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10 Gadgets to Help You Sleep Better

In last week’s Ultimate Guide to Sleeping Better and Waking Up Easier, we briefly mentioned sleeping gadgets such as Clocky to help people sleep or wake up better. After seeing the response I decided to follow up with a list of the top 10 sleep-related gadgets to buy. All of these products are on the shelf, so no concept design products, however cool they may be, made it onto this list.
  1. Clocky: The Alarm Clock on Wheels - For those of you who who are constantly tempted by the snooze button, it’s time to try something new. Clocky is an alarm clock that runs away from you when it goes off, so you have to get up to catch it. Although potentially very annoying, it is no doubt effective at waking you up in the morning! Clocky can take up to a three-foot jump off your bedstand, and will proceed to run around your room wildly, knocking things over and chirping loudly at an affordable $30.
  2. SleepTracker Pro - Picked as one of the best inventions of 2005, the SleepTracker is a device that monitors your sleep cycle via accelerometers inside a watch which you wear when you go to sleep. You can set a window of time during which you want to wake up in, and it will decide based on your sleep pattern when is the perfect time to wake you up feeling fresh. You know when you sometimes wake up and you are completely disoriented and confused? That is likely because you were woken up during deep REM sleep. The SleepTracker monitors your sleeping patterns and, if possible, wakes you up during light, non-REM sleep, so you wake up easily and refreshed. You can also plug the watch into your computer and download sleep data into the Sleeptracker software, which is a great way to keep track of your sleep patterns over time. I am the proud owner of a SleepTracker, and I can vouch for it’s effectiveness, as long as you give it a long enough window of time to decide when to wake you. It can even be set to vibrate before it rings, so you don’t have to wake up to a chirping clock every morning, but rather you are nudged awake by gentle vibrations!
  1. Sleep Cycle iPhone App - If you don’t want to dish out $175 for a watch, there’s an app for that. If you are an iPhone user, you can get the Sleep Cycle app through iTunes for $0.99, which replicates the features of the SleepTracker. It even shows you your sleep graphs on the device. Unfortunately it will be inherently less effective, as the iPhone is placed on the corner of your mattress and detects vibrations through it’s accelerometer, while the SleepTracker sits right on your wrist, allowing it to pickup much more minute movements.
  2. AXBO Sleep Phase Alarm Clock - Although less affordable than other options on this list at $300, the AXBO alarm clock has a similar premise to the SleepTracker and Sleep Cycle app, but with some interesting features. The actual device is an alarm clock which communicates with fabric wristbands that the user wears. The wristband contains a vibrating mechanism and an accelerometer, so it relays your sleep information to the alarm clock. The AXBO will wake you up within 30 minutes of your set alarm via the vibrating wristbands, and the alarm will go off when you set it if you haven’t woken up yet. It comes with two wristbands, and the clock will support two users at a time, so you can both be woken up at different times using this product.
  3. Chillow Comfort Pillow - Everyone knows that there is nothing better than a cold pillow, and nothing more annoying than a hot, humid pillow. If you find yourself flipping your pillow three or four times before you can fall asleep, the Chillow is for you. The Chillow is a pillow insert that slips inside your pillow case and keeps the top of your pillow cold, while still conformable, using soft thermal gel and memory foam.
  4. Bed Fan - Another comfort device for someone who gets too hot in bed, the Bed Fan sits at the foot of your bed and streams cool air up through your sleeps to keep you cool at night.
  5. Pzizz Sleep Software - If you have trouble falling asleep, Pzizz generates an iTunes track with soothing sounds and voice that are scientifically-proven to usher you towards a restful state. They also have a great student discount, where you can get all their software for $20.
  6. Light Timer - For the true DIYer, a simple light timer can be used to turn on lights in your room a couple minutes before you wake up, easing you into consciousness.
  7. Philips Wake-up Light - If you’ve read our Ultimate Guide to Sleeping Better and Waking Up Easier, you know that light and sound stimuli cause us to naturally wake up. If your looking for a good way to implement both, look no further than the Philips Wake-up Light with iPod Dock! You just plug in your ipod into the dock and set the alarm before you go to sleep. As your alarm time approaches, the light begins to glow brighter and brighter, and a minute before your alarm goes off, one of four gentle wakeup sounds, among them forest and bird sounds, will begin to play, increasing in volume over a minute and a half until your alarm goes off.  No matter what time you are waking up, you can feel like you’ve slept in on a Sunday!
  8. Zeo Sleep Coach - A fairly new product on the sleep gadget market, Zeo Sleep Coach focuses on tracking your sleep patterns in detail, but not on waking you up according to them. Zeo has a particularly attractive web interface, so for those who want detailed and thorough sleep records, Zeo is the way to go.