We spend around one quarter to one third of our lives sleeping, so it's definitely an area that's worth investing in to make sure that you're getting it right. In the past that really just meant a decent bed and bedding and a nice, thick pair of curtains – but now technology is encroaching on our slumber too, with a variety of gadgets offering to help us sleep better or to analyse our visits to the land of nod. We take a look at some of the most-popular sleep-related gizmos on the market...
Fitbit One - £79.99
Primarily a fitness gadget, the popular Fitbit One doesn't go off duty at bedtime. Keep the wristband on and the device will record how long you slept for and how many times you woke up – even giving you a sleep score. And if you're allergic to normal alarm clocks it can be set to wake you up in the morning with gentle vibrations.
Misfit Beddit - £129.99
You've heard of smartphones, smart TVs and even smart fridges, but what about a smart bed?
That's what the Misfit Beddit sleep sensor promises to turn your existing bed into, simply by laying a thin strap under the mattress. It is capable of tracking the stages of your sleep, how long you sleep for, your wake times, your heart rate and can even tell you if you snore. The info all goes to a smartphone app via bluetooth and the app can also play soothing sounds to help you nod off, should you wish.
Rather than monitoring you while you are asleep, this gadget focuses instead on sending you off to the land of nod effectively and waking you up again peacefully the next morning. It can generate a soothing "sunset" effect at bedtime and play the relaxing sound of waves lapping on the sea shore. And when it comes to morning time, it replicates the experience of a natural sunrise in your bedroom – hopefully waking you more gently than a jarring beeping noise.
Withings Aura Smart Sleep System - £249.99
If you can't decide between the above gadgets then why not go for one which promises to do it all? This gadget comprises of two key elements: an under-the-mattress sensor pad which monitors your sleeping patterns and a light module which contains LEDs which can illuminate your bedroom with restful colours. It is also capable of analysing the sound, temperature and light levels through the night – and claims to be able to detect any negative effects your environment has on your sleep. A word of warning though – the product spec only lists iOS compatibility – so Android users may have to look elsewhere.
BluBlocker sunglasses - £32
When is a pair of sunglasses not a pair of sunglasses? No, that's not the set-up for a joke – because you can buy special "sunglasses" designed to filter out the blue light from computer or smartphone screens. Why would you want that? Well you've probably heard the advice not to have too much screen time close to bedtime because of the stimulating effect on your brain. If you're too much of a social media, games or internet junkie to heed this good advice, you could try these special shades which promise to cut out the bad light and let you browse in safety.
Have you invested in a sleep gadget recently? Leave a comment below...