These days, a good night’s sleep feels like such a rare luxury we all dream of. In fact, more than a third of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, and that number is on the rise. It’s a dire statistic, because lack of sleep is linked to several chronic ailments, such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and obesity.
Fortunately, technology offers some pretty helpful solutions. Although phones and laptops (in a perfect world) have no place in the bedroom, there are still numerous high-tech gadgets you can try to improve sleep quality. To save you from decision paralysis, we did the legwork and selected our five favorites that work sleep miracles without breaking the bank!
#1. Fitbit Activity Tracker
A fitness tracker is a great tool not just for the gym, but also for the bedroom! It’s a perfect device to track both the patterns and the quality of your sleep.
As soon as you go to bed and your body stops moving for at least an hour, the device will assume you’re asleep. Then, based on your heart rate and sleep behavior (like rolling over), the tracker records your progression through the various sleep stages. When you wake in the morning, you can see detailed information about your sleep quality; time spent in deep, light, and REM sleep; as well as sleep patterns and potential issues like sleep apnea.
#2. Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs
Smart lights are a great investment, and not just because they’re perfect for setting the mood during a party or a romantic dinner. They can also illuminate your room in many shades of white with varying color temperatures.
So, as it gets close to bedtime, you can decrease the color temperature in your room from bright daylight, to calm and cozy warm light. Your body will thank you for the gentle transition, because toward the end of the day, cold blue light can negatively impact your sleeping patterns, while warm light can support melatonin production to promote sleep.
#3. Awair Air Quality Monitor
Another important factor to optimize the sleep environment is air quality. Research has shown that people living in regions with higher levels of air pollution are more likely to have sleep problems. And other research has shown that better air quality at night has a positive effect on next-day performance.
So, for a good night’s rest, it’s paramount that you make sure your bedroom is well-ventilated and clean. A great way to track this is with an air quality monitor, such as Awair. This device measures fine dust and invisible chemicals in the air, as well as carbon dioxide and humidity levels. And the best part is that you’ll get personalized recommendations to improve sleep.
#4. Nest Thermostat
Speaking of bedroom air, the proper nighttime temperature is crucial for restful sleep. Between 60°F and 67°F is ideal, and above 71°F will likely cause restlessness. To measure the temperature, don’t rely solely on an ordinary thermometer — get a smart thermostat! It’ll cool your room enough to smoothly transition you into sleep at night, and then gradually warm up the room to comfortably ease you out of sleep in the morning.
Nest Learning Thermostat by Google is a perfect tool to automate this process. It studies your habits and manages the temperature in each room accordingly. Oh, and it’s also great for the environment, allowing you to save energy when heating isn’t needed.
#5. Philips Wake-up Light
All good things come to an end, and deep sleep is no exception. On the bright side, a wake-up light can make waking up actually pleasant, even for heavy sleepers. Also known as a sunrise alarm clock, this gadget is, in our opinion, indispensable in the bedroom. It starts to emit a gentle glow around half-an-hour before you have to wake up.
So, say goodbye to jarring alarm clocks that trigger your body to release cortisol (the stress hormone) and put you in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Being woken up by a gentle light — not a startling sound — feels so good and natural that you’ll never want to rely on your phone as an alarm again!