On the regular I have trouble going to sleep. This could be attributed to the fact I need to watch or listen to something in order to drift off. Something about the sound of silence makes it impossible for me to settle down. I’m not gonna dig deeper into what that says about my brain or my subconscious. Let’s leave that box closed.
And because I can’t get to bed easily—and still have to get up at the same time every morning—I’m not getting as much sleep as I should be.
In fact the National Sleep Foundation’s most recent guidelines recommend 7—9 hours of sleep for young adults (18 to 25-years-old). And anything under 6 hours is straight up bad. Oops…
So what will we millennials do to make sure we achieve our sleep goals? What we do best. Use technology!
Here are a few ways to make sure you get the sleep you need with a little assistance.
5 Gadgets to Help You Get More Sleep
1) Orange Tinted Glasses
I wear my orange tinted glasses at night so I can, so I can sleep. Really, they help. I may look super dorky in them (See photo above) but they make me sleepier before bed when all I want to do is look at my phone and watch shows on my computer. How do they do that? Well devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers are usually illuminated by LEDs that emit blue light. And studies have shown that this blue light can inhibit your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps make you sleepy. Though experts say the best solution is to remain away from brightly lit electronics at night, that isn’t happening for me. So I have started wearing the dorky orange tinted glasses that this New York Times article mentioned, which my boyfriend bought me after reading that article because he knows how much trouble I have going to sleep (Everybody say aww) and now I really do feel sleepier when I set my electronics down.
By the way, a pair of these is what you could win if you stick around till the end of this post.
2) Sleep Tracking Apps
While a sleep tracking app in itself will not help you sleep better, it will monitor your sleep patterns and help you to figure out under what circumstances you sleep best. My favorite app is Sleep Cycle, which allows you to track your sleep every night by resting your phone beside you on your bed. It also keeps running statistics on your sleep quality in percentages, how long you were in bed, exactly when you fell asleep and woke up, and how many times you were in a “deep sleep” at night. You can add in notes like “Ate late, drank coffee, stressful day” that will show you what could have effected your sleep that night. So this gadget will help you sleep better if you take that information and learn from it.
3) Soft Speaker Pillow
The soft speaker pillow is one of my most prized possessions. Seriously, I would not be able to sleep without it. In fact there have been times when I didn’t sleep because I didn’t have it. Why is it so great? Well, as we’ve established a couple times now, I can’t fall asleep without listening to/watching something while slipping into slumberland. And while that isn’t the case for everyone, a lot of people do watch things before bed. This little guy plugs into your headphone jack and then rests on your pillow under one ear so you can listen to whatever you want while laying down. Think of how much better you will sleep if you are already in your chosen sleeping position and not sitting upright watching something on your lap with your earbuds in right before going to bed! Imagine the possibilities! P.S. My boyfriend gave me this too. Ya, I know. I have some serious sleep issues.
4) Weighted Blankets
Not so much a gadget (Okay not at all a gadget) as a cool invention that helps some people sleep better. A weighted blanket is traditionally used as part of occupational therapy for children who experience sensory disorders, anxiety, stress or issues related to autism. But people without such diagnoses can benefit from them as well, as my boyfriend can attest to after I gave him one a few years back (Yes, I give him sleep-related presents too). He and I have both used it and find that we fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly and wake up in a better mood when we use it. Why? There are a lot of reasons people believe it works. Personally, I think I like being hugged all night.
5) Grown-Up Night Lights
Let’s go back to discussing light’s effect on our sleep. We already knew that exposure to certain artificial light before we turn in suppresses the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. But it also enhances alertness and disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm. The Good Night LED light bulb, originally developed—believe it or not—for NASA astronauts residing on the International Space Station, allows melatonin to still work its magic, by using half of the blue light that a normal bulb would. There are several of these types of bulbs out there now, one made by Philips, called Hue, can even change the intensity of its component colors via a smartphone app.
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I will be giving away one pair of Uvex Orange Tinted Glasses to a lucky reader. To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and let me know which of these gadgets you think would help you sleep better and why. Does a weighted blanket sound awesome or is a soft sleep pillow more your thing?
You’ll get one extra entry if you like us on Facebook and another if you tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #ThatsSoGrownUp. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you do either of those!
I’ll leave the giveaway open through next week and pick the winner at random on Monday. Good luck!