With these gadgets, you'll never necessity an alarm clock again

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 5:33 PM

There hasn't been much innovation in waking up since the mechanical alarm clock was invented in one thousand eight hundred seventy-sixth. Sure, it was a vast improvement over the rooster, but the idea was the same: loud, sudden noises ripping you from the sweet embrace of sleep.

With these gadgets, you'll never necessity an alarm clock again

There hasn't been much innovation in waking up since the mechanical alarm clock was invented in one thousand eight hundred seventy-sixth. Sure, it was a vast improvement over the rooster, but the idea was the same: loud, sudden noises ripping you from the sweet embrace of sleep.

A slew of new gadgets are trying to modify that. They utilize technology love sensors and lighting to ease people into their day in a kinder, gentler fashion.

Studies indicate that blue light blocks the release of the hormone melatonin, which tells the body it'south time for sleep. Companies love Apple (AAPL, Tech30) and Google (GOOG) have started adding features that delete blue light from smartphone screens at night to supposedly assistance people sleep better.

Related: Can Apple'south new Night Shift setting assistance you sleep?

Sleep gadgets are using that same concept to wake people up. The Aura connected alarm clock slowly floods a room with shining blue light to "simulate the sunrise," for anyone without access to the real sun.

There'south a companion sensor that slips below the mattress to track your sleep patterns and cycles, which is the other major area that sleep gadgets are focused on.

We go through three sleep cycles every ninety minutes: light, deep and REM, which is when we dream. The devices claim that it'south best to wake up during the light sleep cycle so that you're less groggy and disoriented.

The Beddit is a sensor similar to Aura'south that tracks information love how long it took you to fall asleep, if you snored, and how many breaths you took each minute. It pairs with an app to wake you up during the lightest sleep. Love many tracking products, it turns sleep into a game by giving a daily score for the quality of slumber, which can be improved with a nap.

For simpler tracking, attempt an app love Sleep Cycle. It uses your smartphone'south accelerometer or microphone to track your movements while you sleep. The less you move, the deeper the sleep.

Wearables love Fitbit (FIT) also proposal sleep tracking tools, but you've to be comfortable wearing them all night. Many don't proposal alarms, just suggestions based on what they've learned about you.

On the overkill finish of the spectrum is The It Bed by Sleep Number. It'south a mattress that acts love a traveling sleep lab. Embedded biometric sensors track a sleeper'south movements and vital signs hundreds of times every second. It even has an API to connect to the other apps and wearables piling up on your bedside table. The company creepily promises to "track your every day and night."

Related: Composer creates eight hr album to keep people to sleep

What does it do with all that data? Discover patterns and create suggestions. Maybe a person sleeps better when the temperature is below sixty-five degrees. The bed is adjustable, and it'll recommend a level of firmness based on the exhaustive dossier it'south collected on your life.

The bed was announced at CES in Jan and will be available this summer.

Unfortunately, there haven't been any rigorous studies on these kinds of devices, says Prof Jerry Siegel of UCLA'south Middle for Sleep Research. So while these companies' claims line up with some established science, there'south number proof they actually make better sleep or your morning mood.

Tough science or not, waking up gradually to a beautiful light and your favorite music sounds love a nice, harmless way to start the day. But beware of getting too tied up in tracking and quantifying your every toss, turn, and REM state. That can lead to more anxiety about how you're sleeping, and less restful nights.

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