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Philips Hue White & Colour Starter Kit
We know that the Philips Hue smart lights are pretty good for getting the party in full swing with its array of disco colours, but they are also pretty handy for winding down afterwards. As well as being colourful, the lights also contain a variety of different shades of white, which can mimic the setting of the Sun at night, gradually dimming down as you drift off to sleep. There is also a wake up routine which works the other way around, to naturally wake you up so you're not so distressed by your alarm. Being smart, they'll also hook into a number of other apps and devices to give you full control of your surroundings.
@aroma Sleep Sheep
Essential oils are not just for hippies looking to soothe the soul with Mother Nature’s special scents, there is some good science about how effective they are at a number of ailments, including getting a good night’s rest. One of the best ways to spread the essential oil love is with a diffuser, and what could be better than this adorable 100 per cent wool-felt sheep diffuser for when you’re, erm, counting sheep.
If you want to go for complete sonic shut out, regular foam ear plugs won’t cut it. For a start they’re uncomfortable to wear if you lie on your side, and secondly they just don’t do a good enough job at blocking the sound. Snoozers solve both those problems by having a soft tip at each end so they don’t hurt when you lie on them, and the aluminium core (or titanium if you get the Snoozers MAX) blocks out any noise trying get between you and your dreams.
For some people no amount of technical wizardry is able to get them to sleep, and the urge to resort to sleeping pills is ever present. But Sleepio’s solution is a course of evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help treat insomnia, which gets to the core of sleeplessness by analysing your thoughts, your daily schedule, your lifestyle and your room. Over the eight-week course it builds a new sleep pattern and strategy for your night time routine, which claims to help you asleep up to 50 per cent faster, reduce time awake by up to 60 per cent and boosts daytime energy by up to 50 per cent.
£400 for 52 weeks of access, sleepio.com
Information is power, and this souped-up alarm clock has reams of the stuff spouting from it. Developed with the European Sleep Center, the Homni has four integrated sensors to analyse the temperature, sound level, luminosity and humidity of your bedroom, which feed the accompanying app so you can tinker and tweak with your room until it’s just right. Not only that but it comes with a sleep sensor for in-depth analysis of your sleep duration, sleep cycles and body movement. There are loads more features packed in, like adaptive lighting, a Bluetooth speaker and even USB ports for plugging in your phone.
Available early 2018, £199, terraillon.com
Sending electric signals through the brain doesn’t sound like an effective way to treat insomnia, but if it’s good enough for the NHS it’s good enough for us. Alpha-Stim uses Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation to send a specific waveform through two electrodes clipped to your earlobes via your brain, modulating the brain’s electrochemical signals to give you a more restful sleep, as well as treating anxiety and depression.
£549 or buy-to-rent from £51 a month, alpha-stim.co.uk
Sound Asleep Pillow
Not everybody wants to join you in being lulled to sleep by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, or staying up until the early morning listening the Ashes, so do your other half a favour and plug your audio device into a pillow which plays sound that only you can hear when you’re pressed up all snuggly.
Fitbit Ionic smartwatch
Fitbit create some of the best fitness trackers out there to keep your heart healthy, but they have now turned their hands toward another type of ticker - smartwatches. The new Ionic has all the bells and whistles you imagine from a premium piece of weareable tech (step counter, GPS, four-day battery, wireless payments among others), but what makes it stand out is the introduction of Sleep Stages, an in-built app that uses the accelerometer and heart-rate monitor to estimate how long you spend in light, deep and REM sleep stages, as well the time you are awake. Fitbit clocked three billion nights of logged sleep to develop the app, so expect some pretty solid data out the back of it to tailor your sleep and exercise routine.
SensorWake Olfactory Alarm Clock
Mornings are rarely better than when they are punctuated by the smell of fresh coffee, warm croissants or tasty toast, the only downside being you actually have to get out of bed to make them. The SensorWake Olfactory Alarm Clock recreates these scents using special cartridges that release joy-inducing smells (amongst others like freshly cut grass, the sea or even chocolate) first thing to wake you from your slumber on a wave of extraordinary odours. The only downside we can see if that you’ll then have to go and make the real thing to curb your hunger.
Good Night Stop Snoring Ring
Not every sleep gadget needs to be high tech, like the Good Night Stop Snoring Ring, which does exactly what you’d imagine, stops you snoring. The clinically-proven ring goes on your little finger and presses specific acupressure points to stop your nocturnal nasal murmurings. It probably won’t make you sleep that much better, but your other half with think it’s dreamy.
Calm meditation app Sleep Stories
Didn’t you just love being read a bedtime story by grandpa when you were a wee kid? Calm, a meditation app, has developed Sleep Stories to help you unwind from the day you’ve just had with relaxing stories and calming tales read by some of the most soothing and soporific voices out there, like Radio 4 Shipping Forecast presenter Peter Jefferson and Stephen Fry. There are 65 different stories to listen to, with plenty of replay value as none of which you’ll reach the end of if the app does what it says.
£10.30 a month/£48 a year and £239 lifetime, calm.com/sleep
Bodyclock LUXE 750D
If you’re of the opinion that alarm clocks should be heard and not seen then let the Lumie Bodyclock illuminate you to the possibilities of a significantly less sonorous morning. The Bodyclock LUXE 750D mimics the colour of sunlight to gently fade out at night to help you doze off and rise like the Sun in the morning to wake you up all refreshed, with a variety of pleasing sounds like birdsong or café chat in the background. It has a few (quietly) ringing endorsements from Quiet Mark, who hunt out the quietest tech, and the British Swimming team, keen fans of waking up in the dark for early morning training sessions.
Netatmo Healthy Home Coach
Yes, your home might be smart, but is it healthy? There are many different factors that go into getting a good night’s sleep, and the Netatmo Healthy Home Coach measures four of them, air quality, humidity, temperature and noise, and builds a personalised profile letting you know if it’s happy with the current state, and how you can be improved if it’s not. It’ll connect to Apple HomeKit as well as other smart devices so if anything goes out of whack it can make things more comfortable automatically.
Hyde & Sleep Smart pillow
Nope, despite the name this isn't an internet connected pillow, but one that has some serious brains behind it. Developed using NASA technologies, the Hyde & Sleep Smart pillow covers are made using materials that react to your skin temperature, cooling you down when you get warm and warming you up when it gets chilly - out of this world!
Hydra Active moisturising pyjamas
Aeroplanes have notoriously arid atmospheres, where the humidity can drop from 80 to 20 per cent – not good news for staying comfortable on a loooooong flight. Emirates airline partnered with Hydra Active to create pyjamas for their first-class fliers infused with microcapsules of moisturisers and skin conditioners like aloe vera and sea kelp, and now the rest of us can get some top deck treatment. The pyjamas gently release their active ingredients over the course of the night and last 30 washes.
HoMedics SoundSpa Ultra Portable Rechargeable Sound Machine
Most of us like peace and quiet when we go to bed, but whether it’s the traffic noise from outside the window our your partner’s constant snoring, that’s not always possible. White noise machines constantly play every frequency at the same time, masking any surprise noises that could disturb your slumber. The HoMedics SoundSpa comes with 12 digitally recorded types of noise, so you can pick which lulls you off most effectively, is battery powered and light enough to pack up on your travels.
The brain is a complex organ, one that is not easily fooled into thinking it’s time for bed (especially if you have a smartphone in hand), so to combat this the Somnuva creates tones and pulses from a pair of high-quality speakers that that match brain’s wavelengths during the different stages of sleep, to subconsciously draw you in or out of a restful slumber. It has four different modes depending on the type of sleep you’re looking to get, deep sleep mode, power nap mode, easy sleep mode and fall asleep mode, and Somnuva claim that 92 per cent of people slept better and for longer in trials.
Sleepace Sleep Dot
Tracking your sleep usually involves wearing a smartwatch (can’t get comfortable if you sleep on your arm) or strapping a sensor around your mattress (as if changing the bedsheets wasn’t arduous enough), but a far simpler solution could be at hand with the Sleep Dot, which you simply slot into your pillowcase and it’ll track your sleep cycles and body movement, and also wake you up in the morning with soothing sounds and music.
Around £25, sleepace.com/dot
Bergamo charging headboard
Sometimes in the pursuit of sleep you just have to call it quits and fall back on catching up on Netflix. Benson's for Beds' Bergamo headboard has a USB charging point built into each side so you don't have to worry about stretching cables or fumbling in the dark for your phone.
Whether you’re looking to catch 40 winks, curl up for a catnap or settling in for your nightly slumber, we could all do with a little helping hand from the Sandman when it comes to getting some shuteye. Sadly, he doesn’t always come on demand, so we’ve collected some gadgets and gizmos that’ll save you counting sheep all night and help those zzzzzzs come with ease.
Together with Goldsmiths, University of London, BBC Focus is conducting its very first piece of research to find out more about two sleep phenomena: exploding head syndrome and sleep paralysis. To discover more click here or to here to take part.