4 gadgets for the sleep-deprived

4 gadgets for the sleep-deprived

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SALT LAKE CITY — Adults should clock an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but the exhausting reality is one-third of Americans aren’t getting enough shut-eye. Luckily, new tech advances may be able to help you break poor sleep habits and get the full forty winks you need.

Perhaps the most popular sleep-related tech — sleep tracking apps — can help improve sleep schedules if used consistently. But tracking apps aren’t the only option out there that can help you get a good night’s rest. If you’re working on getting better sleep, here are four sleep gadgets that can help you along the path to dreamland.

Sleep Number 360 smart bed

Sleep Number beds were popularized by their programmable support settings, which allow sleepers to adjust their individual sides of the mattress to different heights and firmness levels. The Sleep Number 360 smart bed builds on that with new Bluetooth capabilities. This smart bed learns your sleep routine, senses movement to automatically change support levels and even records sleep quality.

Pros:

  • Feet warmer: People generally fall asleep faster when their feet are warm, and the smart bed learns your sleep routine to prewarm the edge of the bed before you turn in for the night.
  • Accurate sleep analysis: The Sleep Number 360 records length of sleep, quality of sleep, heart rate, breathing rate and preferred sleep number. These factors create a SleepIQ score to help you analyze your sleep cycle.

Cons:

  • High price tag: The smart bed starts out at over $3,000, and the price goes higher depending on the size and type of material selected.
  • Less time on the market: The Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed was barely released to the public, so it’s too new for users to have had time to accurately review any long-term problems.

Related:

Fitbit Alta HR

Fitbit’s latest tracker, the Alta HR, is a fitness-focused wristband that can measure steps taken, heart rate and now, quality of sleep.

Using Bluetooth technology, the Fitbit wirelessly syncs to connected smartphones and computers, making sleep stats easily available for analysis. The device uses advanced movement detection to help it record sleep duration, track restlessness, and send reminders for consistent sleep schedules.

Pros:

  • Customer service: Fitbit’s customer service is incredible. Representatives respond promptly to issues and send replacements for broken bands or cracked screens.
  • Sleep stage tracking: The Fitbit Alta HR offers advanced sleep insights like records of the various sleep stages from light, deep and REM sleep. If you set a sleep goal, the app can recommend a personalized sleep schedule, too.

Cons:

  • Easily scratched screen: Fitbit screens are easily scratched, so you’ll want to invest in a clear, fitted sticker to keep the screen intact and readable.
  • Accuracy issues: Though Fitbit devices are usually fairly accurate at tracking sleep, if the user is a restless sleeper, the Fitbit may improperly categorize restless sleep as steps instead of sleep time.

Related:

Aura Connected alarm clock

One part stylish lamp, one part high-tech alarm clock and one part speaker, the Aura Connected alarm clock aims to help people fall asleep faster and wake up energized.

Combining light effects and synced music, the Aura shines a soothing light during bedtime. In the mornings, Aura gradually gets brighter to gently wake you up based on your own sleep schedule. Aura also features specialized nap programs, a temperature monitor and luminosity and sound-level sensors.

Pros:

  • Spotify and Nest compatibility: Aura has partnered with Spotify, so you can play customized sleep playlists and over 20,000 radio stations through Aura. The device is also compatible with Nest Learning Thermostats to help the temperature of a room automatically adjust based on optimal sleeping temperature settings.
  • Sleep sensor: An optional sleep sensor accessory syncs with Aura to track sleep duration, breathing cycle and heart rate.

Cons:

  • Confusing setup: Some users complain that setup is frustrating.
  • Limited Nap Periods: For those who enjoy long naps, Aura’s specialized nap function is limited. Naps can only be set at 10 or 20 minutes.

Related:

Sense Sleep Tracker

The Sense Sleep Tracker is a smart device that uses top smart tech to give you a comprehensive overview of your sleep cycles. The little orb features the voice-activation controls of an Amazon Echo, the learning functions of Nest and the detailed sleep tracking of a Fitbit.

Using a paired Sleep Pill device that clips to your pillow, Sense will track your sleep habits through movement and then calculate daily sleep scores. It can also play calming sleep sounds and measure environmental controls like temperature, light, noise and air quality.

Pros:

  • Simple controls: You can easily control Sense with your voice and tell Sense to set an alarm, play sleep sounds, provide a sleep report or quickly deactivate the device’s alarm by gently waving a hand over the unit.
  • Trend reports: Sense provides detailed sleep analyzation reports, available to view via the smartphone app. The graphs show sleep behavior, analyze how sleep patterns change and highlight environmental factors that could hurt sleep cycles.

Cons:

  • No snooze button: People that love a few minutes of extra sleep each morning might be disappointed with Sense because there’s no snooze feature.
  • Temperamental sensors: Some users complain the Sleep Pill doesn’t record accurate data when clipped on a pillowcase.

How are you sleeping at night? Are there any high-tech gadgets you’ve used to improve your sleep habits? Let us know in the comments.

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