Friday, 1 June 2012

Can Technology Help You Get A Better Night's Sleep?

| Friday, June 01, 2012 | |

According to a statement by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, up to 70 million people in the United States may have sleep disorders. Depending on the severity of the disorder, those affected by sleeping disorders may have their daily rest interrupted several times per night.
In addition to sleeping disorders, the quicker pace of life today can be another culprit which robs us of rest. And some of today's technology doesn't help; being able to take our personal devices everywhere can mean that they and our brains don't get turned off when it's time to rest.
The internet is a great resource to research this difficult, widespread issue.  You can check out these various solutions online to see which one makes the most sense for you.

Pharmaceutical Solutions

While there are many products available over the counter to help with sleeping disorders, there are also warnings. Some prescription sleep medications have been flagged by the FDA as having serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, unorthodox behavior while sleeping and even symptoms ranging from mild nausea to serious emergency room-worthy conditions.

Natural Solutions

Natural supplements form sleep issues are now available in almost every natural health store. Herbs like Valerian, Chamomile and Kava all have benefits which can result in a sound sleep. But using herbal supplementation also has its risks; as certain combinations can be deadly. In addition some herbs, while beneficial in the short term, can cause long-term damage to major organs such as the kidneys.

Technology and the Improvement Of Sleep Quality

Some sleep disorders require a night or two out of the home so that your sleep can be monitored. But did you also know that there are apps available which allow you to track your sleep from your smart phone?

Sleep Cycle and Sleep Bot Tracker

Each of these apps are available at one dollar and no cost, respectively. Both allow for the tracking of your movements during sleep by setting your phone's alarm, and then placing it under your pillow. There is some work required on your part, as you will have to use the information the apps record to discern what occurs during which phases of sleep you happen to be in. But they also provide information that can offer a great jump-off point to researching how you can sleep better.


If you deal with a partner who snores the night through or need some kind of background noise to help you fall asleep, SleepPhones could offer a solution. Instead of creating noise that can disturb the sleep of others, SleepPhones offer a way to eliminate outside noise. This product is actually a headband which includes earphones which are inserted through the inside. The cord for the earphones is directed to the back of the headband to ensure safe sleeping. SleepPhones can be plugged into an .mp3 player, iPad or any device which has a 3.5mm headphone jack.


Another gadget to help improve the quality of sleep is the WakeMate. This device wraps around the wrist and can be recharged via a USB connection. Data is collected by the wristband as you sleep, and can then be synced with your Blackberry, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or tablet when you awake. The WakeMate includes its own free app which will upload your sleep data. Simply create an account at the site, and then log in to view the detailed analysis you'll find there.

Choosing Your Sleep Tech

Which form of sleep technology you choose will depend on what you are most comfortable with, in addition to which sleep disorder you think you may have. Reading online reviews about products from those with the same symptoms you are experiencing can help you avoid paying for personal sleep technology that may not work for you.
Guest blogger Ruth Suelemente writes about a variety of technology-related topics, including how your high speed internet connection can be used to research all sorts of issues.

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