Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sleep Tech - Using technology to improve sleep

Sleep is always a big topic. We all know we need it, but we often don't get enough of it. We always see time and time again that top performers get a lot of sleep whether it's in athletics or in life. I will show you some of the things I use to get more sleep.

Let's start with our phones. I am currently using the iPhone 7 Plus so it features some built-in sleep enhancing tools. First, it offers a bedtime feature which will let you know what time you need to get to bed (and remind you) to get a user selected amount of sleep. I like a good amount of sleep, so I chose 9 hours. This also encourages you to get up at the same time each day which can improve the quality of your sleep. I have found this to be a very useful feature and have been using it on weeknights for a long time. The next feature it offers is night shift.  This gives your phone warmer colors for a couple hours before bedtime, because white light is supposed to make you less sleepy. There is still no proof that this works, but it's a nice feature and I feel like the warm colors are easier on my eyes.

As far as tracking your sleep goes there are a number of options. One great option is just using the built-in tracking feature that tells you how long you slept when using the bedtime feature. Other better options include the Under Armour Band or the Fitbit Sleep Band + a FitBit. These are great options, but you have to wear them and they are quite expensive. They do let you track your sleep quality which can be very useful when trying to adjust your sleep. If you don't like wearing a wristband the Beddit3 sleep tracker could be a great option although they are frequently sold out lately. The Beddit3 is simply a pad that you place under your sheet and can track the quality of your sleep as well as the temperature of your room. It is one of the more expensive choices though.

The next important thing is the climate of your bedroom. I use a weather station to track the climate in my room and if its dry I use a humidifier. I also keep an air purifier going at night which drowns out noise while keeping the air clean. Temperature is a much harder thing to control since most of us are bound by our central air system and it can be impractical to get an air conditioner for a bedroom. Although if you have an Ecobee3 it can help to place a sensor in your bedroom, but I am not sure what kind of an impact that would have on your heating and cooling bills.

Check out my post on my TV.

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