Enter Sandman
Sleep training is no longer reserved for babies and their groggy parents
Tech / 24 Feb 2010

After an energy drink-fueled 'go!-go!-go!' decade, it may be time to get some desperately needed R & R and actually spend more quality time in the sack. But after so much over-scheduling and so many double espresso shots, this may necessitate some serious discipline and training. As such, the latest trend in kicking sleep deprivation is the practice of sleeptracking, with a number of technology products and mobile apps entering the market. While those with cutthroat ambitions may be reluctant to relinquish any of their precious waking hours, the effect of a more restful lifestyle on both physical and mental health may prove to be more valuable in the long run.

Zeo Personal Sleep Coach: Sleep issue sufferers can now conduct their own polysomnograms without trading the comfort of their own beds for sterile research labs. The Zeo device measures the quality of one's sleep, distinguishing between Restorative sleep (Deep and REM) and Disrupted sleep (Time in Wake and Times Woken.) Users simply wear a soft fabric headband that measures sleep patterns through electrical signals produced by the brain. Like junk food addicts who keep a food journal, frustrated non-sleepers are then encouraged, with the help of a Zeo provided sleep coach, to document daily activities that may be affecting sleep. "Sleep stealers" come in many forms, so fixing that shuteye problem could be as simple as quitting the afternoon latte habit or making your dog crash in its own bed.
iHome+Sleep: A hit at last month's CES, this iPhone app is designed for constant communicators who are afraid to shut their eyes for fear of missing something. The digital equivalent of a personal assistant, this app will tell you what was happening on your social networks while you were sleeping, play your favorite falling asleep music (and your desired morning music on awakening), give you the day's weather forecast, and even remind you of things that you told it the night before. Now, you no longer have to sleep with your phone tucked in next to you in bed, unless...
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock: Possibly the most gentle alarm clock on the market, this bio alarm clock app uses your iPhone's accelerometer to monitor your sleep patterns. By simply placing your iPhone under your bottom sheet, the Sleep Cycle alarm clock monitors when you're in your lightest sleep phase, thus making waking up less like a clonk on the head and more like rising after a long, restful nap. It costs just 99 cents, but the prospect of not having to pound the snooze button for an hour every morning seems priceless to us.
©The Intelligence Group