The best sleep gadgets: Nine innovative ways to improve sleep

From sleep sound mixers to weighted sleep masks and sunrise body clocks, we've got the best sleep gadgets to help you drift off

Photo of a woman sleeping on a bench in a museum

by Emily Farquhar |

We all know what a good night’s sleep can do to us. Our productivity improves, energy levels rise, and our mood almost does a 360-degree twist. We say fewer nos and our to-do lists halve by the hour.

But it isn’t just our mental health and positive attitude that reels in all the benefits. Our metabolism has been found to fasten, our chances of getting heart disease and inflammation lessens, and we build a much stronger immune system because of it.

As we celebrate World Sleep Day (19 March), we're encouraged to find ways to achieve regular sleep. It's one of the main pillars of our health – mentally and physically – and prepares us for a healthier future.

How to get a better night's sleep

There are many ways people like to reduce stress and to set themselves up for a decent night’s sleep. Aromatherapy for one is a great way people are able to de-stress with essential oils and diffusers, aromatherapy candles, and calming products for around the house.

Now more than ever, after sustaining ourselves through a global pandemic, sleep has become one of our most precious commodities. Three lockdowns have taken a big toll on many and saw a spike in stress levels with a whole lot to juggle in everyday life.

If you are finding it hard to lower your stress levels and switch off before bedtime, here are nine innovative ways you can take control of your night’s sleep and make it your top priority.

Related: The best weighted blankets for a great night's sleep

What the experts say about improving sleep

"For some constant worrying may make it hard to fall asleep, while low mood and depression will see others sleep too much," explains consultant neuropsychiatrist, and medical director of the London Sleep Centre, doctor Irshaad Ebrahim.

"Prolonged periods indoors especially in the winter, means lower levels of natural light which can throw off our circadian rhythm, disrupting our natural sleep patterns. And a totally altered schedule or no schedule at all will also affect the quality and duration of our sleep."

Related: The best bed sheets for a perfect night’s sleep

This of course doesn’t include our increased screen time, 24-7 childcare patrol and homeschooling. Not to mention, a few extra bottles of wine and virtual TV exercise (from the comfort of our own couches) to get us through this absolute pile of mess (we mean stress).

"When we sleep our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in. This is the function responsible for stimulating digestion, activating metabolism, and helping the body relax."

Doctor Ebrahim continues: "However, stress leads to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, better known as our fight or flight response – which causes an increased state of arousal. As a result of this heightened arousal, sleep disruption and insomnia ensue and this can lead to a vicious cycle of chronic sleep issues."

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