Are you sleeping too much or are you a restless sleeper? Matthew Herbst checks out what’s available to help you sleep right.
If you’re a heavy sleeper who never hears your alarm in the morning, then invest in the silent alarm clock by Lark. Lark is an app and wristband that wakes you up with a gentle vibration. It tracks your movements all night, after which it will then give you a full report about your restlessness, including quality of sleep, how long it took you to fall asleep and how many times you woke up. It also includes an action plan, which allows you to set goals while sending you reminders to keep you on track. At www.lark.com from RO18.86.
America’s National Sleep Foundation has found that noises at levels as low as 40 decibels or as high as 70 decibels are likely to keep us awake. If you happen to live in a noisy area then investing in sound conditioners is a wise move. They have been proven to promote sleep by muffling noise. The Sleep Infuser masks sound but also emits a series of low pulsing hums that can coax the brain into sleep. At sleepinfuser.com from RO134.73.
Developed by Harvard Medical School professor Dr Herbert Benson, this NightWave device is based on relaxation techniques used and researched in cognitive therapy to help treat insomnia. To quieten your overactive mind, just sync your breathing to the flow of NightWave’s pulsing blue LED light. As it gradually slows down, the light silently guides you into a relaxed state — and before you know it you have drifted off into a deep slumber within minutes. At www.amazon.com from RO19.24.
If you thought that kids were the only ones who used a night light, think again. This Wi-Fi-enabled LIFX light helps you fall asleep and wake up with the aid of colour. Its light purple colour slows your heart rate and helps you relax, the deep red helps you fall asleep and the light orange assists with waking up and getting your day started. An additional feature helps you wake up naturally each morning by gradually increasing light, and helps you drift off at night by slowly dimming light. At www.amazon.com from RO38.11.
Meet Basis Science, a smartwatch that uses six sensors to measure your heart rate, skin electricity, sweat and temperature. The watch also includes software that breaks down your sleep patterns into light and deep sleep, and analyses the quality of how much sleep you’re getting. At amazon.com from RO76.99.
The Sense Sleep Tracker is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014. The Sense’s mission is to tell you as much as it possibly can about the environment you sleep in. It monitors the temperature, humidity, air quality, light and sound. Then combine that with the tracker that clips to the side of your pillow and you’ve got a comprehensive picture of the quality of your sleep each night. The smartphone app will then provide a breakdown of the data over time, while the app’s Insights tool can give you advice on how to make improvements. At kickstarter.com, from RO50.
App of the week
The Sleep Genius app was originally developed by neuroscientists for astronauts. It emits a pink noise (a soft variant of white noise) and neurosensory algorithms that trigger a motion-induced type of sensation in your brain, similar to a baby being rocked to sleep. All of which will ease you into a deep slumber. Free at sleepgenius.com.
This Aura isn’t necessarily just a night light but a clever device that records your sleep environment including noise pollution, room temperature and soothing frequencies that attempt to imitate your body’s regular rhythms. Most importantly, with this device nothing has to be worn. Just slip the sensor under the mattress to monitor your sleep patterns, body movements, breathing cycles and heart rate. Then turn to the app to check out your cycles to find out what wakes you up. You can also personalise your wake-up and fall-asleep programs. At withings.com from RO115.50.