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Sleep Accessories

How Sleep Trackers Work

Find out how these digital devices spy on you while you snooze. You might think that if you got eight hours of sleep last night, you’re golden. But that’s not necessarily the case. So much more goes into measuring a successful night of zzz’s than just the number of hours that you have your eyes closed. In other words, it’s not just about quantity of sleep—it’s also about quality of sleep. Other important measures that affect how well you sleep, for example, include how often you toss and turn, how many times you wake up during the night, how many cycles of sleep you get, and more. A bunch of new digital devices on the market…

How to Interpret What Your Sleep Tracker is Telling You

Check out what you can learn from devices that help you monitor your sleep patterns. There are so many sleep trackers on the market, but what do they measure, exactly, and what do those results mean? While many experts say that these sleep trackers are a waste of time, any device that makes you think twice about staying up late or teaches you more mindful sleep habits is not all bad. Learn how to make sense out of what many of the popular sleep trackers can tell you. Sleep Habits: These devices record your total hours slept and analyze your patterns over time (often in graph form) so that you can get helpful insight into,…

How Technology is Changing the Way We Sleep

The high-tech world of sleep Technology has already taken over the living room (hello, smart TVs and DVR players) and the kitchen (think: programmable ovens and recipe apps instead of cookbooks), and now it’s set its sights on the bedroom. Probably the most obvious change in our bedtime routines these days is that many people curl up in bed with a smartphone or tablet instead of a book or magazine. In fact, 95 percent of people use some sort of electronic device at least a few nights a week during the hour before bed. This makes it tougher to fall asleep. Reading a work email at 9:30pm can keep you up with stress, the…

The Latest Sleep Trackers

These high-tech gadgets will help you learn more about your sleep than you ever dreamed. It used to be that you didn’t know much about what happens between when you fell asleep and when you woke up in the morning. You’d know if you had a particularly fitful night of sleep or had nightmares, but everything else was a mystery. These days, that’s not the case. Sleep tracking devices have made it possible to get some insight on why you might be so tired all the time. They aren’t super accurate yet, but using one could give you a start on exploring your sleep habits. And a quick note: If none of the…

Six Great Travel Accessories for Sleep

This must-pack list will help you snooze well the entire time you’re away. The next time that you pack up your suitcase for a trip, make sure that you throw some (or all!) of these accessories in your bag. They will help you overcome unfamiliar environments, noisy situations, and uncomfortable arrangements so that you can drift off more easily and get the zzz’s that you need. An E-Reader: You might not think that this falls under the category of “sleep aids,” but being able to wind down while reading your favorite book can be key to fighting on-the-road insomnia. Extra bonus: E-readers are light, so they won’t make your suitcase or purse too heavy. Use a non-backlit…

Three Weird Sleep Products

A look at the strange devices for sale in the sleep world Whenever there’s a health issue as widespread as insomnia, there are going to be companies that come up with products to help sufferers. They may look ridiculous and seem like a waste of money, but to the people who count sheep night after night, they might be just what the sleep doctor ordered. Glo to Sleep Mask: This is no simple eye mask—in fact, it almost looks like a pair of goggles. Once you put on the mask, you see a blue glowing light on the inside of it. As the light fades away, you are supposed to drift along with it into dreamland. A…

Designing the Ideal Bedroom

Try these products to help you get to sleep—and stay asleep. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary—your happy place! And when you put a little extra thought into the design of your bedroom, it’ll become much easier to get the zzz’s that you need. So consider setting up your bedroom with these five easy-to-find products. These nighttime fixes could help smooth your passage to deep, restful sleep. Noise Reducer For city dwellers, constant commotion and street noise throughout the night can be disruptive when you’re attempting to sleep. To block out most of those outside sounds, consider a noise reducer or white noise machine. Both work to mask sleep-depriving clatter with soft, rhythmic sounds that allow…

Choosing the Best Alarm Clock

Wake up to a good morning with these fool-proof alarms. You probably feel naked without your smartphone by your side, but keeping it on your night stand and using it as an alarm clock could interfere with a good night’s sleep if you’re tempted to check your texts and emails. It also emits something called “blue light” that is so bright that it can trick your mind into thinking that it’s daytime and keep you up late at night. A better bet might be making your bedroom a cell-phone-free zone, and instead getting an alarm clock that will ease you into a good morning. Here are some tips…

How to Choose the Best Sleep Mask

How to help your eyes rest easy so you can relax and nod off A dark room can be the difference between slipping off to sleep easily and tossing and turning for an hour. If your curtains are porous and thin, or you’re a shift worker who needs to sneak in zzz’s during daylight hours, or your partner likes to stay up late reading, sleep masks can be an easy—and inexpensive—solution. Sleep masks are available at drug stores as well as specialty stores and online, ranging in price from under $5 for a basic one to nearly $30 one that promises blackout darkness. Not all masks are created equal, however. These are some features…

Are Sleep Trackers Accurate?

Activity monitors may work better for exercise than for sleep Activity trackers, such as FitBit, might help you see your general sleep patterns, but they are limited in their usefulness. Since they may not be as helpful as they promise, interpret what they tell you with a grain of salt—at least for now. Sleep is complicated, and in order for an analysis to be as meaningful as possible, it must be comprehensive, as well as precise. A lab sleep study  is the most thorough type of analysis. It involves a stay in an overnight facility, in which a technologist records multiple biological functions during sleep, such as brain wave activity, eye movement, muscle tone, heart…