The research doesn’t lie: Getting a good night’s sleep is so important. A solid eight hours can help you boost concentration, stress less and exercise more. The problem? There are distractions all over the bedroom, including your addictive smartphone, that blaring, flat-screen TV and a never-ending battle for the ideal sleep temperature. Check out the hard numbers for size: Americans sleep an average of seven hours and 36 minutes every night. And while that may sound solid, 45 percent say that poor or insufficient sleep affects their daily activities at least once a week, according to a December 2014 study. Luckily, thanks to a host of ingenious inventions, there are new tools, toys and gadgets promising to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. So turn out the lights, put on your PJs and shop our favorite sleep savers below.
9 Items to Sleep Better, Stat
1. The Total-Sleep Tracker
The two-part Withings Aura tracker is designed to help you snooze better, aiding you in falling asleep, waking up and figuring out your sleep cycle over the long run. First, there’s a movement sensor that sits beneath your mattress and an LED lamp that promises to relax you at night and gently rouse you in the morning. The unit also promises a library of custom light-and-sound patterns that’ll help with “activities” like power napping, getting over jet lag and chilling out with a good book. And now you can pair it with Nest, Google’s home-temperature maintenance tool — and both, of course, have the ability to be controlled from your iPhone. ($300; withings.com)
2. The Must-Have Curtain Liners
Darkness is key to getting rest, so outfit your space with a pair of Sound Asleep Blackout Window Curtain Liners. With a seal of approval from the National Sleep Foundation, this surprisingly elegant set can transform any bedroom into a veritable sleep pod with just the help of a single curtain rod. Consider ‘em the biggest eye mask you’ve ever seen. Because anything less than pitch-black isn’t ideal for your overnight snooze session. External lights have been shown to affect sleep patterns. ($60; bedbathbeyond.com)
3. The Multi-Tasking Pillow
Drift off to soothing, melodic tunes with this all-in-one pillow that gently vibrates and plays soft music through any MP3 player (iPhones and Androids included) — all without bothering your bed companion, thanks to patented Intrasound technology. By using the DreamPad Pillow System, you can expect a deeper, more sensory-based level of calm and relaxation than you’d get from music playing off speakers. Want Bluetooth connectivity? Shell out an extra $30. Need tunes? Spend $70 for a pre-loaded Sony Walkman. Vintage, right? ($179; dreampadsleep.com)
4. The Intuitive Alarm Clock
Another two-piece system, the Sense by Hello is a sleep tracker and alarm clock in one. And it’s not just any old alarm clock — rather, a modern, spherically-shaped intuitive one. Say, for example, you’ve set your alarm for 7 a.m. but Sense, well, senses that you’re rousing closer to 6:45, it may wake you up earlier instead. The sensor, which is cheekily dubbed “the pill,” has a corresponding app that tracks sleep temperature, humidity and ambient lighting. What separates Sense by Hello from the pack, though, is its particulate monitor, which checks the air quality in your sleep space. And no more throwing the alarm clock across the room — this one shuts off with motion-sensor technology that requires only a wave of your hand. ($129; hello.is)
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5. The Not-Bright Lightbulb
Need a little light? Swap out those fluorescents for these top-of-the-line LED bulbs designed to help you nod off. The Definity Digital Good Night Bulbs filter out the blue light found in normal bulbs (or on your smartphone screen) that blocks your melatonin production, a chemical that the body produces, which is critical for sleep. While the bulbs may take a few days to really have an effect on your sleep cycle, the result is worth it — as is the five-year warranty behind it. ($62 each; definitydigital.com)
6. The Temperature Regulator
Getting to a comfortable temperature in bed can be nearly impossible — especially if you and your partner have different ideas of which temperature is the right one. That’s where the BedJet Climate Dual Control comes in: Powerful ventilation from the device (which rests under your bed) can wick moisture and cool you instantly, while the almost-instant heat improves poor circulation. Since this particular model has dual air jets, you and your partner will be able to sleep comfortably regardless of whatever temperature each of you prefer. Plus, the corresponding Bluetooth app allows you to change your settings by grabbing your cell — because would you really want to get out of bed? ($1,149; bedjet.com)
RELATED: 15 Research-Backed Sleep Hacks
7. The Perfect Sheets
Want bedding as good at regulating your body temperature as your favorite Nike top? The 37.5 Queen Sheet Performance Set have your back — so much so that QVC nor the company can keep them in stock. These sheets don’t wick away sweat like most performance fabrics do. Instead, 37.5’s technology turns excess heat and moisture into a vapor, which in turn causes the fabric to dry quickly and regulate your body temperature faster. If you’re shivering, it does the opposite, holding in heat to bring you back to a normal body temperature. ($229; qvc.com)
8. The Ultimate Sound Machine
Studies show that white noise works: By reducing the difference between background sounds and “peak” sounds, like a door slamming, white noise helps give you a better chance of sleeping undisturbed. If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, creating a constant ambient sound could help mask activity from inside and outside the house. The Homedics Deep Sleep Therapy Machine has 12 different sounds, as well as pre-customized sleep therapy noise programs. Keep the machine across the room and stash the remote atop your nightstand. ($80; homedics.com)
9. The Ridiculous Splurge
Although we can’t recommend spending a whopping $30K on a napping spot in good conscience, we can admit that the Hammacher Schlemmer Tranquility Pod is the stuff that dreams are literally made of. By using pleasant sounds, gentle vibrations and soothing light, you’ll instantly be transported to a far more tranquil state. The ultra-suede-topped memory foam pad is just a bonus to the totally transformative relaxation experience. ($30,000; hammacher.com)
Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. In some cases, you might come across an affiliate link on our site, which means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.