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February 12, 2020

Sleep and Technology: Innovations that are Changing the World

In the past decade (in actual fact, in the past 24 hours), technology has changed human life more than it has previously changed in a lifetime.

And while we can certainly have a debate about the benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of innovation and the way tech has changed our lives, we certainly can’t deny that it has made things very different from what they used to be.

We now carry the world in our pockets. We are more connected than ever before, and even traveling to the other side of the world is nothing more than a mundane routine.

Finally, technology has started invading our bedrooms – but in the best possible way.

Sleep technology has been on the rise for years, and we are finally reaching a point where the way we sleep is being improved by all this tech, and not just harmed.

Let’s explore some of the fascinating innovations technology has contributed to the way we sleep.

Sleep essentials

In essence, the way we sleep has stayed pretty much the same for decades. Since we have invented the bed and the mattress, we have only ever upgraded these elements, in terms of design, comfort, and style.

Without a doubt, the most important player in this game of sleep is the mattress we choose. And while finding a good one may take time, it will certainly be time well invested.

We’d suggest choosing something made out of memory foam: a technology invented back in 1966 but that has not yet been topped. Today, these kinds of mattresses come in all shapes and sizes, made from all kinds of sleep-promoting materials, there to aid the modern sleeper to shake off the stresses of the day.

Heat and cold

The temperature in your bedroom plays a very important role in promoting quality sleep. There are people who prefer to sleep in warmer environments, but the most sleep-friendly temperature is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

While it may not seem like much, installing a temperature regulator (automated, of course) in your bedroom can make a significant change to the quality of your sleep. That way, you won’t have to preheat the room or get up in the middle of the night to adjust the thermostat, and you will also be a bit more eco-friendly.

Sunlight (News - Alert) vs. artificial light

Blackout curtains have been a necessity in previous eras, and they are currently used to keep the light out while you try to sleep. However, they are not the best solution for everyone – they will block out all light, which will not suit those who prefer to sleep in less than pitch black. Plus, missing out on all that sunshine in the morning is not the best way to kick start a good day.

Tech has made products like Dreamlight possible: a band you place around your head while sleeping, that will use lights and colors, as well as soothing sounds, to both put you to sleep and gently wake you up.

There are also smart lamps that will increase their light as the time to get up draws nearer, and that will emit something suitable during the night.

The sounds of sleep

Sound also play a huge role in the quality of our sleep. There are those who prefer complete silence (in which case some noise cancelling earplugs will be the best choice), but if you like some sound in the background, there are plenty of sound and sleep machines available.

Modern sound machines can play any combination of sounds, and transport you to a beach, a meadow or even a zoo, if that’s what you prefer. There are also machines that can be connected to an app that tracks your sleep, and that will adjust their sounds and noise levels accordingly.

An app for everything

Of course, the most obvious tech advancement in the realm of sleep is the app.

Whether it is a meditation app that will teach you how to fall asleep faster and easier, an app that will wake you up with gentle nudges, or an app that will track your breathing and movement patterns and decide when you need to wake up, you can find something that will work for you.

Try to use an app that will teach you how to fall asleep on your own, as opposed to something you will start to rely on too much and not be able to sleep without. That way, you won’t need your phone near you at all times.

Final thoughts

While technology is certainly great at disrupting our sleep, it can also be used for good and help you rest better, waking up much more refreshed than ever before. Bear in mind that good sleep hygiene is also a prerequisite for good rest. So work on that as well, and don’t leave everything in the hands of tech.

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