A recent study found that listening to 45 minutes of relaxing music before trying to get to sleep can make for a more restful night.
So a new gadget could be just the thing for those who suffer from insomnia and find counting sheep just doesn’t work. It could also prove useful for people who need to drown out the sound of their partner snoring.
SleepPhones, made by inventors Wei-Shin Lai and Jason Wolfe, are a fabric headband with earphones built in.
Versions currently on the market have a wire to connect to a phone but a new wireless version is due to go on the market in April. The new device will retail for £50.
SleepPhones first went on sale in 2007 when Lai was working as a family doctor and was having trouble getting to sleep after calling patients late at night.
“My husband suggested that I listen to something to take my mind off of patient concerns,” she explained. “Since I didn’t want to disturb my husband while he slept, I needed headphones or ear buds I could wear in bed.
“But there was nothing comfortable on the market so I came up with stuffing speakers inside a headband.”
It makers claim you can even use SleepPhones, which they dub “pyjamas for your ears”, with your partner sleeping next to you without disturbing them.
She added: “Being able to sleep soundly is crucial to feeling well overall, and SleepPhones help by playing relaxing audio, drowning out noises and establishing a positive bedtime routine.”
According to the SleepPhones site: “The SleepPhones story is all about helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. That means no more sleepless nights due to partner snoring or other distractions. SleepPhones help you get better sleep leading to a better daily life.”
The firm also makes RunPhones, a version of the gizmo specially designed for exercise, which stay in place while you run. It means the ear buds don’t fall out but you can still hear traffic noise along with your music, making sure you stay safe. If you do get a bit sweaty during your workout, you can easily remove the speakers to wash the headband.
The device was made shortly after research showed that listening to calming music could be an aid to sleep.
Taiwanese researchers looked at the sleeping patterns of 60 elderly people who were all having trouble either falling or staying asleep.
Study participants were given a choice of whether they wanted to listen to music before going to sleep or nothing at all. They were given a choice of half a dozen tracks featuring calming, slow music, with around 60 to 80 beats per minute, including jazz, folk or classical pieces.
Researchers found that those participants who had listened to music had physical changes that helped them develop restful sleep patterns, including a lower heart and respiratory rate.
So, next time you’re struggling to drift off to sleep , a spot of jazz on SleepPhones may just do the trick.