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10 Tech aids for better sleep

by Craig Huggart, ABA Legal Technology Today

If you sometimes struggle with sleep, know that you are not alone. I do, too!

For the past decade, I made it my mission to sleep better. While there are some crazy solutions you can try, for me, it’s the basics that work best. With anything you try for sleep, YMMV (your mileage may vary). Try it out, and if it works, great. If not, try something else.

One ring to rule them all. Management consultant Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” If you feel like you slept well, you probably did. An objective measure, however, can be very helpful. I know of people who say things like, “I can have a cup of coffee right before bed and sleep great.” Then, they find out, when tracking their sleep, that coffee has a dramatic impact. For more than three years, I have used the Oura Ring to track my sleep. It rocks! See my review.

Most promising new sleep device. Dreem 2 is a sleep tracker that looks very promising. If you want the latest and greatest, this is it.

Hue bulbs. At night, I use the Hue Lights app to set my Hue Smart Bulbs to red, which prevents blue light from being emitted. Think back to how easy it was to fall asleep the last time you went camping.

Iris app. This app lets you adjust the colors on your laptop. I set Iris to Health during the day (removes some blue light) to Sleep (no blue light) at night.

iPhone screen management. I keep my iPhone on Night Shift all the time, which blocks some blue light. When you first use it, it looks strange, but it won’t take long before you don't notice it. At night, I turn my screen completely red using this tip.

Mini amber flashlight. Your bedroom should be pitch black. Still, if you need some light when getting up in the middle of the night, my favorite is this flashlight. Get two, one for home and one for travel – they are very compact).

Earplugs. Most nights, especially when traveling, I sleep with earplugs. After all, less noise translates to more sleep. Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs are the best I’ve found.

Sleep mask. This is a very personal thing. You may have to try several sleep masks before finding one that works for you. Do that, and it’s a game-changer (especially away from home). The one that I like is the Manta Sleep Mask. It blocks out almost all light and is very comfortable.

Almost magical nap app. If you want an app to help you take a power nap, look no further than Pzizz. It just works. Pro tip: Drink a cup of coffee or tea right before your nap for a “caffeine nap.”

Meditation made easy. I have tried an embarrassing number of meditation apps, but I always return to the world’s most popular Headspace. There is nothing more crucial to getting good sleep than stress management. Meditating will allow you to alleviate your stress. The best time to meditate is after you’re done with the workday. Studies show that as little as 10 minutes per day can make a difference.

I would love to hear from you! What works for you? What doesn’t work? What should you add to your list?

Add boiler to end of article: ABA Law Technology Today was launched in 2012 to provide the legal community with practical guidance for the present and sensible strategies for the future. LTT brings together practicing lawyers, technology professionals and practice management experts from a wide range of practice settings and backgrounds. LTT is published by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center.

Craig Huggart has been a legal technology trainer since 2001. He is an Alabama fan and a Star Trek geek and is passionate about making the lives of lawyers a little better. You can reach him at [email protected].