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Shut off the tech

Why certain devices are dream killers

Check for a blue light filter

Filter your computer

Windows 10 has it built-in

Pick the right lighting

Go dark

Get a high-tech sleep mask

The Dreamlight mask

Get a sleep hat

Or a headband

Cuddle with a smart pillow

Monitor your sleep with your wearables

Or use a sleeping pad

Technology in the bedroom is a double-edged sword, according to Jerald H. Simmons, MD, triple board certified in neurology, epilepsy and sleep medicine and founding director of Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Associates.  Using devices or watching television right before bed can lead to insomnia, limit your total sleep time and play havoc on your sleep cycle. On the other hand, certain tech can create a soothing environment and help transition you into a better night's sleep.

Here are some items you may want to add and subtract from your bedroom to get better sleep in 2018.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford

Martha Cortés, a doctor of dental surgery and diplomat for the American Board of Sleep Breathing, recommends shutting off electric devices like your phone, tablet or television, and replacing them with calming activities at least one hour before going to bed.   

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Devices like tablets, phones and televisions emit a blue light that can stop the production of a hormone called melatonin. This hormone is what signals your brain that it's time to go to sleep. Without it, sleeping becomes much more difficult. 

Caption by / Photo by Darrell/CNET

If you're one of those people who would rather have their phones pried from their cold, dead hands than put away an hour before bed, there's a solution. See if your phone has a blue light filter. If it does, switch it on. For example, Android and newer Apple phones have a blue light filter in the settings called Night Mode. 

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

If the computer is your gadget of choice, an app such as F.lux can add an orange-red filter to your screen when the sun sets. This filter won't disturb your melatonin production. During the day, the app will turn back on the blue light so you can stay alert.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Windows 10 has a blue light filter built-in. Just go to Settings > System > Display Option and toggle the Night Light option to On. Then, click on the Night Light Settings option. From there, you can choose the darkness of the filter and when the filter comes on each day.  

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

Since you can't walk around in the dark for the hour before bed, choose the right lighting for your bedroom. The best option is to dim the lights in your room. No dimmer? Dr. Cortés recommends a Good Night LED light bulb because it is designed to promote melatonin production. 

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Once you're in bed, complete darkness is best. So, turn your phone over so the notification light faces downward, and use a sleep mask if you can't get 100 percent darkness.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

If you're feeling adventurous, try a high-tech version of the sleep mask. The Sound Oasis Illumy is controlled with an app and puts you to sleep with a simulated sunset and pulsating LEDs. It also has a simulated sunrise to wake you up instead of an alarm. I gave it a try and it does seem to help me fall asleep.

Caption by / Photo by Alina Bradford/CNET

Another mask option is Dreamlight. This mask can guide your breathing, provide ambient sound and block light to get you to sleep better.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Another wearable option is the Sleep Shepherd Hat. It has a built-in biofeedback sleep tracker that plays tones designed for deep, relaxing sleep, according to Cortés. CNET's Michael Franco gave the Shepherd Hat a try.

Caption by / Photo by Michael Franco/CNET

Cortés also recommends trying a Muse Headband. "On the nights my mind is overactive, I wear my Muse Headband to redirect my energy toward peace and relaxation. It's a great tool for stress management," said Cortés. 

Caption by / Photo by Jared Kohler/CNET

Somnox is a smart pillow that, well, breaths as you hold it to lull you to sleep. It also has a carbon dioxide sensor that can monitor when you fall asleep so that it can shut itself off. The Somnox will be available for purchase Fall 2018.

Caption by / Photo by Somnox

Your monitoring devices such as the Fitbit, Motiv ring or the new Lenovo Vital Moto Mod can give you insight into how well you sleep. "Although the accuracy may be somewhat lacking, the trend is that these devices are improving and should provide insight into how well we sleep in years to come," said Dr. Simmons.   

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Nokia's Sleep sensor pad slips under your mattress and can record your sleep habits and send them Nokia's Health Mate app on your phone. The pad can also give you suggestions on how to improve your sleep.

Caption by / Photo by CNET
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