Sleep / bed

Gadgets and apps to help you sleep

We’ve all been there – tossing and turning in bed waiting for slumber to talk hold – but it never comes. There’s something incredibly frustrating about being unable to sleep, but modern life has made it a more common problem than it should be. Luckily, there are a few apps and connected technology that can help.

Red light filter

Android now includes Night Mode and iOS includes Night Shift by default, but the majority of people never bother to switch these settings on and this can have serious implications for their sleep. For the uninitiated, “night mode” is a filter that reduces the amount of blue light from your smartphone screen, turning the display a softer shade of red. As it is blue light that keeps us awake by interfering with our natural rhythms, having less blue light coming form your phone in the evening helps your body understand it is time to start thinking about sleep.

Sleep bracelets

We are all getting more used to tracking our bodies, with step counters standard across mobile devices and connected watches. A sleep bracelet is the next step for connected bands, as not only can they track our steps, heartbeat, and calories we burn while we are awake, but also our oxygen levels when we are asleep. This helps to prevent sleep apnea and help you get a better night’s sleep, and making sure you wake up refreshed the next day.


We all loved being read stories before bed when we were young, and podcasts mean you can always have a great story ready to listen to in bed whenever you feel the need. Podcasts have become big business over the last couple of years with Spotify buying up a number of smaller production houses and my favourite podcasts app Pocketcasts acquired by NPR, and this is a sign of just how much audio content is available on demand for listeners today.

In general I would recommend stories rather than news or politics podcasts to help you get to sleep, as you want to relax not get angry at our current batch of incompetent politicians, but there is a wealth on offer. And luckily, with the invention of accessories like the iphone memory stick, you can download podcasts to your heart’s content, even if you opted for just 16GB of storage in your iPhone.

Photograph by CongerDesign