Consumer reports: Tips for using technology for better sleep

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Like many moms, it takes some time for Erin Ferguson to wind down after a long day of work and taking care of her two kids.

“I have a meditation app on my phone. And before bed I’ll put in my headphones and meditate and it really helps me calm down, put an end to the day and get my body and my mind ready for sleep,” Ferguson said.

And there’s evidence that meditation can also help you sleep at night. Some research shows using apps such as Calm and Headspace can be effective, but remember to limit how much time you spend on devices at bed time.

“Just try to keep screens out of your face for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. If you must, you can use the nighttime mode on your phone to reduce your exposure to blue light,” Consumer Reports Health Editor Kevin Loria said. 

White noise is another good thing to use. Whether it’s from a bedside machine or an app, it can help muffle the sound of your neighbor’s motorcycle or cars on a busy street.

If you’re a metrics or numbers person, consider tracking your sleep with a fitness tracker or smartwatch. And if you’re sleeping next to a pile of work papers or your computer, CR says to remove them.

“When it’s time to clock out, your work should be out of sight so it can also be out of mind,” Loria said. 

So, if you don’t have the space to move your office to another part of the house, at least tuck your computer and work away as best you can. Then, your brain won’t be constantly reminded that there’s work to be done, so you can rest easy.

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