Some mornings you jump out of bed, raring to go when that alarm goes off. Other mornings? You feel like death dragging yourself to work, much less a morning workout. Sometimes, it’s because what you’re putting on your plate may actually mess with your sleep cycle. As an example, having tomato-based pasta sauce is actually a bad idea- it can cause heartburn for guys with acid reflux, and also contains the amino acid tyramine, triggering your brain to release norepinephrine, a stimulant that boosts brain activity and inhibits sleep.
But what if you’ve tried every health tip and sleep still eludes you? Here’s a few products that promise to help that we tried and tested over several nights.
We start with Bose’s Noise-Masking Sleepbuds.
What They Promise: “They look like tiny headphones, using pre-loaded, soothing masking sounds to cover up unwanted night-time noises so you can get to sleep and stay asleep.”
Some background here- what is noise-masking? Essentially, using signal-processing tech, noise and sound masking systems emit a soft-inconspicuous background sound that makes undesirable noises and distractions less audible. An example- your spouses snoring; cats making out in the void deck; mahjong players in the hall.
To clarify, this isn’t noise-cancelling- these don’t use the noise-cancelling tech that you see in headphones in the marketplace. There’s no microphone tracking the audio around you, and you can’t play music on these. Instead, these are really like earplugs that play low-level sound to train your brain not to get distracted. Basically, like the white noise apps that were popular some time back, only in earbud form. There’s a variety of what Bose calls “soothing sounds”, with 10 divided into those for noise masking and for relaxation.
Did They Work: First things first- don’t set them up right before you want to go to bed. It takes some time to download the Bose Sleep App, and you’ll have to swipe past the usual signups and multiple “how to use” slides, and then fit them with different rubber tips to get them staying on your ears. That whole process might irritate you so much you won’t be in the mood to sleep. The good thing is- the Sleepbud’s wingtips are really soft and pretty comfortable so sleeping on them won’t hurt.
The downside? They didn’t really work. Firstly, the sound quality of the white noise didn’t seem that high, and the pitch abit high. The trouble with that is that’s the kind of thing that’s likely to make us fixate on, like fingernails on chalkboard. Some nights we did get better sleep wearing them, and others poor… which basically was our normal sleep pattern anyway. One thing they seemed good for though- reading on the MRT. If you’re like us and find the roar of the train and fellow commuters distracting from your daily read, pop these on and you’ll breeze through your chapters with ease. Fingers crossed, maybe you might even fall asleep, even if we didn’t.
$379, available at authorized Bose dealers