How Tech Is Trying To Solve The Sleeplessness Epidemic It Helped Create

From smartphones and tablets to laptops and computer monitors, the presence of screens in our daily lives (including the one you’re reading this article on) continues to grow. As useful as screens are for communication, entertainment and productivity, the effects of prolonged screen gazing can have a negative impact on sleep, leading to increased stress, anxiety and morning grogginess. Specifically, nighttime exposure to blue light, a wavelength our bodies associate with daylight hours, throws our biological clock for a loop and tricks our circadian rhythm into thinking it’s day, hindering our ability to get shuteye.

The good news is that, despite the prevalence of blue light-emitting screens in our lives, a good night’s sleep is still possible. There are glasses that screen out blue light and screen protectors that double as blue light shields for your smartphones and tablets. We teamed up with Engadget to showcase the best gadgets for conquering tech-induced insomnia once and for all.

Throwing shade at the problem

Used by professional gamers and office workers alike, Gunnar glasses feature special amber lenses that block harsh blue light and reduce eye strain when using digital screens, an ailment that affects up to 224 million Americans each year, according to Gunnar.

Thanks to their compact form factor and ease of use, Gunnar glasses are great for road warriors and those who use many different devices every day. And if you’re bespectacled, no need to fret — Gunnar lets you customize the glasses to fit your prescription.

Solving the issue from within

One interesting approach to curb exposure to blue light, and consequently insomnia, is by turning to software. There are several apps for computers, tablets and other mobile devices that take advantage of the display settings to change the color temperature of the screen to better accommodate the user’s circadian rhythm.

During daytime, your screen will likely appear the same, but as the day goes by, the color temperature of the display will gradually get “warmer,” reducing the amount of blue light that is used to illuminate the screen and making it easier on your eyes. We recommend f.lux for desktop and laptop users, Twilight for Android smartphones and tablets, and Night Shift for iOS users.

The sleep mask gets an upgrade

While sleep masks have been around for decades, they have somehow managed to avoid becoming “smartified” unlike beds and ear plugs. That is until the arrival of illumy by GloToSleep, a smart sleep mask that uses gently dimming lights to relax and lull users to sleep. What’s more, the illumy sleep mask also doubles as an alarm clock by producing pulsating flashes of increased brightness to rouse heavy sleepers from their slumber.

Thanks to its compact form factor and accompanying travel case, the illumy eye mask is great for those whose sleeping environments change frequently, such as business travelers.

A smart screen for your smart screen

To say smartphones play an intimate part in our daily lives is an understatement. More likely than not, it’s the first and last thing you see every day, and at no time is it more than two feet away from you. That’s why screen protectors that filter blue light, like the Ocushield are so important in giving your eyes a break, especially for those who like to use their smartphones in bed.

And for those who need screen protectors to keep their smartphone safe from scratches and bumps, not to worry: The Ocushield doubles as one.

 

Thanks to these innovative gadgets, it’s now possible to balance technology with a good night’s rest. Now that you know how to beat insomnia, consider Sleep Number® as your bed of choice to take your night of rest to the next level. Adjust each side to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support — your Sleep Number® setting. Plus, when you add SleepIQ® technology, you’ll know what changes to make for your best possible sleep.

 

Click here to view article on Engadget.