An estimated 60 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or deprivation. While feeling drowsy after a night of tossing and turning is tough, the impact of sleep on our overall well-being is much greater. "We've really moved from thinking about sleep as a luxury to thinking about it as a need and something that we need to prioritize in our daily lives in order to be as mentally and physically healthy as we can," says Natalie Dautovich, the National Sleep Foundation's Environmental Scholar.
Poor sleep has been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and compromised immune system functioning. It can also do a number on your mental state, making you more negative and irritable. One of the biggest factors affecting sleep quality is the condition of a person's bedroom. Dautovich says the best bedrooms for sleep are general those that are dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable. These days there are many different products out there that may get you the right bedroom for your sleep needs. Here are some of the most popular products and how they may help.
The SleepTracker is a watch that also keeps track of your sleep patterns so that it can wake you up during your lightest state of sleep. There are four stages to sleep, the first two are light and the other two are deep sleep. When people wake up from deep sleep they can experience sleep inertia, that groggy feeling that makes it seem like you didn't sleep enough even if you got 10 hours. Dautovich isn't sure the SleepTracker is the total solution to sleep inertia but says the idea behind it – to pay more attention to sleep patterns – is a solid one. [$149; sleeptracker.com]