One of the more pernicious problems of travel is getting a good sleep. This is true whether it is the mode of transport (plane train automobiles), or where you stay (hotel or other unfamiliar environment). Today, we have a number of available travel gadgets that can help us to get that elusive sleep. Here are just a few of the different types that may work for you.
Bringing a sleep mask to block out light and a comfy pillow from home aren’t always enough to help us to get in sleep mode in a new or noisy environment. That’s old school compared to new sleep masks that do more than just block out visible light. Some like the Glo to Sleep provide a calming blue light inside the mask. The effects of blue light on melatonin suppression and its effects on circadian rhythms has been studied extensively such as those cited in this scientific article.
Some people don’t like the idea of an eye mask so there are also devices like the NightWave Sleep Assistant that project that soothing blue light on the ceiling. The idea is to match your breathing to the pulsing rhythm of the light as it gradually slows down. The idea is the same as the blue light mask as the light and matched breathing help to induce sleep.
Sound conditioning devices for better sleep are nothing new, but there are a few new gadgets that can work well in any travel environment. One of those devices is SleepPhones, which the company describes as “pajamas for your ears.”
More of a headband, the devices contain two soft headphone devices. SleepPhones can be hooked up to any audio device via Bluetooth but also comes as part of a package with a variety of sleep therapy sound packages, and even aromatherapy. These cool devices are comfortable to wear during sleep for any place or duration and they are often used by people during workouts and exercise such as jogging, biking. and running.
Then there are gadgets that combine the best of headphones and a pillow like the Kokoon. These devices are sound therapy, sleep tracker, and high definition music and noise canceling headphones in one.
Meant to be comfortable enough to be worn during sleep, the Kokoon has onboard EEG sensors and an associated app to track your sleep stages. The device also adjusts the audio volume and equalization to help you reach deeper stages of sleep undisturbed by outside noises. Now, these newfangled sleep headphones aren’t even available until next year, but you can get in on the ground floor through their Kickstarter campaign that tells all about them.
These two devices join a plethora of noise canceling, sound conditioning, and music therapy gadgets available for travelers. They range from providing one to all of the different aspects mentioned.
Some like the DreamScience Machine from Oregon Scientific use ambient sound as well audio signals to allegedly target specific parts of your brain and help you fall asleep. The gadget has a number of different soundscapes available as well as a series of mood lights, sleep timers, and an alarm. It can plug into any audio device so that you can create your own playlist as well.
The National Sleep Foundation endorses one of the first and most popular sound conditioner devices known as the Dohm. Designed and sold by Marpac, Dohm has been around for 50 years (with improvements) so they must be doing something right.
The round, compact device creates white noise (specifically the sound of rushing air) in your room to block out noise where you’re sleeping. Of course, the Dohm, DreamScience Machine, and others like it are meant for home, hotel rooms, or when you’re a guest in someone’s home when traveling while the others can be used on a plane, in a car or other environments.
Portable aromatherapy devices and humidifiers abound these days so that you can get relief from dry air that causes stuffiness and sinus pain that inhibits sleep or add a lavender scent to induce better sleep. These devices are so plentiful that it’s best to just plug “portable travel humidifiers” or “portable travel aromatherapy devices” into your favorite search engine and have at it.
The same goes for the abundance of sleep apps out there to help you snooze. Of course, these are more about monitoring and adjusting your sleep rather than actually doing anything to your environment or sleep patterns without your intervention.
All of these devices can range in price from as little as $30.00 to as much as a couple hundred dollars. Of course, their impact on your sleep is open to interpretation and the underlying problem that may be inhibiting your sleep.
In any case, travel can be fraught with tangible and intangible factors that contribute to poor sleep. One of these gadgets may be just the thing to help you get the rest your body needs when you’re away from home.