Sleep gadgets have been around for a few decades now. Given that we spend at least one-third of our lives sleeping, it makes sense that we’re trying to optimize it!
Especially when our frantic way of life causes sleep deprivation and insomnia!
If you’re one of those people who struggle to get 7-8 hours of sleep consistently, then sleep aid gadgets might be the solution you were looking for.
Sure, you can try the natural way. Hit the bed early, avoid looking at your phone during the night, drink chamomile tea, etc. And don’t get me wrong, some of these strategies will definitely help you.
But sleep gadgets are used to maximize the hours and the quality of sleep you get, as well as the frequency of your dreams.
In this blog post, we’re going to check out sleep aid gadgets that can help you sleep, dream, and recover!
Sleep Gadgets for Light Therapy
One of the culprits of suboptimal quality of sleep is a dysfunctional circadian rhythm.
Our bodies have a sensitive internal clock that regulates all metabolic functions. Light specifically is one of the most powerful stimuli that signal whether it’s time to wake up or go to sleep.
In the past, we were attuned to nature’s cycles, sensing the interoceptive signals with great accuracy. But technology allows us to suppress and bypass these mechanisms. With devices and electricity emitting mostly blue light (major melatonin disruptor), we’re unable to receive the full spectrum of light required for an optimal circadian rhythm.
For that reason, most people can benefit from light therapy using some of the following sleep gadgets designed to reestablish your biological rhythm.
1. Blue blocker glasses
The first line of defense is fitted glasses that can block up to 90% of blue light emitted from your devices.
This is a great choice for working during the day. The pair of blue blocker glasses have minimum colour distortion. It has an extra layer of protection against eye strain and dry eyes!
These are the heavy hitters. Perfect for using them in the nighttime to avoid as much blue light as possible. Perhaps not suitable for detailed work but you can read your favorite book!
In case you need to combine your prescription glasses, this is your best choice. Fitted and stylish, you can wear them practically 24/7.
Even though blue blocker glasses are a must for optimal sleep, they’re not 100% bulletproof! You still need to minimize your computer time after sunset and perhaps install filters like this one on your devices,
2. Red light therapy
The vast majority of people simply aren’t getting enough of the red light side of the spectrum.
In summary, light penetrates our eyes and gives specific orders to our brain to secrete the right hormones. We need light during the sunrise, sunset, and in between! But how many of us are stuck inside most of the day?
Install a couple of these bulbs around the house and use them once the sun has set. The perfect way to slowly transition from daytime to sleepy time!
These panels are suitable for 30-minute sessions of red light therapy. Let them shine on your whole body.
Bonus: A good night of sleep begins in the morning! The AYOlite therapy glasses are a wearable sleep gadget you can use during the day to boost your energy!
(Disclaimer: Read the instructions carefully. Even though red light therapy is considered safe and beneficial, you want to avoid prolonged exposure)
3. Sunrise alarm clocks
What’s the first thing you do upon waking up? Grab your phone and let the artificial light hit your face…
Instead, you should go out in the sun! But that’s not always possible, is it?
Fortunately, sunrise alarm clocks are the perfect sleep aid gadget solution for those who work at night or they just want a quicker way to let the “sun” in their bedroom before getting up.
You have two choices:
One of the pioneers in this industry, they know how to create solid, yet affordable products suitable for every household.
30 minutes before you wake up, it’ll slowly start shining a bright 2,000 Kelvin; a deep orange color that will kickstart your day!
You can program it to play nature’s sounds or even the radio. And during the night, you can set up different colors to decorate your room.
Physicians recommend Phillips’ sunrise alarm clock because of its smart settings that allow you to create an optimized light-exposure routine.
It’s a bit more expensive than most products but it’s definitely a worthy upgrade, offering personalized brightness settings and a wide spectrum of sunrise light.
Sleep Protection Gadgets
You had a long day. You’re sleepy. But the moment your head hits the pillow your neighbor blasts music, someone turns the lights on, and you’re mentally preparing yourself for a groggy morning tomorrow…
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are solutions!
1. White noise devices
Some people can’t stand white noise. But it’s undeniable that there are many benefits to that frequency (1,2, 3). In my opinion, it’s quite different using a phone app to produce white noise vs a sleep device made for that purpose.
A versatile “soundbox”, it utilizes multiple frequencies of white noise. But it also produces a wide variety of natural sounds.
The best thing about it is that you can customize everything! Volume, duration, loop, continuous play, etc.
The original white-noise machine, it’s tested and used in clinical settings.
Suitable for travel, your office (yes, it has a specific setting!) and your nightstand. Simply plug it in and let the white noise mask the undesirable and annoying sounds!
I have a love-hate relationship with them. When I was a college student, I had two noisy neighbors upstairs. Six hours of uninterrupted sleep was a miracle!
I was at my wit’s end so I decided to use a cheap pair of earbuds from the pharmacy. I did manage to rest but I was quite uncomfortable and began having issues with wax buildup.
It wasn’t until recently that I tried a high-tech pair of earbuds that I realized what I was missing on!
There are plenty of wireless earbuds available but keep in mind that not all of them are suitable for sleep! But this pair is specifically made to be comfortable (and safe) to wear in bed.
They can mask most outside noise or play soothing sounds and music. The smart sleep monitoring will pick up when you’re asleep and stop the music.
The best thing about them is the design. You don’t have to worry they’ll fall out or cause any damage to your ear canal.
If you still can’t get used to earbuds, then maybe headbands are the next best choice!
These are especially useful if you’re a side sleeper. You won’t even notice you wear them but they’ll still allow you to have a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
(If you’re travelling often, they’ll come in handy, trust me!)
3. Eye pads
Last on our list of the DIY sensory deprivation tank is eye pads. In the previous section, we talked about the importance of getting exposed to light during the day. But it’s equally important to sleep in a completely dark room.
Drapes don’t always cut it though, do they?
Cheap sleep masks will fall off during the night or get in your eyes. A weighted mask, on the other hand, will firmly cup your eyes and block all the unwanted light from disrupting your sleep.
This is the high-tech option that not only will cover your eyes, it can also provide a gentle massage, hot compression, and air pressure using three different modes.
It’s not as comfortable as plain sleeping masks but it’s perfect for short naps!
Sleep Gadgets for Dreams
If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you already know how much we value oneirology. Yet, most people simply don’t dream enough during their sleep. There are plenty of reasons for this (we discuss them here).
Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct way to induce more dreams. We can only improve certain health markers and optimize the time we spend in the REM state.
There are a few sleep gadgets that show promising results.
Consider this sleep gadget an all-around stress relief device. It promises to improve heart-rate variability (HRV) and consequently, increase your resilience to stress.
The Apollo will stimulate the vagus nerve, triggering a parasympathetic nervous system response.
There’s anecdotal evidence suggesting that these two effects increase the frequency and intensity of dreams.
Similar to the Apollo, the DreamOn band will regulate your autonomic nervous system by producing theta frequencies (the frequency of dreams) through gentle pulses.
Strap it on your wrists and press on to start a pulse cycle before you drift to sleep. It’s that simple!
There’s nothing worse than waking up every 30 minutes because your partner is snoring. Or even worse, you wake up with a dry mouth and a headache because YOU are snoring.
Sleep apnea can be tricky to fix and it may require a CPAP machine. But before you jump on to such an intrusive device, consider the Smart Nora sleep aid device. Every time it detects snoring it’ll adjust your position so your airways open up.
Sleep Tracker Gadgets
I have a friend that used to sleep 10-12 hours per day. He’s a “health freak”, to put it nicely. Spends a couple of hours everyday training, tracks his macronutrients, his steps, the whole nine yards.
But he feels groggy every day. Anything less than 10 hours and he’s like a zombie. No snoring, no sleep apnea. Everything seems normal.
I convinced him to start tracking his sleep using a cheap Fitbit band. Lo and behold, not only does he spend a big percentage of the night awake, he barely enters the REM state!
He started playing around with different parameters while tracking the quality and quantity of sleep. Going to bed an hour early, waking up at 8:30 instead of 8, eating his last meal 3 hours before sleep, etc.
With the guidance of the sleep device, he managed to fix little habits here and there. While it wasn’t a magical solution, there was a significant improvement just from interpreting the data.
This is the only sleep tracker device I recommend. It’s an elegant, beautiful ring you can wear 24/7.
It gives you basic instructions to have the best sleep of your life — as long as you follow its guidance.
While the Oura Ring is more expensive than most products out there, there’s a good reason for that.
The advanced sensor technology can track even the smallest changes in your physiology and adjust your sleeping schedule accordingly. Beyond how many hours you sleep, it can track:
- Respiratory rate
- Body Temperature
- Nighttime Movement
- Activity levels
It’s interpreting all of the interoceptive signals you might be missing, presenting them as digestible and actionable advice.
Do you need sleep gadgets to have a good night of sleep? Absolutely not!
Do they help? Absolutely yes!
While sleep gadgets aren’t a necessity, they can give us that extra “push” we need to get those precious 8 hours of quality sleep our bodies crave and live life to the fullest.
P.S – Do you have any other sleep gadget recommendations? Feel free to comment below!
Writer. Seeking to discover my private mythology through dreams.