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Home tech: Set the scene for perfect slumber

Tech tips to trick up your room.

By R.V. Winkle

According to the Sleep Foundation, “electronic back-lit devices like cell phones, tablets, readers and computers emit short-wave-length enriched light, also known as blue light, which has been shown to reduce or delay the natural production of melatonin in the evening and decrease feelings of sleepiness. Blue light also can reduce the amount of time you spend in slow-wave and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, two stages of the sleep cycle that are vital for cognitive functioning.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t use technology to help you get a better night’s sleep.

1. Sleep sounds

Of brown noise, pink noise and white noise, it is white that is recommended as the best for sleeping by the Sleep Foundation. The Sharks on Shark Tank chose to fund the Hatch Restore (formerly Hatch Baby) as their favorite machine.

2. Secretive sets

According to Sandy Benson of Custom Audio Video, “People who don’t want to remove the television from the bedroom are choosing to cover it with moveable artwork so they resist the temptation to watch it when they are trying to sleep. We can hide the TV a number of ways, from covering it with moveable artwork to installing a system to move the television into the ceiling, floor or furniture.” The Sleep Foundation agrees that electronics in the bedroom are sleep inhibitors, but when you can easily hide them, you get the best of all worlds – a great show, beautiful art and a good night’s sleep.

3. Shhush shades

Nothing is more frustrating than when you are about to fall asleep and realize you haven’t closed the blinds. With automated window treatments you can set a schedule to open and close your shades according to your sleep schedule. Raise them when you want to waken and close them when you go to bed, so you never have to leave your bed.

You also can control the positioning of your window coverings with a remote or voice command throughout the day for light control and privacy. “Our customers are always surprised at the number of designer window treatment options available with home automation and remote control. There are literally hundreds of fabrics and styles. We are getting more and more requests for motorized shades, which makes it even easier for homeowners to enjoy the convenience of automation,” said Bob Engler, owner of Budget Blinds. So stay in bed and ask Siri or Alexa to close the blinds.

4. Say it

Caséta lighting controls connect to Alexa to allow people to manage their smart home with voice commands to change the lighting and adjust the temperature for that perfect sleep. “We have seen that more people are interested in enhancing their master bedroom with technology than ever before,” said Curt Hubner, owner of Advanced Integrated Controls.

PRO TIP: Keep Alexa in the ensuite so she is out of sight but not out of earshot to hear your commands.

5. Sweet scents

We love technology that can multi-task, like the URPOWER Essential Humidifier, which is a great option for anyone who wants to naturally enjoy diffused scents while they are trying to sleep. It not only delivers a fresh and natural scent to your space, but it also has a humidifier feature that will help prevent the air in your bedroom from getting too dry while you are trying to sleep. Bonus points: It is waterless, so it is easier to use.