March 19 is World Sleep Day, and to mark the occasion, we've rounded up a selection of the best technology to help you sleep better and wake up naturally well-rested.
During the pandemic, people around the world (opens in a new window) have reported an increase in sleep disturbances, with studies from the UK, Italy, Greece and China reporting the same thing: it's hard to rest right now. Whether it's the rush between work and personal life, a lack of routine, or simply stress from the past, there are many reasons why you might be having trouble getting a good night's sleep.
We can't guarantee that the technology here will fix the problem, but we've tested almost every device here and found that it can really make a difference. Whether it's to block out distracting sounds, get you in the right frame of mind, or help you develop better sleep hygiene, they're worth a look if you've found yourself lying staring at the ceiling lately.
(Image credit: Muse)
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Relax with soothing sounds and spoken "trips"
The Muse S is a soft, adjustable headband with sensors that detect brain activity and heart rate through the skin, while an accelerometer in the center of the forehead detects movement. This data is transmitted via Bluetooth to the Muse app on your phone.
During the day, the Muse S helps you learn the basics of meditation with guided sessions that provide feedback on your performance. If his mind starts to wander, his heart rate speeds up, or he starts to move, audio cues, such as heavier rain, will help him get back on track.
At night, the mobile app will lull you to sleep with soft nature sounds, musical effects, or spoken stories. Once you fall asleep, the headband will continue to track your heart rate and movements so you can assess your sleep quality in the morning.
In our tests, we found that wearing a device on your forehead takes some getting used to, but unlike a watch, its unusual design means the Muse S can determine how often you flip it and how long you spend on each one. side. The meditation tools are also great and a good way to incorporate small mindfulness sessions into your day.
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(Image credit: LaComparacion)
Bose Sleepbuds II
Lose yourself to soft sounds and block out distracting background noise
The Bose Sleepbuds II are no ordinary wireless headphones, and they won't compete with Apple AirPods for space in your ears during a workout. Instead, they're designed to help put you in the mood for sleep with soothing sounds and block out outside distractions.
When we reviewed the second-generation Sleepbuds, we found that they were exceptionally comfortable thanks to their soft, springy silicone tips that kept them securely in place. They're also lightweight and delicate, and even side sleepers will find them unobtrusive at night.
Battery life is also impressive, and you can expect four nights of use between charges. The main drawback is that they are quite expensive, but if you often have trouble falling asleep at night, this may be a cost you can justify.
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(Image credit: Withings)
Withings sleep analyzer
Monitor your sleep under your mattress, without the need for a clock
Most sleep monitors require you to wear something overnight (whether it's a ring, headband, or watch), but the Withings sleep analyzer simply slips under your mattress, so there's nothing more to worry about. Just snap it in place, plug it in, set it up with the Withings app and you can forget about it until the morning, when it's time to check your sleep stats.
Even though it's under your mattress, where you'll never feel it, the slim mat can detect your heart rate and movement throughout the night, delivering detailed results (including sleep stages) that closely match those of the most advanced sleep monitors. conventional.
We were very impressed with its plug-and-play design, and as long as you have an electrical outlet within reach of your bed, the Sleep Analyzer is the easiest way to track your sleep each night.
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(Image credit: Oura)
A small laptop to monitor your well-being at night
Another unusual wearable accessory, the Oura Ring (opens in a new tab) clips onto your finger, and while it takes measurements throughout the day, it's especially useful at night. The ring is lined with sensors that measure heart rate from your digital arteries and measure temperature, while motion sensors detect steps and activity level.
Once you settle in for the night, Oura Ring detects your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, sleep stages, and movement. Open the Oura app and you'll see all of these metrics clearly presented, along with an assessment of your overall sleep quality.
It's a very interesting read and you can use it to determine the factors that lead to a better or worse night's sleep. Do you rest better after a sports session, for example, or if you eat dinner before? Does hitting the bag at a certain time lead to a deeper sleep and help you wind down with some reading or just closing your eyes ASAP?
The ring is smaller and less obtrusive than a watch, and if you don't mind checking stats on your phone throughout the day (there's no small screen on the device), it's an attractive alternative to traditional fitness trackers.
(Image credit: MiHIGH)
MiHigh infrared sauna blanket
Lie back on your bed and enjoy your own personal sauna
The MiHigh Sauna Blanket is best used in bed, but not at night. As the name suggests, it is basically a miniature sauna that allows you to enjoy the benefits of heat therapy at home.
Plug in the blanket, climb in (wearing long-sleeved sportswear and socks) and after a few minutes, the infrared blanket will make you sweat. We're a bit skeptical of the company's detox claims, but it should definitely help your blood vessels dilate and increase circulation. This is especially useful for reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after intense training.
It feels good, too, and jumping into the shower afterwards should leave you calm and ready for sleep. The blanket's waterproof design and hydrophobic coating means it's easy to clean and dry afterwards, so you'll be ready for bed before the cozy feeling wears off.
(Image credit: Philips)
Philips SmartSleep wake up light
Wake up gently to a simulated sunrise instead of a loud alarm
Being woken from sleep by your phone is not a particularly pleasant experience, no matter which upbeat tune you choose for your alarm. A wake-up light offers a much softer way to start your day, waking you to gradually increasing lighting so you wake up naturally instead of waking up with a start.
The Philips SmartSleep wake-up light is one of the best on the market, gently waking you up with a simulated sunrise that gradually changes from red to yellow until your room is fully lit. You can also choose a natural sound to accompany the light, helping you not to sleep.
There are cheaper wake up lights out there, but we've found from experience that you get what you pay for. Unless you want to be woken up by a sudden bang in your face (accompanied by a repeating loop of robotic bird noises), it's worth the extra investment.
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