The latest tech and top apps that will help you sleep like a baby tonight
Sleep is essential for all of us. It plays a vital role in our physical and mental wellbeing, helping our brains work properly, so we can make decisions, solve problems and control our emotions. Plus, it also helps our bodies heal, regulates our hormones and even keeps our waistlines in check. Sometimes, though, that restful slumber is hard to come by, which can impact on our stress levels, mood and immunity. But don’t worry, whatever your sleep problem, we’ve found a solution. So check out our Reviews: sleep gadgets to help take you from weary to wide-awake in no time.
WITHINGS AURA SMART SLEEP SYSTEM, £149.95
BEST BITS: It features a light and sound system designed to soothe you to sleep and wake you up gently. Pop the sensor pad under your mattress and it’ll track your sleep and send information to your phone, which will help the alarm to wake you up at the right point.
DOWNSIDES: It’s not cheap and I’m not sure the tracking gave me that much more than a free app – I’m more interested in how to improve my sleep patterns. I’m also not convinced I’m finding it easier to wake up, but I’ll persist as I know it’s a big challenge for me.
GET THE MOST FROM IT: You can buy a separate sensor to add on for your partner, and you can use the device as a lamp and a charger for your phone.
SLEEP TIME: SLEEP CYCLE SMART ALARM, IOS APP FREE
BEST FEATURES: Tuck your phone under your pillow and the app records your sleep efficiency and when you’ve slept most deeply. It also starts to wake you up to 30 minutes before your alarm, so there’s less shock to the system.
DOWNSIDES: I’m uncertain of its accuracy, as after a particularly bad night’s sleep the app recorded 95% sleep efficiency.
GET THE MOST FROM IT: You can keep a record of sleep patterns and see the average sleep you’re getting.
DREAM: ON, IOS APP FREE
BEST BITS: The app, designed by a psychology professor, is based on the idea that subconciously listening to a certain soundscape while you sleep can influence your dreams. There are 40 soundscapes to choose from, including a nature one, which is intended to give you positive, relaxing dreams.
DOWNSIDES: You have to sleep with your iPhone right next to you, so the sensor can monitor your sleep and play your soundscape at the perfect time.
GET THE MOST FROM IT: You can record your dreams afterwards in the app’s diary and start to look for patterns.
LUMIE BODYCLOCK ACTIVE 250, £99.95
BEST BITS: The gadget has a soft glowing light that increases gradually in brightness to wake you up. This culminates in a variety of alarm options, including birdsong.
DOWNSIDES: The light alone might not wake you up, especially if you’re quite a heavy sleeper. It would probably work better on darker winter mornings, when light isn’t already flooding into your room.
GET THE MOST FROM IT: Use it as a home security device by setting the light to go on and off at intervals.
SLEEPIO, £4.99/ week for 12-week programme; sleepio.com
BEST BITS: Sleepio is a structured programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which gives you strategies to help you stop feeling anxious about not getting sleep. This isn’t a quick fix, but it can reset your sleep pattern for life.
DOWNSIDES: Having to get out of bed when you wake. It’s to ensure you only link being in bed with being asleep, but it isn’t fun having to haul yourself into a cold living room at 3am.
GET THE MOST FROM IT: Use it with a Jawbone UP wristband, which monitors your sleep, and it will save you having to keep a sleep diary.
PZIZZ, IOS APP FREE
BEST BITS: It combines ambient sound and a soothing narrative to help you peacefully fall asleep. Every night a new soundtrack is created, so it doesn’t become repetitive.
DOWNSIDES: The man’s voice can seem a bit off-putting at first, but persevere! It can’s be used by epilepsy sufferers – if you’re unsure check with your doctor.
GET THE MOST FROM IT: Try out the power nap option to help you re-energise in the middle of the day.