The best tech in 2021 to help you get a better night’s sleep
Struggling to get to sleep and stay asleep? Maybe some of these can help.
Most of the United States just changed their clocks thanks to Daylight Saving Time, so it’s still dark when millions of us wake up (again). That also means that it’s Sleep Awareness Week (update: it’s no longer Sleep Awareness Week), heralded by that lost hour of sleep thanks to the clock changes. It’s also National Sleep Month, and World Sleep Day on March 19, so expect lots of tips, tricks, and tech to do with the world of slumber.
We thought we’d take the time to see if there was any new sleep tech to add to our favorite sleepytime tech, so you can knock out those zzz’s in comfort.
So, about that sleep
The foundation of a good night’s rest starts when you wake up. Getting some anaerobic exercise will set you up for a better chance of sleep. So will limiting your exposure to the blue light given off by your electronic devices, by wearing blue light blocking glasses during the day from companies such as Gunnar Optiks or Pixel Eyewear.
As for when it’s time for sleep, here are our picks of the best sleep tech you can get.
Eight Sleep (from $2,445)
The best sleep is always when you’re at your optimal temperature, whether that’s cool or warm or somewhere in between. Eight Sleep’s Pod has embedded water channels to cool or warm you all night long, and each side of the bed can be independently controlled, so no more fighting over the covers. Oh, and it tracks your heart rate and a bunch of other stuff, so you can figure out if the temperature is set to your body’s needs. Yes, it’s expensive, but so is any other mattress and none can do what the Eight Sleep Pod can do. I haven’t slept this well since, well, forever.
Sleep Number (varies)
When we think of sleep tech, usually it conjures up images of sleep tracking devices or fancy beds that automate a variety of movements or temperature adjustments. Not that Sleep Number doesn’t have those, but they also have techy solutions for simpler items. Driven by advances in material science, their True Temp range of bedclothes and pillows have volcanic sand particles woven in. Sleep Number calls it 37.5 Tech, and it attracts and removes moisture vapor so you won’t be too warm or too cold while you slumber.
Sleep doesn’t just happen when you put your head on your pillow at the end of the day, it’s a gradual process over the last half of the day. Sometimes we all need a little help, but what if you could retrain your brain to sleep better, every time? URGOnight might do just that, with a smart headband that reads your brainwaves as you play guided games to try and fix your insomnia. Nice.
Airthings View Plus ($269)
Keep tabs on the air quality in your bedroom with the new View Plus from Airthings. This stylish unit detects radon, particulate matter, CO2, humidity, temperature, VOCs, and air pressure, so you’ll know if your room is healthy. Wave your hand near the unit to get a quick indicator of overall air quality, or dive into the display or accompanying app to find out exactly which things are floating around in your air that shouldn’t be.
Smart Nora ($359)
If you think nobody in your home snores, the chances are it’s you, as an estimated 57-percent of men and 40-percent of women in the US snore. The Nora aims to nip snoring in the bud by gently moving your pillow when it detects a snore, just enough to get your throat muscles moving properly again. After a few nights, the gentle motion won’t interrupt your sleep, but even better – you won’t be waking up your partner with your snoring.
Whoop ($30 + monthly membership)
The Whoop strap might be known as a fitness tracking device, but did you know it’s one of the better sleep trackers on the market as well? Track your sleep performance with metrics on time in bed, disturbances, efficiency, breathing rate and latency, and learn all about your body’s sleep habits so you can make a positive change to get more restful sleep. Oh, and we all know we don’t get enough sleep – Whoop will tell you by how much, so you can plan to go to bed earlier to catch up.
Oura Ring ($299)
Sometimes you don’t want to wear a wrist-mounted tracker to monitor your sleep, so Oura stuffed a pulse monitor and a bunch of movement sensors into a slim ring that you can pop on your finger instead. Wear it all the time, and you’ll start getting actionable information on your sleep, your body’s recovery response, and how active you are during the day.
One thing that Oura measures that the competition doesn’t? Body temperature, which helps you figure out if that sick feeling you have is an actual illness or just a momentary blip.
Owlet Duo smart baby monitor and heart rate monitoring ($399)
Sometimes it’s not your sleep that has you worried, after all, your littles can’t exactly tell you why they’re tired. Owlet has one of the best baby monitoring systems we’ve tested, with an HD video camera and a wireless smart sock that measures heart rate and oxygen saturation, so you can sleep easy knowing something is watching over your precious little bundle of joy.
It’s not just potential health issues that the Owlet can inform you of, we found it even more useful for tracking sleep/wake cycles so we could schedule our little one’s naps at times that gave them enough rest without getting overtired.
Experts say that hydrated skin helps us look more rested, and Canopy is here to help. They say they’re the “only anti-mold humidifier,” a bold claim but for anyone that’s actually looked inside their humidifier after a few months, a welcome one. See, Canopy’s bedside table-sized humidifier has both physical air filters and UV lights, to catch particulates and kill off nasties before they get into the moisture that it spreads around your room.
Philips SmartSleep wake up light ($99)
Found yourself waking up in the dark again, thanks to daylight saving time? The clinically proven range of wake-up lights from Philips is just what you need to chase away that morning gloom and doom.
It’s not just for waking up though, as the smart lamp also helps you prepare to sleep by simulating sunset. The best part? It’s got tap-to-snooze for when you still want another few minutes under the sheets.
The Barisieur tea and coffee alarm clock ($445)
What’s better than waking up to freshly brewed coffee? Oh, right… not having to wake up. Anyway, we can’t do anything about the latter but we can help you with the Barisieur, a $445 alarm clock-cum-coffeemaker that’ll put the pep back in your step.
I mean look at it, it’s gorgeous. Fill it up with water, beans, and milk at night, set the alarm, and wake up to perfectly brewed pour-over coffee. Or tea, if you prefer. We won’t judge.
Now you know which pieces of tech can help promote restful sleep, it’s up to you to go get some. We can’t make you go to bed, I mean, we’re not your parents.
- Google Nest Hub will listen to you sleep and the company might ask you to pay for the feature
- Amazon wants to watch you while you sleep to make sure you are breathing ok
- Bose is back with another set of earbuds that are intended to help you sleep
- A Tesla driver has been charged with dangerous driving for sleeping during autopilot session
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