The Total Guide To Sleeping Better

Not sleeping well? No wonder you look like death warmed up. It doesn't have to be that way. Here are Gizmodo's favourite gadgets for tracking and improving your sleep patterns, and Lifehacker's best tips for getting a proper night's rest.

Sleeping cats picture from Shutterstock

Gadgets & Apps

1. Jawbone Up

The Jawbone Up is a nifty little life-tracking gadget that monitors steps, food intake, calories, and most importantly, sleep. A great-looking app tracks your sleep and the quality of said shut-eye, before gently waking you up with a vibrating silent alarm. It's designed to be worn 24/7, and doesn't make you look like an idiot while doing so thanks to a pretty smart-looking design.

2. FitBit One

The FitBit One is the original fitness gadget. It's a pedometer that clips onto your belt, bra, pants pocket, shirt or otherwise and tracks your steps and floors ascended throughout the day. By aid of a felt wrist strap, it clips onto your arm and acts as a sleep tracker and a silent alarm, too. It's not as practical as the Jawbone Up, however, due to its slightly thinner form factor.

3. Sleep Time

Sleep Time is an app for all Android and iOS that uses the phone's accelerometer to measure your sleeping patterns. It also wakes you up at the right times according to your sleep cycle and graphs your shut-eye.

4. Sleepyti.me

Wondering how much sleep you should get? Can you pull that late-night shift and still get the shut-eye you need? Sleepyti.me will tell you.

5. Zeo Mobile

Devices like the Fitbit or the Jawbone Up band that detect when you're getting good sleep by monitoring your movements in bed. The Zeo Mobile is different, though. Instead of tracking movement with an accelerometer, it tracks brainwaves.

Tips & Tricks

1. Let Technology Help You

The right gadgets and apps really can make a difference to your sleeping pattern — we haven't just listed them above for your amusement. Want proof? Check out how Lifehacker's Adam Dachis radically improved his sleep patterns with the help of technology.

2. Don't Believe The Sleep Myths

As a universal human activity, it's not surprising that sleep has given rise to numerous myths. These can be amusing, but falling for them won't help you get a better night's rest. Check out our complete list and learn to distinguish fact from fiction. Picture: R Mitchell/Getty Images

3. Don't Panic If You Don't Get Eight Hours

One sleep myth deserves particular singling out: the idea that you need eight hours continuous sleep. That simply isn't so; individual needs vary and our overall sleep patterns are more nuanced than that. (While we're at it, you don't need eight glasses of water a day either.) Picture: Phil & Pam Gradwell

4. Avoid Bright Screens Before Bed

We were reminding people about this issue earlier this week, and it remains one of the most common sleep challenges. If you view any kind of bright screen before bed — phone, TV, tablet — your body slows its production of melatonin, and in turn that makes it hard to relax. Settle down with a good book instead. Sleeping picture from Shutterstock

5. Test Tactics Until One Works

There are many potential ways to enhance your sleep, covering everything from your position to your diet. Lifehacker's ultimate guide to sleeping better rounds up stacks of these tips. Test them out, one at a time, and see what works for you. A simple change of temperature might do it, or you might need to go full-on and track your sleep habits. But it can be done. Rest assured. Picture: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

It's Improve Your Life Week! Throughout this week, Gizmodo and Lifehacker are joining forces to guide you through the gadgets and strategies you need to improve your life across the board.

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