A lot of my physical therapy clients not only struggle with pain and injury but also with sleep. And sadly, they are not alone. Insomnia is thought to affect as much as 30-35% of the population worldwide, where adults are not getting the recommended 7 or more hours of restorative sleep per night to maintain health and wellbeing.
A few times each month, as much as 30% of people have difficulty falling and staying asleep, and approximately 6% of people experience insomnia almost every night.
So what can we do to improve the quality and quantity of our sleep?
This article shares some of the latest tech and gadgets that aim to help you and your family fall asleep and maintain your sleep.
We include tech like white noise apps, white noise machines, earphones, and even a sleep robot, all designed to help you improve your sleep and help you get that recommended 7+ hours of sleep each day.
There are many reasons why you may not be getting a good night’s sleep
You may be experiencing more stress than usual, or your mind is perhaps more active at night, so keeping you awake.
There may also be some external factors affecting your sleep, such as indoor or outdoor noise from neighbors, traffic, or wildlife!!
What’s important is to identify why you or your family member aren’t sleeping well and then choose a product or technique that specifically helps with that issue.
That’s why we’ve divided the sleep tech into 4 sections to help you choose the right sleep product for you:
- Apps to help you sleep.
- White noise Apps.
- Sleep gadgets with Apps.
- Sleep gadgets with Apps designed for babies and children.
Apps to help you sleep
Sleep by Headspace
Headspace is a meditation and sleep app which has a collection of relaxing sleep casts, music, and sounds to help you sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep or problems with your sleep cycle, this app can help you learn meditation and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and help you to sleep restfully.
So if you’re one of those people whose mind races with thoughts at night, this app might help you learn how to rest your body AND mind.
Headscape sleep offerings include:
- 50-minute story-based sleep casts to help you slow down and fall asleep.
- Short guided meditation wind-downs focus on breathing techniques to help calm the mind and body and initiate sleep.
- 10-minute nighttime SOS sessions to help you fall asleep after a nightmare or other sleep disturbance.
- Sleep music and soundscapes featuring sounds that help you fall and maintain sleep.
- A 30-day sleep course to help you change your relationship with sleep and create an environment conducive to a good night’s sleep.
Cost of Headspace app
While Headspace offers a basic pack for free, you need to subscribe to get access to most of its features, including Sleep by Headspace.
There is a one or two-week free trial on its annual or monthly plan options. Once the trial ends, you can currently subscribe annually for about $70 or monthly at $13.
- The free version of the app, the basics pack, helps users understand and use basic meditation and mindfulness.
- The Headspace subscription allows you to access the full Headspace library, including courses and hundreds of meditations, mindfulness training, and calm, breathing exercises.
If you want to try it out and not subscribe, remember to cancel at least 1 day before your trial ends to avoid being charged for a subscription.
Calm – Meditation and Sleep App
This app has stories, music, and meditations designed to help you relax and fall asleep.
You can choose different meditation sessions between 3 and 25 minutes and different programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced users.
There are also sleep stories and music suitable for children.
Calm’s sleep offerings include:
- Sleep Stories, for both adults and kids, that work to calm the mind, relax the body, and help you drift off to sleep. These stories are presented by well-known celebrities, musicians, authors, and others.
- Sleep Meditations and breathing techniques to relax and guide your mind into a sleep state.
- Peaceful sleep music to wind your day down, including ambient sounds, nature melodies, lullabies, popular hits, and classical standards.
- Soundscapes featuring over 30 nature sounds and images to help you meditate or to help you sleep.
You can also download your sleep session onto your mobile device for offline use.
Cost of Calm app
While the app is free to install, most of its features aren’t available without a subscription.
Calm offers a free week trial, after which you’ll need to subscribe for $70 a year or $15 a month. There’s also a lifetime membership at $400.
If you want to try it out and not subscribe, remember to cancel at least 1 day before your trial ends to avoid being charged for a subscription.
If you want to see some data on how you are sleeping, the SleepScore app can measure how you slept by using your phone’s speakers to monitor your body’s movements and breathing rate.
It is a non-contact sleep monitor, so you do not need a wearable to capture sleep data; you only need your mobile phone.
Using your smartphone’s speakers, the app sends inaudible sound waves, which reflect off your sleeping body and return into the microphone.
An algorithm is then used to interpret the shape and movement of the reflected sound waves.
The combination of these signals is used to determine which sleep stages you are in (awake, light sleep, deep sleep, or REM), the number of times you wake up, and the time it takes you to fall asleep.
SleepScore app features
- A daily SleepScore rated from 0–100 along with analysis showing your unique sleep patterns including light, deep, REM, and time awake.
- A SleepScore checkup reviews your daily sleep data and detects if that data shows signs of a sleep disorder.
- Sleep history so you can compare your day’s sleep. Free plans offer 7-days of history, while paid plans offer full history.
- Sleep sounds to help you fall asleep.
- A smart alarm clock designed to gently wake you at the ideal time in your sleep cycle.
- Simple ways to improve each of the 4 sleep stages.
- Personalized, science-based advice from sleep experts and goal recommendations using your sleep patterns (premium feature.)
- Ability to share your comprehensive sleep report with your doctor (premium feature.)
- Sleep data visualizations showcase and chart your unique sleep patterns, including light, deep, REM, and time awake (premium feature.)
SleepScore is designed to help you to learn how your lifestyle choices impact your sleep. You are given suggestions on improving each part of your sleep cycle so you can wake up feeling rested.
Cost of SleepScore
The app offers both free and monthly or yearly subscription premium plans, at $8/month or $50/year with a week free trial.
It’s free to see how you slept, but you have to pay for any insights, recommendations, and reports on how to improve your sleep pattern.
Noise and sound apps to help you sleep
White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds App
White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds app is designed to help adults and babies fall asleep. The app acts as a noise machine using soothing and relaxing sounds to mask the disrupting and unwanted noises in your sleeping environment.
The app includes over 25 customizable white noise and deep sleep sounds, from an air conditioner to a Tibetan singing bowl.
For babies, this app helps sleep by providing “whooshy” noises that replicate the sounds heard inside the womb.
Sounds play for 8 hours with the free version, and the last sound played starts again when you re-enter the app.
Cost of White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds
This app is free with ads and in-app purchases. They also offer premium plans by week at $2, a month at $6, a year for $40, and a family sharing plan for $60 that allows up to five people. Each plan comes with a one-week free trial.
With a premium plan, you get continuous play, can create your own mixes of music and sounds, and get access to additional animal and nature sounds as well as lullabies, classical, and relaxing music.
The myNoise app is another app that acts as a noise machine, helping your mind block unwanted sounds by playing a different sound at closer proximity.
The app has over 200 sounds plus customizable soundscapes. It has both natural white noise sounds and calibrated sounds, including fan noise, waterfalls, thunder, fireplace, and rain.
The app also allows users to adjust to 10 frequencies of their chosen sound to better suit their particular environment and preferences.
A unique feature of myNoise is a calibration feature.
- With calibrated listening, you can fine-tune any of the app’s noises to your own hearing profile and audio equipment.
- With noise blocking, you can adjust the app’s sound to better mask unwanted noises.
Cost of myNoise
While myNoise offers a free version of its app, it’s quite limited.
With a $10 one-time purchase of the All You Can Hear Bundle, you get unlimited access to over 200 sounds and soundscapes with regular updates for even more content.
Sleep gadgets with apps
SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine
Although apps are a great option to help us to fall and stay asleep, our phone’s microphones are limited by their speaker’s fidelity.
So if you want better quality sound or are unhappy with the sound coming out of your phone, you might consider purchasing a sleep gadget like the SNOOZ with speakers capable of producing full-spectrum sound.
Inside SNOOZ is a mechanical fan that spins to generate a peaceful white noise sound to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. And it’s very portable, so take it wherever you go.
The fan does not generate cold air, so no more sore throats! Plus, this device uses 98% less energy than your standard box fan.
Place SNOOZ away from your bed to allow the room to fill with your chosen sound, and your device instantly plays a full-spectrum sound, closer to nature’s own, that’s random and never loops.
SNOOZ has a range of tones that can be adjusted by twisting the outer shell. The sound has differing intensities from a light ‘table fan’ sound to a ‘deep fan’ drone as in an airplane cabin.
Volume can be adjusted with up/down buttons on the device and also with the Snooz app. However, you do not need to app to use this device!
The Snooz app offers some additional features like setting up an automatic schedule with timers to fade in for bedtime and fade out when awaking. And with the app, you can turn on dark mode to turn off all the device’s lights to distract you from sleep.
Currently, the SNOOZ costs about $80.
- Peaceful, non-looping white noise from a real fan (without the cold air)
- Travel friendly, portable design
Withings Sleep Tracking Mat
If you don’t want to use your phone or wear a watch or tracker overnight to gain insight into your sleep habits, behavior, and patterns, the Withings Sleep tracking mat is for you!
There’s nothing to wear when you use the Withings sleep tracking mat.
The sleep mat slips right under your mattress (between the mattress and box spring) and contains sensors that measure respiratory rate, heart rate (using ballistocardiography- mechanical vibrations), and body movements.
Withings Sleep tracking mat sends its data via WiFi syncing to the Withing’s companion app, Health Mate, which then analyzes and tracks your sleep metrics.
Plus, you get a daily sleep score and review your sleep behavior, such as sleep stages (deep, light, and REM), heart rate, and snoring. Along with your score, you’ll see insights and recommendations on how to improve your sleep.
Additionally, the mat has a sound sensor that, along with the app, measures any snoring or cessation and interruptions of breathing to help you uncover any potential breathing disturbances.
You also get the following when using the mat and its companion app:
- Optional 8-week sleep coaching program.
- Share your sleep data with healthcare professionals.
- Syncs to Apple’s Health app.
- Works with 100+ health & fitness apps, including Strava and MyFitnessPal.
You can even set up other features like automatically turning off the lights or reducing the room temperature when it’s bedtime using the Sleep Mat and the Withings Health Mate app.
Currently, the Withings Sleep Tracking Mat costs around $100.
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SleepScore Max device
If you love using the SleepScore app but would rather not use your phone overnight, then you’ll likely love the SleepScore Max!
Plus, the SleepScore Max is completely non-contact.
For those who don’t want to wear anything to bed or put anything under their mattress, the SleepScore Max allows you to get robust sleep data using a small device placed on your bedside table.
Inside the SleepScore Max, a sensor measures both the quality and quantity of your sleep.
The device works by sending inaudible sound waves that bounce off your sleeping body. The SleepScore Max app then uses its algorithm to interpret the shape and movement of those reflected sound waves and presents this data as sleep quality scores.
Using the free app (purchase of SleepScore Max required to use its companion app), you see not only your score but also a detailed sleep analysis on your sleep cycle (light, deep, & REM sleep,) sleep insights, and practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
You also get the following when using the SleepScore Max and its companion app:
- Share a comprehensive sleep report with your doctor and healthcare team.
- Compare your nightly sleep to people your age and gender.
In clinical studies, the SleepScore Max provided the most accurate sleep tracking, other than clinical sleep analysis. SleepScore has been validated in over 12 clinical studies, comparing it against lab-based Polysomnography (PSG), the gold standard of sleep measurement.
At this time, the SleepScore Max is priced at around $150.
- SleepScore Max sensor + FREE companion smart phone app required. No subscription needed.
- Features SleepScore by ResMed technology built on 12 years of research
iSense Smart adjustable pillow
Not getting good sleep and think your pillow is to blame? Look no further than the iSense smart pillow. It’s completely customizable so that you can personalize it just for you and your sleeping comfort.
Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, the pillow also has a cooling breathable band to encourage airflow through the pillow.
This smart pillow is designed to conform to your sleeping position and works whether you are a side, back, or stomach sleeper. Plus, you can even add or remove the stuffing easily to suit your preference.
It has a built-in rechargeable sensor that’s tucked away inside the pillow and connects to the Sleepace app. The sensor tracks your heart rate, respiratory rate, sleep cycles, and the number of times you turn over and sends this data to the app.
The app allows you to review your sleep-related data and includes insights into improving your sleep quality and sleep habits.
Currently, the iSense Smart Sleep pillow costs about $170.
- Remove/add foam to adjust height for ideal spine alignment and comfort
- Premium Dacron Aqua fiberfill cover to allow for quick moisture absorbency
Somnox Sleep Robot
Although the Somnox Sleep Robot looks like a soft cushion, it is actually more like a relaxation buddy.
You hold the robot while you are in bed, and it makes sounds and movements that mimic human breathing, which helps you practice relaxation breathing techniques and fall asleep.
When you feel the robot’s breathing rhythm, you subconsciously adapt your own breathing to it. You can even physically feel the Sleep Robot breathing.
The Sleep Robot also has sensors that detect your breathing rate, so it creates a breathing pace synchronized to yours. As it gradually reduces its breathing pace, your breathing slows down and follows suit.
At your side, the Somnox Sleep Robot can last about 4 hours before needing recharging. And it works for naps as well as overnights or regular sleeping with 3 different sleeping programs available.
The Sleep Robot can also play soothing sounds, nature sounds, and white or pink noise sounds. These sounds can enhance the calming effect of the Sleep Robot.
Using the companion app on your smartphone, the Sleep Robot can be fully personalized.
At the time of this writing, the Somnox Sleep Robot is priced around $500.
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Hatch Rest or Restore
Help everyone in your family, including adults and kids, fall asleep and stay asleep using one of Hatch’s innovative sleep devices.
Hatch Rest and Hatch Restore are bedside multifunctional sleep sound machines that offer features such as a smart light, sleep sounds, sunrise alarm, meditations, an alarm clock, and even a 2-way baby monitor (on the Rest+.)
You can choose and change sleep sounds, light hues, and the order of your sleep routine to learn which combinations bring you or your child the most restful sleep.
Waking up is helped along with Hatch’s Time to Rise (for kids), or Sunrise Alarm (for adults) feature that works by mimicking natural dawn, moving from red to orange to white light before playing your chosen alarm sounds. This gradual exposure to light cues your body to wake naturally.
6 months of Hatch Sleep app is free with the purchase of the Hatch store device; after 6 months, a subscription is required. Hatch offers an auto-renewing yearly subscription at about $50 per year.
You can use the app to control when the Hatch turns on and off and change the light’s color, brightness, and soundscapes from the app on your phone. However, a Hatch device can be used with or without the app, and there are control buttons on the device.
Costs for Hatch’s Rest or Restore models run less than $100.
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Amazfit ZenBuds are light and comfortable earbuds that are also smart and offer noise-masking earbuds to reduce and mask any distracting and unwanted sounds in your environment.
The ZenBuds play soothing sounds, like crashing waves, to help you to relax and fall asleep. Plus, you won’t have the sound playing in your ears all night as they turn off automatically once the Buds detect you are sleeping.
And if you wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep, continue playing sound on your ZenBuds to lull you back to sleep.
For those that move around a lot during sleep, these earbuds stay in place all night and don’t fall out, even when you change your sleeping position. ZenBuds also comes with differently-sized stretchy silicone ear tips to fit all sizes, from small to large.
ZenBuds also offers smart sleep monitoring that tracks and analyses your sleep quality each night, helping you to improve your sleep habits using Amazfit’s Zepp app.
With the Zepp app, you can transfer sounds to your ZenBuds, set up playtime or turn on the automatic sleep-detection feature, create a wake-up alarm, and of course, review your sleep report.
Plus, the battery lasts between 8-12 hours when fully charged. So if you use the automatic sleep detection feature that shuts off playing sounds when it detects you are sleeping, these Buds can last a few days to a week on a single charge.
At this time, Amazfit ZenBuds cost about $150.
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Bose Sleepbuds II
Unlike Bose’s other earbud and headphone offerings, Bose’s Sleepbuds don’t stream music or podcasts. Instead, the Sleepbuds uses Bose noise-masking technology to block out any distracting sounds while playing relaxing sounds to help you fall and stay asleep.
Like rain or waterfall sounds, these calming sounds are optimized with the right mix of frequencies to make unwanted noise less perceptible to your brain.
The Sleepbuds connect to Bose’s Sleep app, which comes with a sounds library to choose the best sleeping sounds for you.
A single charge lasts on average 10 hours.
Currently, the Bose Sleepbuds II costs around $250.
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Sleep gadgets for babies and children (and their parents)
Lumi smart sleep system (for babies) by pampers
Have a new baby in the house and want to track things like sleep or even get a notification on your phone when your baby needs changing or wakes up? Parents know that putting babies to sleep is a challenge, so this technology is here to help!
Enter Pamper’s Lumi Smart Sleep System, designed for parents with babies from birth to 16 months of age.
Lumi’s sensor does not contact your baby’s skin. Rather, it securely attaches to the outside of your baby’s Lumi branded diaper to track your baby’s sleep patterns and if that diaper is wet.
The Lumi app then sends you notifications and alerts about your baby’s sleep and when the sensor detects moisture. You also get insights into your baby’s sleeping patterns along with advice and coaching videos on improving your baby’s sleep health and sleep schedule.
Lumi by Pampers currently costs about $130.
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If you toddlers and younger children have a hard time getting to sleep and/or staying asleep, gadgets like LectroFan’s Kinder might help both your children and you, the parents!
LectroFan Kinder is a portable sound machine with a companion app that they designed especially for children. The device features soundscapes like white noise, nature sounds, fan noise, and lullabies. There are over 70 sounds to choose from!
This small sound machine masks any unwanted environmental noise with continuous gentle high fidelity, and non-looping sounds.
Along with a soothing nightlight that displays a rainbow of soft colors, the calming sounds and light create a more relaxing environment to promote deeper, more restful sleep for your child.
You can control it all, including the light and the sound, with their easy-to-use smartphone LectroFan Kinder Bedtime Buddy app. So, no more waking up the baby or child to change its settings or turn it off.
Plus, it plugs directly into the outlet, so no cords or chargers to worry about, making it super easy to travel with or move from room to room.
It also has a rechargeable battery built-in, so you don’t even have to plug it in every day. And the battery lasts about 40 hours before needing recharging.
Currently, the LectroFan Kinder costs just about $40.
- Plugs directly into a wall outlet, with no cord to get in the way
- Designed to promote deeper, more restful sleep for your infant or toddler
Check this latest sleep tech for babies, coming soon
The Ainenne Nightlight and Sleep Trainer (for babies) lamp aims to help babies sleep on a schedule that’s natural to a baby’s circadian rhythm while at the same time helping parents cope with the stress of nighttime crying.
The device collects data each time you press buttons on the lamp to record when your child goes to bed, the time they fall asleep, and the time they wake up.
Using a predictive algorithm, Ainenne provides parents and caregivers recommendations via its smartphone app on when best to wake up your baby, why your baby is currently crying, and how to improve your baby’s sleeping patterns.
Ainenne is currently in production with price TBD, with the company planning to start sales in Japan sometime in 2021.
I hope this article has helped you decide on the best sleep gadget or app to help you and your family sleep well.
If you have any more questions or anything to add, please feel free to let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section below!
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Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API