Some technology can hurt your sleep habits, some can help—here’s what to know
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Do you wake up feeling groggy after your alarm rings in the morning? If you're having trouble getting a good night's rest, the technology that you're using might just be the culprit. Studies show that one and a half hours of technology use can suppress your melatonin levels, making you more alert into the night when you're trying to fall asleep.
The main type of technology that causes a decrease in melatonin levels is interactive technology such as scrolling through your phone or playing video games, as opposed to passive technology such as listening to music. The same research shows that any amount of bright light can hamper your sleep, including the light that emits from your bedroom lightbulbs.
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All of this said, however, not all technology is created equal, with some devices actually designed to help you improve your Z’s. Transform your sleep for the better this Sleep Week with this list of gadgets and gizmos that'll help you get your full eight hours.
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1. An app blocker
Before making use of all the helpful sleep gadgets out there, you'll have to address the tech in your life that makes sleeping more challenging. Hint: we’re talking about your cellphone use. It’s time to cut down on it. AppBlock allows you to block various applications on your phone at certain times. With it, you can create a chunk of time before bed where you won't be able to scroll through your phone aimlessly into the night.
2. A Fitbit Charge 5
While fitness trackers are best known for tracking physical activity, they also make for excellent sleep trackers, which are vital in monitoring your sleep patterns. The Fitbit Charge 5 is the best fitness tracker we've tested due to its ease-of-use, comfortability and detailed health data.
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3. A portable air conditioner
According to the Sleep Foundation, the best temperatures for a restful sleep falls between 60-67°F. If you find your room is too hot for comfortable sleep, a portable air conditioner will be a simple fix. We recommend the Whynter Elite ARC-122DS, our favorite portable air conditioner, thanks to its cooling prowess and value.
4. An electric blanket
If you're on the other end of the spectrum and find that your room is too cold, an electric blanket may help you reach an ideal temperature. Of the electric blankets we've tested, we loved Sunbeam Velvet Plush Cozy Feet Heated Blanket. As the name implies, it comes with a foot zone to keep your feet warm. It also boasts consistent heating and soft fabric.
5. A noise machine
While silence is traditionally associated with good sleep, many prefer to sleep with white noise to drown out other, distracting noises. Adaptive Sound Sound + Sleep is the best white noise machine we've tested thanks to its automatic adaptive settings and ability to completely block out competing sounds.
6. A wake-up light
Going to bed is well and good, but what about waking up? A sunrise alarm is purported to ease you into the morning by simulating the light of sunrises. The best one you can buy is the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light thanks to its extensive brightness settings, realistic sunrise and sunset cycles and its intuitive controls.
7. Smart lights
A great way to upgrade your home and improve your sleep in one fell swoop is by getting Phillips Hue lighting. Hue is a smart lighting system that can allow you to set routines to shift your lights to warmer colors in the evening, among many other nifty features. This can help your body to ease into sleep easier while reminding you that it’s time to wind down for the day.
8. A smart speaker
A smart speaker will integrate your Phillips Hue to the rest of your smart home ecosystem, allowing you to control your lights with ease. Plus, being able to control your electronics via voice instead of getting up to use them will help you wind up and down faster. The best smart speaker we've tested is the Bose Home Speaker 300 thanks to its Bluetooth capability, physical buttons and support of both Alexa and Google Assistant.
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9. A meditation tool
Meditation is another possible tool in your sleep routine arsenal to help you get more restful slumber through the night. The Morphée is a meditation device that guides you through various mindfulness exercises before bed. It also plays nature sounds to further your relaxation before bed.
10. An eye massager
A nice massage for your eyeballs, complete with compression and heat, is the perfect way to wind down after a tiring day. The Renpho Eye Massager has been a game-changer for Reviewed staff writer Amina Khan, who finds it especially useful for her migraines and dry eyes, too. Plus, the massager is outfitted with Bluetooth so you can play relaxing tunes as you wind down.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Sleep tech: How to sleep better using these products