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BedJet, Hue Lights, Sleepcast to Aid Sleep — by Jill McKinley

Hi, this is Jill again.

I talked previously about how I had such a horrible time sleeping. It was downright insomnia. I used some technologies to ease some of the problems I had sleeping.

If you remember, I am from the Northwoods at the very top of America. I run hot everywhere. I am the one person at the office who wishes it could be 10 degrees colder. If it gets to 84 degrees outside I lament! When I sleep, I get very warm. All year long I have a very thin blanket. In the summer, I used to pump air conditioning through my house and with an army of fans so I could try to get to sleep. It wasted a lot of energy, money and didn’t really work all that well.

BedJet

BedJet3
BedJet 3 with Color Remote

This is where BedJet comes in ( Allison’s Amazon Affiliate Link). Not one thing in my sleep saga did more for me than this device. For a non-technical description, it is like a fan with a gooseneck arm that goes between blankets and sheets. It was invented by an ex-NASA spacesuit engineer, a medical device designer, an engineering design team and a sleep doctor.

They started selling this device to hospitals for patients who had trouble controlling their own temperature. Then it became a consumer device. But here is the technical description from their website “This is no simple bedroom fan or electric blanket. It’s a Bluetooth enabled, microprocessor-controlled, air-driven climate control machine born just for your bed.”

I have to admit it works really well by removing more warmer, more humid air under the blanket in the summer. It feels very cool. I was very skeptical about it because I like air-conditioned air. If this doesn’t have an air conditioner built into it, it is probably not going to work. But actually it works very well by pulling that air out and replacing it cooler air. I can’t even tell that I barely air condition my house at night anymore.

In winter, it also heats. It has an app where you can set scenarios to match your temperature preferences throughout the night. Maybe you like a toasty bed when you crawl in but get too warm later and near morning you want it to warm again. It has some preset suggestions from research on natural biological temperature changes through the night.

I used these as a starting point and adapted them until it was just right. I spent a few months and got it perfectly set to me. I have one for warm outside, one for when it is cold outside and one for those transition seasons where it is warmer during the day and chilly at night. Those three patterns take care of most situations. It took a little bit of nudging here and there but they work great now.

I have the Bedjet 2 and the remote is pretty simple. It only allows you to change from hot to cold and fan speeds. They came out with the BedJet 3 earlier this year. It has a better remote in full color that lets you change everything. It allows you to adjust not only fan speed and settings but temperature and the programmed sleep schedules. Which is nice because then you aren’t unlocking your iPad or iPhone to change settings.

It also has a new app for IOS. In early 2020 it will integrate with voice assistants like HomePod and Alexa so that you can control these things with voice activation. I imagine me barking out orders Colder! Warmer!

I feel BedJet let me stay asleep most nights without getting hot or cold. I no longer have to overheat or over cool my house so I have saved hundreds in energy savings. It’s quieter than a fan and safer than electric blankets or mattress pads. It also changes instantly from hot to cold. You can use their specially made baffle sheets or your own. The only thing you have to do is sleep with a lightweight blanket. You won’t need a big, heavy blanket anyway with this. They also sell devices for people who share a bed and each wants different settings. I can tell you my cats love BedJet too and try to sleep as close to it as they can. Find out more at bedjet.com.

Hue Lights

So the second technology I used to help me sleep better is Hue lights. But it really could be any smart lights. When I learned I had a circadian clock issue and if I had my way I would sleep and wake up on Hawaii time. But I work and I can’t do that. I have to actually follow a real schedule.

When I bought the Hue lights it had more to do with wanting to save energy and have options for pretty colors and some smart functionality. After some reading about how the human body is meant to see bright yellow light in the morning and red light at night to tell our brains it is time to sleep and to produce melatonin. I thought maybe Hue can help me here.

I started using IF This Than That to set scenarios to simulate a more natural light cycle. If you have never used IFTTT then you are in for a treat! You can create triggers and events and reactions with thousands of devices and services. It is really quite interesting. You can find out more about that from IFTTT.com. I set up these scenarios which start to kick in around 8:30 pm. They run every 30 minutes and the lights get more dim and more red. By the time it gets to 10:30 pm it is very dark and very red. The neighbors must be absolutely curious about what is going on in my house!

I have the Hue light strips and those go on the common walking areas I take at night. That way I never have to use bright lights at night and interrupt the sleep pattern. In the morning, you can use the out-of-box functionality from the Hue app to slowly bring the light up for 20 or 30 minutes in the morning. This will wake you up naturally.

As I mentioned in the previous segment, I now use Sleep Cycle to bring the lights up because it starts when the app thinks you are waking up naturally. These are good ways to use your body’s natural ways to wake yourself up and get yourself to sleep. It didn’t really fix my circadian issues permanently but it does work when I am at home.

I love smarts lights for normal purposes too. I love the bright and fun colors. I also use sensors in the house to detect motion. This brings lights on and off in the house. When I travel, I have all kinds of motion sensors to work on my cats movements. This turns on lights throughout the house. Fun, functional and sleep-inducing. Smart lights can really do it all!

Sleepcast

Here is the last technology I would like to talk about is Headspace Sleepcast. My brain races a lot and getting it to shut off can be a challenge. And it isn’t even bad things but things like “What will I do tomorrow?” or “What will I go grocery shopping for?” or “What will I do on Christmas vacation?” These are all sorts of thoughts that could be had later.

I used to listen to audible books at night but then Headspace sent me an email about Sleepcast. They are about 50 minutes long and they always start out with a relaxation or breathing exercise. Then the story starts. Some of them are a bit silly. Actually all of them are silly. But honestly, I can’t remember any of them! I am out cold in minutes.

And you might think it is the initial exercises. But it works when I don’t even do them. I am not sure how it happens but it works. The story will start out just like you would expect with a very calm voice and a story on a cabin, or a laundromat or a treehouse in the redwood forest and I think “Why would anyone put a house in a redwood tr….” and then I would be out. I can’t even remember the rest of the story.

I keep thinking I will listen to them during the day so I can hear what they are about but I don’t want to ruin the magic! It really is amazing! I have done the same ones over and over and it still works! I have had problems getting back to sleep in the middle of the night and it works! It works at home and in hotels! It is really amazing.

I have never had problems going to sleep after using these Sleepcasts. Calm, which is a competitor to Headspace, also has their own kind of sleep stories. I have not listened to them but I am sure they are similar. I even tried this podcast “Sleep with Me” which tells you a story to help you sleep but it never worked for me.

There really is something interesting here with the Sleepcasts and I am sure someone did science and research and they know what they are doing and why they picked the stories that they did. But it really works for me and I am really excited to have something puts me to sleep when I am having troubles. You can find more information at www.headspace.com/….

So those are the three technologies that help me sleep.

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