combine to create an environment to fall asleep easily and be as mentally and physically healthy as possible.
One new piece of sleep tech that focuses on aromatherapy is the Sleepscent by Dreams 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 which is sure to be a welcoming start to your day.
Related: Do Scents Help Enhance Your Dreams?
The Best Sleep Gadgets for 2020/21
In a fast-paced world and society that lives every one of the 24 hours in a day, it’s never been more vital to get the right amount of sleep. With the use of sleep gagdets, you might just find the perfect solution. Below, we explore some of the best sleep gadgets and sleep technology:
1. The Kyro Sleep Performance System
This water based mattress topper helps to keep you comfortably cool all night long. Controlled via an app, it aims to keep your bed at 16 degrees so no-one needs to do any tossing and turning. You can see the progress of its development here.
2. Muse Headband
Falling asleep is often found to be the more difficult part of sleep, which is where the Muse Headband steps in. This piece of 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 to undertake before going to bed.
3. S+ Sleep Monitor
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 is suitable for sleep. It does all this without physical contact, so all you need to do is place it in your bedroom.
4. Athlete Recovery Nightwear
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 bit of sleep teach to your repertoire.
5. Philips Wake Up Light
This alarm gradually brightens 30 minutes from waking you up to help your eyes adjust to the brightness. You can choose from five different alarms or the sound of FM radio to wake you up. After you’ve woken the light begins to brighten 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 the snoring.
7. Go To Sleep and Wake Mask
If the light seeping through your curtains really bothers you then you’ve probably invested in black out blinds and an eye mask to make sure you sleep heavily all night long. However these are nothing compared to this new innovative sleep tech. The Go To Sleep And Wake Mask cleverly uses a dimming light to comfortably put you to sleep. It also features a brightening one to gently wake you up in the morning.
For intrepid travellers, the PowerSiesta is the best answer to all those long-haul flights that feature sore necks and an inability to get any decent shut-eye. Easily transportable, it folds into a 3D structure perfectly designed for you to rest your head on. If relieving that flight tension wasn’t enough, this ergonomic sleep solution was even designed by a rocket scientist.
Browse the full range of sleep technology and gadgets from Dreams, take a look at the Sleepwell page.