Nightwave Sleep Assistant review: Nightwave Sleep Assistant

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The Good Non-intrusive Natural and drug-free Small and portable.

The Bad Doesn't really help with serious insomnia Needs you to have your eyes open Very expensive.

The Bottom Line The Nightwave Sleep Assistant is a good natural alternative for lightly troubled sleepers, but it is rather less useful if you have a serious problem.

5.5 Overall

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We all have a bad night from time to time, but what "bad night" means can vary from person to person, and even from night to night. You might be tossing and turning and restlessly dozing, or you might be lying awake, staring at the ceiling for hours and hours, growing increasingly exhausted and frustrated.

The Nightwave Sleep Assistant aims to be a natural alternative to sedative drugs. It's a little black box with a button on the side and a light on the front; you simply aim it at the ceiling or wall, switch it on and lay back. A blue glow will pulsate slowly, to which you then synchronise your breathing.

In principle, it's not dissimilar to counting sheep or counting your breathing in seconds. If you can't sleep because your brain won't stop buzzing with thoughts, it helps take your mind away from your worries, while simultaneously regulating your breathing into a sleep pattern.

This is not something that you necessarily need a device for, but it does help to keep you focused on the rhythm of your breath without the need for numbers. However, it has one serious flaw: you need to keep your eyes open to use it. It is possible to have heavy eyelids and still unable to sleep, in which case the Nightwave Sleep Assistant isn't really much use.