If you want to fall asleep, using your smartphone, tablet or laptop around bedtime is often thought to be a no-no. Not only is a scroll through Instagram apt to keep your mind ticking, the blue light emitted by digital devices can keep you up even after you’ve put the phone down.
But a ban on technology feels extreme for anyone who enjoys streaming an on-demand movie before bedtime — especially when a few tech-based tips can help you get a better night’s sleep:
Filter that blue light
Science found that the blue light emitted by electronic devices stimulates the brain and can delay sleep. Thankfully, most smartphones and tablets, plus Windows 10 laptops and Apple MacBooks have a ‘Night’ mode, found in the respective settings menus, which can automatically adjust the display to emit a warmer light at a particular time each evening. You can also download apps such as Blue Light Filter from your phone’s app store. And if your favorite bedtime ritual involves watching late-night television, fret not. The distance of the screen means that watching TV doesn’t affect sleep.
Ask your smart home speaker to play white noise
Drown out any sonic obstruction to a good night’s sleep by instructing your Amazon Echo or Google Home to “Play white noise.” White noise, which sounds fuzzy or staticky because it contains numerous frequencies, can mask other sounds, such as a neighbor’s TV or nearby traffic.
Sync your smart lights to sunlight
Light exposure can also affect your sleep, especially in the late evening, where the brightness of lightbulbs can delay that coveted drowsiness. So try out smart lightbulbs such as the Philips Hue system, which can sync with sunrise and sunset (as well as times of your choosing) to emit sleep-friendly ambient colors when it’s time to wind down, and a rejuvenating palette when it’s time to rise.
Tap for sleep-inducing scents
Certain scents can create that much needed relaxing pre-sleep environment. The smart Aroma-Care scent diffuser comes with capsules containing essential oils in combinations designed for “Sleep” or “Boost,” among others, and a smartphone app to control aroma release from that comfy bed.
Sleep with a smart alarm clock
A consistent sleep schedule can be the key to getting good shuteye. Along with a speaker that can stream your music playlists or a soothing nature soundtrack, the Kello smart clock offers breathing exercises timed to a pulsing light until you’re inhaling and exhaling at a sleep-friendly six breaths a minute. If you want to start waking up earlier, Kello will knock a few minutes off your morning alarm every day until you reach your goal. Alternately, the Withings Aura smart alarm includes a connected light that glows at different frequencies to encourage sleep or wakefulness, with an under-mattress activity sensor to help rouse you at the best time in your sleep cycle.
Naturally, blazing fast wall-to-wall Wi-Fi doesn’t hurt when it comes to making sure these smart gadgets are constantly connected and ready to help you drift into sweet, sweet slumber.