Lack of sleep can not only exacerbate existing health conditions, but also increase the likelihood of developing new ones. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to get a good night’s rest. But, while research suggests that nearly a quarter of those over age 60 take medication for sleep at least occasionally, many doctors argue that such medication should only be used as a last resort. Instead, seniors should make some simple lifestyle changes and consider the use of one of the many tech devices available to help get a good night’s rest. Here is a roundup of some of the best tech devices for improving sleep.
- Electromagnetic waves to reduce stress
The Cove device is a small piece of equipment, similar to a Bluetooth headset. The device uses electromagnetic waves to activate the part of the brain that responds to affective touch, thereby reducing stress and aiding in overall relaxation. The device is not worn during sleep, but in the 20 minutes before sleep, when the brain and body are winding down for the night. Cove comes with a case and charging cord. The battery takes approximately 60 minutes to reach a full charge, which is expected to last for four night sessions. $490, feelcove.com
- Electronic pulse to produce serotonin
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator has been clinically shown to help not only with insomnia, but also with anxiety and depression, which are also common concerns for seniors. While purchasing the device requires authorization from a physician, it is said to be one of the most effective devices on the market. The device should be worn for 20 minutes a day while going about everyday activities, such as reading or meditation. It delivers a gentle electrical pulse that stimulates the brain to produce serotonin and other chemicals required for healthy mood and sleep. The Fisher Wallace Stimulator comes with a hand-held battery-powered device, two electrodes with conductive sponges, and a headband to hold them in place, as well as a carrying case. $499, fisherwallace.com
- A pillow that “breathes”
The Somnox Sleep Robot resembles a small pillow, and is used somewhat like a comfort pillow or stuffed animal. Unlike other sleep aid devices, the Sleep Robot is not worn during waking hours, but held during sleep. The device creates a breathing rhythm and soft sounds that aid relaxation and help the user get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The accompanying mobile app allows customization of both the sounds and rhythm of breathing so that you can adjust to your own preferences. When you purchase the Somnox Sleep Robot, it comes with a charging cord and plug, as well as a washable sleeve. $499, somnox.com/sleep-robot
In addition to these devices, doctors recommend lifestyle changes for those experiencing insomnia. These include regular exercise, limiting caffeine consumption, and restricting liquid intake late in the evening.
By Vanessa Hutchison