Between increased workloads and being physically unable to pry ourselves away from our Facebook and Twitter feeds, the average person is getting less and less sleep, and as many as half of us suffer from insomnia.
Many people decide to turn to medication to try and get in their 40 winks, but are unaware of the potential side effects, some of which can create a vicious cycle which keep you awake all over again.
Instead, many people are turning to new technologies to try and doze off with, some of which are pretty exciting. Here we’ve picked five of our favourites.
Wearable fitness devices
Wearable gadgets such as Fitbit have become more popular in recent years, helping track things such as steps taken and heart rate.
But did you know they might also be able to help you sleep? Lots of these trackers come with sleep tracking technology which will evaluate your tossing and turning in bed to figure out when you’re in the deepest rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, and wake you up appropriately with a gentle vibration.
You can then view a full analysis of your sleep pattern and identify any potential problems.
Lighting is very important when it comes to sleep, and we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts about how blue light can affect the levels of melatonin in the brain which helps you sleep.
Now firms are starting to introduce ‘intelligent lighting’ which can be controlled from the user’s smartphone to control the amount of blue light to allow them to sleep better.
Also check out the Re-Timer glasses. This nifty gadget resembles a rather large pair of glasses and emits light which mimics daylight and corrects the body’s circadian rhythm (body clock).
If you find that you’re too often disturbed by noise, whether it’s as little as the rain dripping on the roof or the noisy neighbours next door, why not fight it with more noise?
Sound conditioners are available which play a low frequency white (or pink) noise, which should trigger a sensation in the brain not unlike that of a baby being rocked to sleep!
These range from simple smartphone apps to full speaker sets and should hopefully trick your brain into switching off and drowning out any distractions.
While looking at a screen before going to bed is one of the worst things we can do, it’s inevitable that everybody is going to have a quick peek at their laptop, phone or tablet before bed.
So to reduce the damage why not purchase a screen filter which simply sticks on top of your screen and reduces the amount of blue light that is emitted?
Alternatively, you can download f.lux, which is software that adjusts the ‘warmth’ of the colour of the light being emitted from your device.
All of this sleep tracking tech is all well and good but wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to wear anything for it to work?
Well there are now ‘smart beds’ being developed which will do just that! With trackers embedded within the mattress itself, your bed will actually track your movement and breathing and send it to an app on your phone.
You can also input extra information such as your eating and exercising habits to build up an even better picture of your sleep habits.
So before reaching for those sleep pills, bear in mind that we live in an age where technology can make everything easier, even your sleep.
If it all seems a bit high-tech for you, remember that we have a great range of memory foam mattress toppers which are proven to mould to your body contours and give you the best night’s sleep possible.