5 devices and accessories to help you sleep better
As it was suggested many times before you should keep electronic devices like smartphones and laptops out of your bedroom. But it turns out that there are some gadgets as well as useful accessories that can actually help you sleep better.
White noise machines
White noise machines – or how they’re often called – sound-masking devices, use soothing, steady sounds similar to the ocean wave or wind in the trees to block out ambient noise and promote longer periods of deep sleep. Despite the original name, this sound is a pink noise, meaning it’s smoother and less harsh than white noise, with high frequencies filtered out. Studies have shown that the use of white noise devices improved the quality of sleep in hospital patients by more than 37 percent and in healthy adults by more than 67 percent, in both cases compared with a control group that didn’t use such devices.
Sleep monitors do not affect your sleep quality per se, but rather help you keep track of your big Z’s by recording both the length and the quality, detecting all movements of your wrists. Or head, if it comes with a headband. Some of them are placed under your bottom sheet to further refine results.
Many activity monitors, are also monitor your sleep. They record how long it takes you to completely fall asleep, how long you actually stay asleep, and how often you wake up including those cases you don’t even remember. Your blood oxygen levels could signal whether you have sleep apnea. More advanced models also measure your REM sleep periods. The monitor wirelessly sends data to your computer. Understanding your sleep patterns is the first step to making changes to improve sleep quality.
A continuous positive airway pressure device
You may not need this particular device in your case, but it’s very helpful for people who suffer from sleep apnea, allowing them to breathe free and sleep better. A face mask or nasal piece creates a vacuum around the nose, while a plastic hose delivers a steady stream of air. While it can seem awkward and inconvenient at first, once you adapt to this device, it can relieve such symptoms as waking up struggling for breath, snoring, and low respiratory rates. You probably won’t even need to buy this device, since its cost is usually covered by health insurance, if your doctor prescribes it for you.
Earplugs and sleep masks
More like accessories than actual devices, earplugs and sleep masks have proved to be efficient sleep makers for a long period of time. Earplugs can control exposure to noise and therefore improve the length and quality of sleep. They can reduce wakefulness and elevate melatonin levels, although effectiveness varies depending on the type of earplug. Noise also diminishes REM sleep; earplugs can increase deep, restorative sleep. Sleep masks reduce exposure to light, similarly improving sleep length and quality by increasing REM time and raising melatonin levels.