Sacrificing sleep for productivity? Bad news: it could be ruining your health. Luckily, new zzz-boosting gear is here to sweeten your dreams
Donald Trump says that he never sleeps more than four hours a night. It’s a claim that, like his candy floss coiffure, baffles scientists. According to the pointy heads, getting less than six hours’ sleep will cause the average person to gain weight and experience ‘diminished activity’ in the frontal lobe, resulting in poor decision making. Make of that what you will, but assuming that you’re not The Trump, the quality of your sleep is probably having a greater influence on your health than your diet or exercise.
But how does one go about getting a better night’s kip? Isn’t sleeping just an uncontrollable binge on brain chemicals? Well, yes, but thanks to the advancement of sensors and brain science, the latest slumber gadgets are doing for sleep what the Fitbit did for exercise. We’re telling you – these products are going to be YUGE.
Keep a cool head
Along with finding 35 pence of credit in a vending machine, the cold side of the pillow is one of life’s simple pleasures. The Hyde & Sleep Pillow, made from
a smart fabric, uses Nasa technology to guarantee your thermal comfort. The hotter your cheeks get, the faster the fabric cools. Leaving you free to argue over who took all the duvet.
Track your sleep
Good news: the S+ By ResMed is the most advanced sleep tracker, capable of monitoring breathing and movement without the user wearing a sensor. More good news: Jedi-smart algorithms, based on data from two million nights’ sleep, provide tailored feedback. Bad news: if it fails, you probably need to check into a clinic.
Short of dispensing roofies, the Nox Sleep Night does everything that’s possible to encourage you to fall asleep more swiftly. Its sensors learn to adapt to your personal body clock, while Sleepace’s patented sorcery beams out red-light wavelengths that encourage your body to secrete melatonin (the brain’s ‘sleep chemical’).
Take one Pill
Each night, the Hello Sense With Sleep Pill challenges you to beat your previous ‘sleep score’. A pill-shaped tracker clips on to the pillow, monitoring such factors as the temperature of the room and the time that you drift off. Using that data, the orb wakes you at the optimum point in your sleep cycle, ensuring maximum refreshment.
Wake up your nose
How would you like to be roused by the aroma of croissants, chocolate or espresso? This Sensorwake olfactory alarm clock gently tickles your brain
back to consciousness by releasing a puff of scent. It wakes users in under two minutes, 99 per cent of the time, and each scent capsule provides 30 mouth-watering ‘awakenings’.
Your very own sunrise
On a cold, dark morning, would you prefer to be woken up by a sharp elbow or a calming LED light that simulates a sunrise? The latter option comes courtesy of Lumie’s Bodyclock IRIS, sold at £160 plus the cost of filling its two ‘essential oil chambers’. You’ll wake up refreshed and wondering why your mouth tastes of rosemary.
Just ask nicely
That moment when you’re about to drift off but you realise that you’ve forgotten to reset your phone’s alarm. Urgh. Annoying. But what if, instead of fumbling for your phone and spilling the water, you could simply say, “Alarm clock, wake me up at 7.45am”? Therein lies the genius of the Holimotion Bonjour voice-recognition alarm clock/personal butler.
Tweak your temp
This connected Eight mattress cover transforms your dumb, regular old
bed into a smart one. It features dual temperature zones, so one person can be hotter than a sweat lodge while the other remains cooler than a Calippo. Sensors detect breathing and snoring to find the settings that work best for each party.
From £172; eightsleep.com
Neuroscientists say that the sound of something we like can help us sleep. So, bizarrely, if you like dogs, barking is actually soothing. Once you’ve found your sound, play it through the Sound Asleep Pillow. The hidden speaker is wrapped
in hollowfibre filling and is undetectable.
Slip the pancake-shaped iFit Sleep HR sensor under your mattress and it will harvest your data – heart rate, respiratory patterns etc – quicker than Google. By analysing your REM cycles, it can order your smartphone to wake you at a restful point.
Clear the air
Poor air quality can ruin your sleep. So much so that Nasa has compiled a list of 12 plants that best purify the air in your room. But if you can’t be arsed with foliage, use Philips’ AC3256 smart air purifier. It removes 99.7 per cent of airborne allergens in one hour, helping you breathe, and sleep, easier.
Silence the snoring
So your beautiful partner snores like a warthog. Kokoon, the world’s first sleep-sensing headphones, could be the answer to your curses. The pillowy-soft ’phones block out the honking with ‘relaxation sounds’, adjusting the volume by tracking how deeply you’re sleeping with a brain sensor.
Mind over matter
Mindfulness is essentially meditation without the joss sticks. The beautifully designed Sleepfulness app will lead you through a range of tried and tested mindfulness techniques, each designed to clear your head of swirling worries and thus Buddhify your ass to sleep.
Good light’s sleep
Technology has not been sleep’s friend. The light from a phone/laptop slows the release of melatonin, messing up your sleep patterns. The f.lux app solves that by gradually reducing the amount of blue light from your display, so you can continue to binge on Netflix without confusing your brain.
Snooze like a spaceman
Want to fall asleep faster? Sleep Genius is ‘scientifically proven’ to get the job done. It’s based on Nasa research carried out to help astronauts get to sleep in space. We tried it – and it worked. Although it wasn’t exactly a controlled experiment; the gin may have affected our ‘user experience’.