Your mom was right: You need a good night's sleep. (Between seven and eight hours, to be exact.) And it's no longer cool to humblebrag about how few hours you need to work and play. It's no wonder The New York Times recently declared, "Sleep is the new status symbol."
"When you are sleep-deprived, your cortisol [a hormone that responds to stress] and epinephrine [aka adrenaline] are hyped up," says Dr. Sanjeev Kothare, of the NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center—Sleep Center. Lack of sleep can lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Biochemically, things are just as bad. "There are chemicals in the brain that are supposed to be excreted when you sleep," Kothare explains, "so those accumulate, which worsens brain activity."
And if that's not enough: Not getting sufficient sleep can also lead to weight gain. "Your leptin and ghrelin hormones [which control our appetites] go up, and that makes you want to eat more," he adds. We've all heard the basics— no TV before bed, anyone?—but what about when that stuff isn't enough? (Up to 20 percent of Americans suffer from sleep or wakeful-ness disorders.) The booming sleep-tech market will tuck you in.
Kryo Sleep Performance System
No more kicking off the covers or fiddling with the AC. This mattress topper, due out next month, water-cools (circulating the temperature-perfect water through the superthin pad) your side of the bed for better sleep (experts say somewhere between 60°F and 68°F is optimal), then "warms" you awake.
BUY IT: sleepkryo.com.
Lose that white-noise app. Plug in this pair of sound- making units—each equipped with speakers—for "blankets" of soothing sounds. Developed by acoustics experts, Nightingale comes with multiple nature and white-noise sounds to help block traffic and household noise. Bonus: The units also help mask snoring sounds and have cool night-light functionality. Download the Nightingale Sound app and you don't even have to get out of bed to turn them on.
$299 per pair
BUY IT: meetnightingale.com.
S+ by ResMed
This no-contact-necessary sensor uses echolocation technologies to track your breathing, heart rate, sleep cycle, and more from your nightstand, then compiles that data to give you personalized suggestions on how to maximize your snooze time. S+ can also help you relax with guided breathing exercises and provides a smart alarm that gently wakes you from your lightest sleep stage, so you're less groggy.
BUY IT: resmed.com.
Sensorwake Olfactory Alarm
Instead of, say, a blaring noise, the Sensorwake Olfactory Alarm wakes snoozers with…scent. The company swears that scent can efficiently rouse you, transitioning your brain from sleep, and the device usually takes approximately two minutes to awaken someone. Choose from a variety of dry-air diffusion capsules—seaside, espresso, even croissant. Oh, and the company is currently cooking up a new scent specifically for the American market: bacon.
BUY IT: sensorwake.com.
A version of this article appears in the July issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands June 20.