Technology, like mobile devices and other small screens, has earned a reputation for interfering with and disrupting sleep, leading experts to recommend turning the devices off an hour before going to bed. Yet, there are a number of technological solutions for achieving a restful night of sleep despite the attached stigma, according to expert Cary Brown, a researcher in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

“Technology has created so many of the problems we have with sleep, so it would be naïve to think we can turn back the clock to the days before smartphones, laptops and other blue-light-emitting devices. But, if we understand how to use it wisely, technology can also be used to facilitate sleep,” said Brown, a professor in the department of occupational therapy.

“If we attend to light, sound and temperature, we are going a long way to setting things up for a better sleep. These are low-hanging fruit, and we should select them first so that the need for the big interventions — like medication and cognitive behavioral therapy — are minimized and potentially eliminated.”

Some of the devices recommended by Brown are:

  • Light-blocking glasses. Glasses that block the blue spectrum light that suppresses the melatonin production needed for sleep.
  • White noise machine. A device that masks other noises (e.g. snoring, a ticking clock).
  • LED light bulb. A light bulb that filters out blue spectrum light.

To see other tech solutions for achieving a good night's sleep, watch the accompanying video.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com