As much as your superhero team were surprised that swimming had “got technical” we are equally surprised there is tech to help you sleep. Sleep is a major determinant of health and waistline, but usually we tell you to improve it by ditching the tech, hours before bedtime. Well, we eat humble pie & bring you the “skinny” on sleep tech.
Do this stuff right now! (well, tonight…..)
#1 set up your phone and tablet to have a warmer screen setting at night – so you can still consider using it before bed. (on iphone this is “nightshift” in display settings, androids have apps like “twilight”). Set your computer to have a warmer screen at night by downloading f.lux.
#2 THEN download the free “sleepfulness” mindful meditation app (10 tracks free) for your bedtime routine
#3 AND the “sleep cycle” app to wake you within a half hour window set by you at your lightest sleep point (so you feel less “yanked” awake & as if you’ve had more restful sleep)
For a few of your English pounds
If you want a bit more
#1 place a physical blue light filter on your TV, as well, from “sleepshield”
#2 download the cheap “sleep genius” app – “pink” noise is better than “white noise!”
#3 (my favourite) rose tinted glasses – (actually) amber tinted glasses (I knew there was a reason Clare’s accessories existed) can be used after sunset to watch TV without a blue filter and warm the hue to avoid the blue screen suppressing your melatonin and thus keeping you awake.
#4 (most hilarious option) – “sound asleep pillow“: the pillow which plays your music or an audiobook as you drift off to sleep (OK, don’t believe the hype, insomniacs). Has an inbuilt speaker & a jack for your iphone – cannot be washed bleurgh!
A savings project?
#1 “Lark in the dark” – if you are ONLY interested in sleep, this is the wristband for you. It links with your smartphone alarm and it monitors your sleep then works out what you should do about it & nags you to do it!
#2 “Good night” LED light bulb. $70!!!???? must have been designed by NASA for that price……oh, it was. LIFX lightbulb – $99 but very pretty :-). Phillips Hue lightbulbs – £149 a set, links with f.lux to control them.
#3 “Sleep rate” app – records your sleep and the cost is in the inbuilt CBT for sleep course (!)
#4 a variety of special alarm clocks with dusk and dawn gently increasing lights and sounds.
#1 Withings Aura – just under £200. An alarm clock that combines all of the above: red nightlight that changes colour slowly deepening whilst emitting soothing wave noises to help you drift off. An under-mattress sensor to wake you at your lightest point of sleep (near to your planned wake time!) with a blue light and nice noise.
#2 Sleep number 360 smart bed – absolutely eye-wateringly expensive (thousands) but will apparently adjust each side of the double bed to each sleeper’s micro movements to keep them comfy, decide if they are snoring and raise the head of the bed to stop them, work with a thermostat to keep the room the correct sleep temperature and (obvs) connect with your smartphone to give you the detail of your night’s sleep.
I am off to count sheep now. Sleep well 😉