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8 Sleep Gadgets So Unusual They Might Just Work

Person with insomnia seeking ways to sleep better, like the Princess and the Pea story.

Getty Images/goodmoments

Is sleep eluding you? Some unexpected tools may help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

Desperate for a good night’s rest? Already tried melatonin and tested out six types of pillows? Insomnia can be a maddening condition. About 25 percent of adults have insomnia each year, and according to The Sleep Foundation, there are a wide range of triggers that include everything from anxiety to an enlarged prostate. So, when you need more than a sleep meditation, here are eight sleep gadgets you might not have thought to investigate.

If you don’t mind looking like a science experiment, try a cranial eclectic stimulation device. Used for treating depression, anxiety and insomnia, the Fisher Wallace Stimulator uses a gentle electrical pulse to the head to stimulate the brain. Cranial eclectic stimulation seems to improve total time slept, reports a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Interestingly, the device worked better for men than women in the study. To use for insomnia, wear it for 20 minutes within two hours of bedtime.

With a behind-the-head design, Cove is a headband that the company claims, “silently applies gentle vibrations behind the ears that initiate a natural biological pathway between the skin and the brain.” Supposedly, this stimulates the brain’s posterior insular cortex to improve sleep quality, boost the number of hours slept, and reduce time spent falling asleep.

If zapping the noggin feels too extreme, SleepyOrb works in the palm of the hand via microcurrents. According to the company, this microcurrent wave stimulates your brain to induce sleep-promoting Alpha waves and diminish Beta waves, reducing anxiety and stress. If you wake up a lot with nighttime anxiety, this might be a good option.

Whether you’ve always “run hot” or are experiencing hot flashes due to menopause, there is good news: You can cool your whole bed down. A Pod Pro cover fits onto your current mattress and can cool the bed down to as low as 55 degrees. It’s also dual-zone, so if your partner is chilly, they can turn their side up to as high as 110 degrees and sleep in sauna-like bliss.

You’ve seen blackout curtains, but did you know there are blackout shades? These shades from Home Depot have a sneaky design that blocks out light, without giving a room that creepy, “I am a vampire” look. Bonus: the cordless design is safe for little kids and pets.

When the average sleeping eye mask isn’t doing the job, up the ante with a Manta Cool mask or relax with an eye massager.

For insomnia caused by heartburn or sinus congestion, an inclined mattress topper might provide some relief. Hammacher Schlemmer has a memory foam option.

Still awake? Here are ideas for creating a twilight garden—even in the smallest of spaces.


About the Author

Kathryn Drury Wagner

Spirituality & Health’s Wellbeing Editor, Kathryn Drury Wagner, is based in Savannah. She’s been a contributor to the...

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