Forget counting sheep and download the app.
Tired of valerian root, warm milk and heaven-help-you Scotch as insomnia remedies? If so, you’re not alone. A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that 48% of Americans report occasional insomnia while 22% suffer from it “every or almost every night.”
Interestingly, they also found that women are 1.3 times more likely to suffer from insomnia than men, and those over 65 are one-and-a-half times more likely to have issues sleeping. We all know a lack of shut-eye can adversely affect your health, so how can we combat a restless nights sleep? Here are five sleeping aids that use the latest tech to encourage shut-eye.
1) Glo To Sleep A sleep-therapy mask with cupped eye covers is ingeniously simple and hypnotically effective. Just hold the mask up to a light source to activate glowing blue bars inside. Slip on the mask, gaze up at the lights meant to calm active Beta brain waves, then feel yourself getting drowsy. ($39.99, with a ninety-day money back guarantee)
2) Relax and Sleep Clinical hypnotherapist Glenn Harrold developed this free iPhone and Android app which is basically at 27-minute guided meditation app with your choice of music. That’s Harrold’s soothing voice saying affirmations, which echo from ear-to-ear to really chill you out.
3) Long Deep Breathing is a 99-cent iPhone app that guides you through sets of breathing exercises—the idea is that filling your lungs with air stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (inducing a relaxed state in your body) and releases endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers).
4) The Sleep Bracelet Prestige watchmaker Philip Stein claims that harnessing the earth’s natural frequencies can induce natural relaxation. The brand’s sleep bracelets (from $395 to $425) are meant to put on a half-hour before turning in, with results noticeable after a month.
5) Pzizz Sleep This free, clever app for iPhone and Andrios plays relaxing music for a set amount of time to lull you to sleep—and its unique algorithm promises you’ll never get the same music mix twice, so your body won’t learn to tune it out and return to its addled, insomnia-producing preoccupatons.
The big question is, do devices like this actually work? Hypnotherapist Andrea A. Squibb, who works with clients at Passages Rehabilitation Center in Malibu, California believe they have merit. “Relaxing sound applications like the ocean can be helpful, particularly if they help block other intrusive noises like dogs barking or your partner snoring,” she says. “Additionally, focusing on your body, such as your breathing, can help distract an active mind, which could also be useful.”