A good night’s sleep can do amazing things. It improves your energy, your mood, and your productivity, often resulting in a higher level of overall wellbeing. While some of us can sleep soundly with very little help, others find restful slumber a little more challenging. As such, there have been no shortage of sleep aids people have used throughout time to help those struggling to fall asleep, unable to stay asleep, or otherwise unsatisfied with their nightly sleep quality.
In recent years, we’ve seen many sleep aid products rely heavily on technology, combining the latest in sleep research with cutting-edge electronics, materials, and design to help people with their bedtime affairs. These are our favorite sleep gadgets.
Designed to help ease you into sleep, this metronome-based light system projects a dim blue glow onto your ceiling that expands and retracts in a steady rhythm. Your job is to time your breathing such that you inhale as it expands and you exhale as it retracts, gradually taking you from 11 to six breaths per minute, a rhythm that studies have shown to stimulate the baroreflex, which rebalances the autonomic nervous system to quickly bring you to a restful state that’s ideal for sleeping. It comes with two settings, eight minutes and 20 minutes. Obviously, try the shorter one first and go with the longer one if you’re the sort who takes a bit more time to get into a relaxed state.
It’s big, it’s heavy, and it looks like a vintage motorcycle headlight sitting on your bedside table. Despite all that, this sunrise alarm clock offers arguably the best solution for waking you up in the morning by shining its built-in multi-color LED in a way that simulates morning sunrise, gradually brightening your room over 30 minutes to gently nudge you into wakefulness, without the jarring sounds or jolting vibrations of more traditional morning alarms. It can accompany the light with a gentle audible alarm playing your choice of five nature-based waking sounds that gradually increase in volume, although you can also opt to switch on the built-in FM radio to wake up to your favorite station.
This memory foam pillow is equipped with the outfit’s intrasound audio system, which is a custom speaker system designed to generate a gentle vibration in tune with whatever’s playing. This vibration is meant to create a calming response in the nervous system, which should encourage you to relax and make it easier to fall asleep. Simply pair your phone with the pillow’s speaker over Bluetooth and play any audio you want, whether it’s music, nature sounds, or white noise. The sounds are so soft that only the person resting on the pillow can actually hear them, so you won’t be disturbing your partner while they sleep. We’re recommending the memory foam version here, although they also have standard pillows with different density levels if you’re more comfortable sleeping on one of those.
These sleep-focused true wireless earbuds are a lot smaller and lighter than your standard models, allowing it to fit flush inside most people’s ears, so you can sleep on the side of your head without ever feeling it pushing against your ear. It uses swappable ear tips designed to passively block any noises that could be keeping you awake, all while playing specific sounds designed to help you sleep. Using the app, you can choose the exact sounds you want playing, whether it be a noise-masking sound, some version of white noise, or a variety of nature sounds. It can run for up to 10 hours between charges, so you can have your choice of sounds playing all throughout the duration of your nightly cycle.
Designed to turn your favorite pillow into an anti-snoring pillow, the system consists of an insert you place under the pillow and a pebble-shaped device that you can put in the nightstand. Before sleeping, simply tap the pebble once to activate it, at which point it will immediately start listening for signs of snoring. As soon as it detects those early snoring sounds, it will trigger the system to pump air into the insert, inflating it to raise your pillow and tilt your head forward to allow normal breathing. After a while, it will deflate the insert to restore you to a comfortable sleeping posture, waiting until it detects snoring sounds to inflate it once again. The pebble, by the way, has physical controls at the bottom, allowing you to set the sensitivity on the fly, in case the frequent inflation ends up affecting your sleep.
This mattress cooling system consists of a pad with built-in tubes that to go on top of your mattress and a water-pumping device that keeps the water passing through those tubes at your desired temperature. Basically, it makes your bed feel warmer or cooler, depending on what the current climate requires, making it a lot more comfortable to sleep in. Basically, if you get night sweats, this thing can eliminate that in short order. For those who are more quantitative with regards to their sleep cycles, the companion app allows you to not just set the temperature but to schedule changes in temperature throughout the night, allowing you to dial in the ideal levels to encourage deep sleep and REM phases. Sure, the pad isn’t as comfortable as your mattress, nor is the water pump completely silent, but for some folks, being able to enjoy an agreeable temperature in bed should be worth any trouble from either one.