By Adrian Justins
There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. The global pandemic is having a deleterious effect on many people’s rest, with increased levels of anxiety taking their toll on our slumber, according to the Sleep Foundation in the US. Lockdowns, too, reduce our exposure to natural light and cues for wakefulness and sleep, which in turn affects our circadian rhythms.
Technology can help: we have rounded up five of the best gadgets designed to improve sleep duration and quality. There are benefits for bedfellows, too, including stopping snoring in its tracks.
This contemporary villa in Marbella, Spain, has five spacious bedrooms in which to sleep including the elegant en suite double pictured, which would happily accommodate the following sleep tech. The €4.2m property also has a one-bedroom staff suite.
HoMedics sound machine, £39.99
A bedside sound machine can help declutter the mind with sleep-inducing effects or white noise. The Deep Sleep Mini (also main picture, above) from HoMedics has three adjustable noise tones — white, pink (deeper sounds than white) and brown (even deeper than pink) — plus rain and storm sounds and a guided meditation. The machine can be set to run for 30, 60 or 90 minutes, or left on all night, in which case each effect will gently transition after 20 minutes to brown noise. A rechargeable battery offers up to 12 hours’ use on one charge.
Auping adjustable double bed, from £8,575
Netherlands-based Auping has been making beds for more than a century. The Royal, available from Rested, has five remotely controlled motors for ergonomically adjusting different zones of the bed — backrest, lower backrest, headrest, knee bend and foot lift — while a shoulder comfort zone automatically alters the mattress during sleep to maintain spinal alignment.
A smartphone app connects to the bed and can react to the sound of snoring by triggering a change in the mattress’s angle (in order to open the sleeper’s airways) or it can initiate a gentle nudge to encourage the snorer to move on to their side. Auping mattresses are also available, in four lengths – 1.9m, 2.0m, 2.1m and 2.2m.
Philips Hue body clock light, £99.99
The stylish, dimmable Iris lamp from Philips Hue combines a metallic inner tube with a transparent bowl. With 16 million colour options, the light’s brightness and hue can be programmed using a Bluetooth-connected app to help you drift off to sleep. A diffuse light that mimics the sunrise can also be set to come on in the morning to gradually wake you up. The lamp is currently available in limited edition copper, silver, gold and rosé finishes.
Using the optional Hue Bridge, priced at £49.99, allows the Iris to be integrated into a smart home system with the potential to automatically open curtains or blinds at your waking hour.
Dreampad pillow, $149
One downside of a sound machine is that it may not be to the liking of everyone in the room. The Dreampad Medium pillow features a built-in audio system called Intrasound, which uses bone-conduction technology so that only the person using it can hear the sound. The system works by converting sound waves into gentle vibrations that signal the nervous system to relax.
Power for the “speaker” comes from an amplifier that sticks out from the side of the pillow and connects by Bluetooth or cable to a phone. An accompanying app has 10 calming soundtracks including classical recordings, the sounds of waves crashing on a shore and pink noise, all intended to induce sleep.
Eight Sleep mattress, from $2,945
The queen-size Pod Pro foam mattress helps to banish overheating or coldness in the night by pumping heated or cooled water through the mattress. Using an app, the water temperature on each side of the bed can be set separately at between 13C and 43C. Multiple sensors in the mattress result in adjustments according to the room temperature, humidity and the local climate.
Other sensors track sleep, while the app can suggest the best temperature for the different occupants of the bed by analysing respiration and heart rate. Sleepers can be woken gradually and separately by gentle vibrations and changes in temperature.
Property photograph: Christie's International Real Estate