Gadgets could help you keep your cool while sleeping

With all this hot weather, it can be really tough to get a good night's rest. Could sleep gadgets help? There are all kinds of devices and apps out there to help track and improve sleep. But do they work?

For Frank Ribbitch, a self described "gadget junkie," it's all about getting enough sleep. He uses a smart pillow that plays music and vibrates when you snore.

"I"m willing to spend more on sleep technology because it will hopefully help me fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer and be more rested when I wake up," he said.

Entrepreneurs are also hoping to cash in on consumers like Ribbitch.

A Paris-based company called Rythm sells a wearable headband device called "Dreem." It uses sensors to analyze brain activity and play soothing music to lull you to sleep. The company's CEO said by using sounds and rhythmic stimulation, the device helps modulate the brain's own rhythm, which may help users achieve deeper sleep.

Some big-box retailers now sell a variety of sleep tech devices, including a baby sleep monitor that clips onto a diaper, a smart sock that monitors an infant's sleep, wearable bands that track how restless you are, and a lighting system designed to control the brightness and color of light to encourage better slumber.

But how reliable are all these gadgets? Stanford University has been testing sleep-tech devices and comparing them to professional monitoring equipment used in its sleep lab. Dr. Clete Kushida, from Stanford's Sleep Medicine Center, said while many consumer systems still don't measure sleep very accurately, the technology is advancing rapidly.

"I view it as a good thing just because it increases general awareness about sleep and the potential for sleep disorders," Kushida said.

Sleeping in hot weather is another issue. Experts say the cooler you are, the faster you'll fall asleep. The key? Cooling your core body temperature.

Sleep experts suggest you take a shower before bed. It may sound counter-intuitive, but make it a hot shower! When you get out, your blood vessels will dilate and if you get in front of a fan right away, the cooling you'll feel will bring your body temperature down. And don't use a bunch of pillows around your head. Heat will escape from your head overnight, but too many pillows will trap the heat close to your head and keep it in.

And the last suggestion is kind of an offbeat heat hack -- put your sheets in the freezer! Or, you can lightly mist them before you go to bed. Either way, experts say if you can cool off enough to get to sleep, you're on your way to waking up more refreshed.
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