Our hectic modern lives, full of busy schedules, family and work obligations, and long hours in front of a screen mean that our sleep health sometimes suffers. Physical and mental health issues can also affect how well we sleep. You can rest easy, however, with some of the following gadgets to help you sleep.
Some of us are extremely light sleepers, nudged awake by the slightest of sounds, which can sometimes lead to hours of tossing and turning. Maybe you have a spouse who snores who keeps you from sleeping. To block out ambient noise so you can saw those logs, try noise-canceling headphones. Sleep canceling headphones come in two different types. One is wireless earbuds that fit snugly in the ears or a headwrap type set of headphones that you wear like a sleep mask.
White Noise Machines
If you don’t like wearing devices while you sleep, a white noise machine may be a great gadget to help you sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, ambient white noise works by reducing the difference between background sounds and what’s known as a "peak" sound, like a door slamming, giving you a better chance to sleep through it uninterrupted. Some people use fans or air purifiers for white noise, but you can also buy white noise machines specifically for better sleep. Also called “sound conditioners”, white noise machines play a variety of soothing background sounds like ocean waves or rain to help you fall and stay asleep.
Essential Oil Humidifier
If you seem to wake up often feeling parched, thirsty, and overheated, your bedroom may need extra moisture. Humidifiers add healthy moisture levels back into the air to moisturize your skin, nose, and throat, which is also helpful for those who suffer from sleepless nights due to allergies or asthma. An essential oil mist humidifier takes great sleep to the next level, as you can add sleep-inducing oils such as lavender, bergamot, or chamomile. Humidifiers pull double duty as ambient white noise to mask background noise.
Weighted blankets are a newly popular gadget to help you sleep that has great research to back up its claims. Weighted blankets are blankets filled with plastic or glass pellets and weigh anywhere from ten to thirty pounds, and help regulate body temperature. The weight of the blanket provides gentle pressure that mimics a hug or a massage. According to Sleep.org, this type of “deep touch pressure” increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep and has a calming effect. Weighted blankets also increase oxytocin, which relieves pain and stress and boosts the immune system, which in turn promotes deep sleep. These blankets are also good options for hot-natured sleepers, who love the weight of a heavy comforter but find they are too hot.
If waking up too hot or cold during the night is keeping you awake, temperature-regulating bedding may be a good solution. Sheets made from phase change material, for example, help regulate body temperature by absorbing, storing, and releasing heat to regulate body temperature. You can also invest in a temperature-regulating mattress pad, or a climate control system that pumps hot or cold air during the night, and attaches to your current mattress.
Chronic pain is another major inhibitor of restful, refreshing sleep. Although one of the more expensive gadgets to help you sleep, an adjustable bed may be worth the investment if you suffer from chronic pain, especially back pain or spinal disorders. These beds have adjustable frames so you can position your body in its optimal position for sleep, such as having your head raised slightly (helpful for nighttime reflux, another disruptor of sleep), or elevating the knees, which takes pressure off the lower back and relieves pain.
With so many options, finding a gadget or tech solution to help you sleep better can seem daunting, but with research and trial and error, you can find what’s right for you. Combined with proper sleep hygiene, bedroom gadgets may be the perfect complement to a great night’s sleep.