Our family has had issues centered around sleep ever since a cross-country move 2.5 years ago. Our trials and tribulations will have to wait for another article, but I wanted to let you know about two new devices I was recently introduced to that I’ve had quite a positive experience with.
The first one reviewed, The Lark, goes filed under one of those things I never knew I needed and am so thrilled I found! I’ve always thought getting jolted awake by a screaming alarm clock is a terrible way to start the day. I was intrigued by The Lark’s vibrating wristband to signal waking up. It is an alarm clock alternative (they call it the silent Un Alarm). It pairs the comfortable wristband with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. When it nears the time for you to awaken, the wristband gently begins to vibrate. This vibration gradually ramps up so as not to “startle” you awake (just like an alarm clock will do). It also has a snooze option for those that crave the extra 9 minutes of sleep. That’s usually me, but since I’ve been gently awakened by vibration, I find myself less tired and not reaching for the snooze button.
I’ve always been a very deep sleeper. I remember I slept through an earthquake when I was younger (my parents woke me up to make sure I was okay). I wondered how this vibration was going to be any different. Another cool thing, in case the vibration doesn’t wake you, the iOs app has a backup built in sound alarm, so you’re covered. The alarm is musical, and woke me up on the one occasion I slept through the vibration. Between the wristband and the backup, I have not overslept.
I also participated in a 7-day sleep study that comes with The Lark. At each day it measures the time it takes me to fall asleep, how long I sleep for, average bedtime, average wake up time, number of awakenings I had and so on. It also averages these over time. You can even tag your night’s rest (such as “Daughter came into our bed at 4:00 am”). This bit of technology is truly amazing and I’d love to find out how it measures your level of awakening (when my daughter came in and woke me up, it spiked up dramatically!). At the end of the study you get a detailed report on your sleep personality (they equate it to a Myers Briggs assessment), advice on improving sleep quality, setting targets (mine included specific sleep and wake-up times), stats on how long it took me to fall asleep and if I consistently woke before my alarm was set, and much much more.
I’ve always prided myself on being able to fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. My husband always says he’s jealous of it, too! According to the sleep study, “A general rule of thumb: falling asleep in less than 5 minutes is a sign that you are not obtaining adequate sleep at night. If your head hits the pillow and you’re out within seconds or a few minutes, this is actually an indication that you are quite sleep deprived.” Now, I always say I’m sleep deprived (especially since having two kids with sleep issues of their own), but I’d never correlated my nighttime routine to it. The 7-day sleep study not only gives a detailed report, which is quite insightful, but also provides a summary and a game plan to improve sleep. The Lark UP app allows you to set Targets, and this quickly shows you when you reach your goals and when you don’t.
I think this is a great product for families on different sleep schedules or that co-sleep and don’t want to wake their little ones! My husband certainly has enjoyed a few extra zzzz’s on the mornings I wake up 30-60 minutes before him with my new Un Alarm.
- White-on-black display
Provides a clear view of the time.
- Snooze function
Lets you briefly sleep in.
- Adjustable wristband
Vibrates at a set time for customized use.
- Composer-created audio backup
Provides an alternate alarm to ensure you wake up on time.
- Sleep sensor and tracker
Provides your sleep data, so you can find out if you’re waking without knowing.
When I’m reading to my daughter, hearing her rhythmic steady breathing nearly puts me to sleep every time. For this reason, It seemed reasonable for me to try the Nightwave, as it’s function parallels this pattern, but with light. With a gradual brightening and dimming of soft blue light, it purports to assist with adjusting to time zone differences and aid in falling asleep.
While I do not generally consider myself to have issues with falling asleep (see my above documented sleep deprivation), I can say that the blue light is calming and did not distract me from falling asleep. The rhythm of light was soothing, like listening to my daughters breathing pattern during story time. Do I think it can help? I think it’s a great place to start at a reasonable price point if you are one to have issues with falling asleep. The company also recommends it for use in travel that involves time changes in getting your sleep back on track!
- Presleep relaxation routine
Helps prepare your mind and body for rest.
- Silent, noninvasive operation
Allows you to remain comfortable during use.
- Soft, soothing light
Eases stress to help you relax.
BUY IT: You can purchase the Lark for $99.99. The NightWave is available for $49.99. Both are available at Best Buy.
We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the reviewed products free of charge from Best Buy to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.
so cool!! i’m a lvery light sleeper so the vibration would prob wake me up. i’f love to get this for my husband and see if this wakes him up- he’s a pretty deep sleeper! i love the idea of not being startled awake!
There is nothing in this world that I hate more than the sound of an alarm clock. If The Lark works for me, it might replace TiVo as the best invention in the history of the world.
this monitor seems like a good idea. my brother has a sleep disorder, and i wonder if this could help him. I will send him the info.