Sleep is something everyone enjoys and most people cannot get enough of. A good nights rest is also very important for your health and productivity. So it’s no wonder that there are countless tools out there that are there to help you fall asleep, improve your sleep, and wake you up as gently as possible.
Tools to help you fall asleep
If you have trouble falling asleep, you might have heard it all: Don’t watch TV, don’t use your smartphone, don’t play video games – heck, ban all electronics whatsoever! That’s all good and well, but doesn’t always help. While it is true that the electronic light that the screens emit is not helpful when it comes to letting you fall asleep, there is also a way around it: The blue light filter. According to Twilight, an Android app that does exactly that, “recent research suggests that exposure to blue light before sleep may distort your natural (circadian) rhythm and cause inability to fall asleep.” Apps like Twilight filter out the blue light and protect your eyes with a soft and pleasant red filter. Does it really help? According to science, it should.
Tools to monitor your sleep
Do you know when exactly you fall asleep, how often you wake up during the night, when you’re in your REM sleep and when your sleep is lightest? If you’re not using a sleep monitor, the answer is probably ‘no’.
If you’ve never used a sleep monitor before and are not sure if you really need it, just test it out. There are several free smartphone apps available. You just leave them on your bed when you go to sleep and they will try and analyze your movement during the night. Take a look at Sleep Bot, Sleep Time, and other similar apps.
If you want to get more accurate data, it’s worth looking into a fitness tracker. Those useful little devices not only count your steps and measure your heart rate but also – depending on the company and/or device – provide nice stats and evaluations. While not as accurate as an EEG monitor, they are definitely more comfortable and cost something between 100-200€.
Tools to wake you up in the morning
Ah, mornings … just when you finally feel like you are getting some rest, the alarm startles you awake with its horrid beeping noise that you probably hate with a passion. Philips Wake-Up Lights and other similar gadgets are supposed to change that. They simulate dawn in order to wake you up by gradually increasing the light for 30 minutes before your alarm time. Since that might not do the trick to really get you out of bed, the device will also play a choice of two natural sounds or the radio.
Lumie Bodyclock Iris goes for a similar approach but also includes a built-in aromatherapy. If you enjoy waking up in a nice smelling room (and if it in any way helps you to get up) this might be for you.
All around helpers
If you don’t want to buy all those separate devices, you can also take a look at Withings Aura – which basically incorporates most of the above. It records noise pollution, room temperature, and light levels or wakes you up to the light you need and the music you love. According to its web page, it even works with Spotify! 😉
Still not enough? There is also Sleep Numbers, a scaringly smart bed. It adjusts comfort on both sides, knows how well you’re sleeping, and connects you to your favorite apps to help perfect your sleep. The price is a bit hefty, but if your sleep is important to you it might just be worth it.
What helps you fall asleep in the evening? Let us know in the comments below.