BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 32

pillow monitor your sleep during the night,
feeding back information to your smartphone,
but it also plays soothing music to help you drift
off, and intelligently wakes you in the morning
by monitoring your natural movements.
Sleep tracking can be hugely informative
when used in the right way, but, as with many
aspects of tech, approach with the right mindset.
"Some people find sleep trackers to be
informative," says Prof Gregory. "For example,
someone may enjoy watching how the quality of
their sleep improves in time, and this would be
positive. However, if you find that this extra
information about your sleep is making you feel
anxious, it may be time to stop using a tracker.

HACK
YOU R
SLEEP

SOUND ASLEEP

Switch off with the snooze-certiļ¬ed tech that actually works
WORDS LIBBY WILLIAMS

T

ech. It's in the way we shop, eat,
work and communicate. It's also
now a part of how we sleep.
Apart from helping us to
function day-to-day, sleep (or
lack of it), can have a huge impact on our
overall physical and mental health. According
to the NHS, a continual lack of sleep can make
you more prone to obesity, heart disease, high
blood pressure and diabetes.
It's well known that tech and smartphones
can have an adverse effect on our night-time
routines. However, there are also examples of
tech from body clock wake-up lights to smart
pillows, which can enhance a good night's rest.

FROM SCROLLING TO SLEEPING

While the impact of blue light on our sleep
quality is well known, a recent report found
only 11 per cent of adults polled avoided screen
time before bed for a more restful night.
Professor Alice Gregory, sleep expert and
author of Nodding Off: The Science of Sleep from
Cradle to Grave, explains, "Blue light (emitted
by phones and tablets) can be a problem when
it comes to our sleep. This is the type of light
can suppress our melatonin (sleep hormone)
and prevent us from nodding off."
For those who just can't put their tech down,
we recommend combating your scrolling
addiction with the Downtime function on
your iPhone, or Digital Wellbeing on Android.
These handy restrictive tools can help you set
time frames so you can stay off your phone,
cutting down on screen time and blue light.
Doing this will allow the natural production of
melatonin to send signals to the brain and body
that it is time to sleep.

32

If you just simply can't resist a scroll through
Instagram before bed, you can employ your
phone's "Night Time" mode. A feature on most
smartphones, a simple hack that reduces the
level of blue light emitted from your screen.

BEDROOM BLISS

Just as blue light can affect our sleep, so can
natural light. In the winter, the lack of sunlight
in the mornings and evenings wreaks havoc on
our circadian rhythm, making us feel sleepy
and lethargic throughout the day.
Answering all our
dimly lit prayers are
the variety of natural
light alarm clocks now
available to purchase.
Working to regulate
your sleep cycle, the
Lumie
Bodyclock
Starter 30 alarm
clock gently starts to
brighten 30 minutes
before
your
set
wake -up time, rousing
you naturally from
your doze as it reaches
full brightness. In the
evening, the clock allows you to wind down
slowly with the sunset feature, which emits
gradually fading light to signal to the body to
produce melatonin ready for sleep. Similar
products that we recommend are the Casper
Glow Light and the Philips Wake-Up Light
Alarm Clock Coloured Sunrise Simulation.
If you're a fan of tracking your overnight
activity, then the ZEEQ Smart Pillow is the
real deal. Not only does the soft, anti-snoring

If you regularly struggle to get back to the land
of nod, you may find the sound of silence truly
deafening. There are a plethora of well-known
apps available such as Calm and Headspace,
the meditation app, ASMR, and the bedtime
story and music app, Relax Melodies: Sleep
Sounds. With an in-built timer, this multifaceted
sleep assistant allows you to play your choice of
sound for a preferred amount of time, helping
you to drift off in a matter of minutes.
For those who can't bear the sound of a ticking
clock or the trees rustling outside, essential
noise muffling products such as the Bose Noise
Masking Sleepbuds would be our go-to
recommendation. Pre-loaded with soothing
sounds that are specifically engineered to block
and cover unwanted noises, these in-ear buds
allow you to drift off in peace. They also allow
you to set an alarm through the Bose Sleep app
on your smartphone that only you can hear, so
there's
no
need
to
worry
about
sleeping in or waking
your partner.
Sleep may be one of
the most natural things
that we can do as
human beings, but that
doesn't mean it's
always simple. With
the aid of tech, it can
become a much easier,
and more pleasant
experience. As Prof
Gregory
suggests,
"Some people will find
certain types of technology to be useful when it
comes to our sleep, whereas others might find
that this is the opposite. If you do decide to use
sleep technology, you might want to pay
attention to how it might be affecting you and
discontinue use if you do not feel it is enhancing
your life."
As long as we remain aware of the benefits and
drawbacks of tech, and its place when it comes
to sleep, the advantages could be infinite.

WITH THE AID
OF TECH, SLEEP
CAN BECOME
A MUCH MORE
PLEASANT
EXPERIENCE



BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019

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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_MARCH_2020
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_FEBRUARY_2020
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancejanuary2020
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_DECEMBER_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_NOVEMBER_19
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balanceseptember2019
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance_June_2019
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMarch19
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceDecember2018
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceDecember2016
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceOctober2016
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMay2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceLaunchEditionApril2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceNov
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