Sleepless in the City: Tech for the Perfect Snooze
You’re in your snuggly bed, covered in the softest sheets. You’re getting verrrryyyyy sleeepy… Until a car drives by with its bass blaring. And your neighbor’s dog starts barking. And a raccoon hits the trashcan jackpot outside your window.
City living is full of life—and high-volume distractions. If they’ve been cutting into your slumber, it’s time to fight back. We’ve picked out our favorite sleep apps and gadgets for a better night’s sleep, no matter what kind of shenanigans your surroundings throw your way.
Bringing your phone to bed isn’t usually soporific—unless you’re using sleep apps, that is. Turn to Sleep Genius to track your sleep patterns, program the best times to fall asleep and wake up, and set a gradual alarm that’ll help you awake refreshed. If you need some extra soothing at night, there’s also Pzizz, which generates relaxing “soundtracks” that’ll help lull you to sleep.
Apps aside, sleep experts warn against late-night phone use, as the blue-hued light of your screen can disrupt melatonin production (and your precious Zzzs). But if you just gotta check your emails before bed, try this iOS trick: Turn on Apple’s new Night Shift mode, which changes your display colors to warmer, more relaxing tones.
Still sleeping on a futon every night? If you’re not feeling well-rested, your mattress could definitely be the culprit. Which means…dun dun dun. Mattress shopping time.
The good news is that start-ups are transforming mattress shopping, making it much less of a hassle than it used to be. Casper is one of the most popular options, thanks to its comfy memory foam, straight-to-your-door delivery in a box, and 100-day trial period.
Once you’ve got your mattress updated, on to the pillows. If you’re the kind of pillow-flipper who’s always looking for the elusive cool side, might we recommend the Chillow? This guy stays cool all night, making it ideal for sweltering summer evenings.
And pillow technology only gets more intense from there. The Dreampad is a pillow that soothes you to sleep by playing music only you can hear. No joke: the pillow produces music and vibrations, which are conducted by your bones into your inner ear, all without headphones—and without waking up the person next to you. Science like this is no longer the stuff of dreams.
THE EYE MASK
Ever tried to train yourself to lucid dream, without much success? What if the only thing standing in your way was an eye mask (or lack thereof)? The Remee Sleep Mask purports to encourage lucid dreaming by way of gentle LED lights. Light patterns change depending on your REM cycle, and your dreams should be all the more vivid as a result. Then there’s the Glo to Sleep, a “therapy mask” that lulls you to sleep by way of a luminous blue glow. Who woulda thought that more light was a solution for sleeplessness?
Sleep technology has never been better, and we’re obsessing over all kinds of sleepytime gadgets. Like the Sense by Hello, which looks like a bedside bouncy ball, but monitors and tracks your sleep cycles, wakes you up in the morning when it senses you’re sleeping lightly, and produces white noise to drown out annoying sounds. (About that raccoon…)
Sleep tech extends to alarms, too (shudder). If you don’t want to give up your blackout curtains but like the idea of rising naturally, the Philips Hue light (in combination with the Sunn system) mimics sunrise by slowly brightening in the morning, keeping your circadian rhythms on point—and preventing morning crabbiness.
And if all else fails, you could just invest in a Smarter coffee alarm, which brews coffee on its own for whatever time you set, and even keeps it warm if you decide to hit snooze. What a time to be alive. Take it away, sandman!