Biologists don’t understand every little thing about human sleep, but they all agree that adequate restful sleep is imperative to good health. Every family member, from babies to kids, from parents to grandparents, benefits beautifully from a proper night’s sleep. Nowadays, there are so many cool sleep technologies available, nobody ever has to suffer a sleepless night again.
What sleep is and why people need it
Scientists and sleep experts at the National Institutes for Health explain that the ability to fall asleep depends on two key factors. A so-called ‘circadian clock’ regulates sleep and wakefulness cycles, while a hormone known as adenosine causes a feeling of drowsiness as it builds up in the brain over the course of a day. Adenosine breaks down again during the human sleep cycle. Neurotransmitters called serotonin and norepinephrine work together to keep us awake once we’re up and doing our day.
During sleep, the brain remains active as it conducts a veritable symphony of body system maintenance and repairs. Without adequate restful sleep, the immune system may be compromised. This holds true for family members of all ages. Whether you’re a newborn needing a minimum of 14 hours of sleep every day or an elderly grandmother who gets by quite nicely on six, sleep is a vital component of your health and wellbeing.
Sleep tech for the whole family
USA Today recommends wearing a special kind of eyewear called Gunnars computer glasses. Not made for vision correction, Gunnars changes the colors the eyes perceive. Studies show that blue-tinted light, such as that emitted by a typical smartphone, iPad or computer screen, can lead to sleeplessness. The amber-tinted lenses of Gunnars computer glasses counteract blue spectrum light and are designed to be worn while reading, doing homework and other on-screen activities prior to bedtime.
Better yet, have every family member dock their devices in a central charging station that’s not in anyone’s bedroom. Sleep experts agree that the less tech in a bedroom, the better the chances for a full night’s sleep. Of course, every rule must have an exception, so we remind you that a good alarm clock that wakes you during your lightest sleep cycle can start your day right. Alarm Clock for Me is one of the Apalon apps for Android that is well worth keeping in bedrooms at night. Kids can drift away to dreamland with soft music in the background, and parents can be awakened gently by the same amazing app.
Learn to lucid dream
B+C magazine recommends doubling the dark with a high tech pair of eye shades that may actually enhance your dreaming. Trademarked Remee, these space age glasses stimulate REM sleep while providing recognizable clues the sleeping brain may use to control lucid dreaming.
Whether you avail yourself of high-tech sleep gadgets or fall asleep easily without any assist at all, sleep is one element of life nobody can do without. When your whole family sleeps well and wakes up happy, the world is a nicer place for everyone.
Abbie Dixon has a job in a sleep center where she has learned a ton of fascinating information about how we sleep. She writes about this as well as other lifestyle matters in her articles.