Welcome to the first ever TechRadar Sleep Week, our in-depth look at all things slumber, which runs from Sunday 31 October to Sunday 7 November. To mark the occasion, we’ve interviewed doctors, psychologists and neuroscientists to get their tips and techniques for how you can sleep better, starting tonight.
We’ve also rounded up the best sleep products to ensure you’re comfy in bed and clued up on what’s happening with your shut-eye. So set aside some time to dive into our round-ups of the best mattresses, as well as the top sleep trackers and other essential kit.
Getting consistent, good quality sleep has big benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing. It lowers your risk of heart disease, reduces levels of inflammation in the body, and benefits the immune system. Good sleep also helps the brain to function properly, and you’ll feel more positive and productive after a good night’s kip.
Sleep doesn’t come easy to everyone though, so we’ll be looking at ways to get you all snoozing a little better. This could be spotting the signs of sleep deprivation, or figuring out why you keep waking up at night. Getting up at the same time each day is one of the best things you can do for your sleep, as well as creating a relaxing bedtime routine to help you shut-off.
We’ll be updating this article daily with the freshest Sleep Week features, buying guides and reviews, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for everything you need to know about sleep and how to do it better.
TechRadar Sleep Week 2021: how to sleep better
We have plenty of great content lined up for the forthcoming week, all designed to help you get a better understanding of good sleep, how to do it, and why stressing over poor shut-eye only makes it worse.
How comfortable you feel in bed affects how well you sleep, so we’ll also be looking at ways to boost your in-bed comfort. This includes tracking down a cracking pillow for your favorite sleeping position, and a good mattress topper to extend the life of your current bed and save you money.
For old or worn-out mattresses that can’t be saved, this is a great time of year to upgrade as we’ll soon be flooded with holiday season shopping offers. Our guide to the best Black Friday mattress deals talks you through what to look for and how to snag the biggest discounts.
Sleep buying guides, reviews and deals
Best mattress: how to find your dream bed
Our expert guide will walk you through the comfiest mattresses for a range of sleeping positions and budgets. So whether you’re a side sleeper who loves sinking into super-soft beds, or you snooze on your stomach and enjoy a firmer feel, we’ve got you covered with this easy-breezy guide to the latest and greatest mattresses.
Best sleep trackers: understand your zzz’s
When used correctly, a sleep tracker can monitor your slumber so that you gain a general overview of what’s going on when you close your eyes at night. Not all sleep trackers are made equal though, which is why we have been reviewing the best in the game. These are the ones we’d recommend.
Nectar mattress sale: save on comfy sleep at Nectar
We'll be covering plenty of great mattress deals during Sleep Week, kicking off with this Black Friday-beating offer from Nectar. The Nectar Memory Foam is a great choice for all sleeping positions and offers good motion isolation, making it great pick for couples. In the sale you can buy the Nectar from just $499 in the US, and from £341.40 in the UK.
Oura (Generation 2): health tracking all day and night
Don't like wearing a watch at night? Oura is a smart ring that monitors your wellbeing 24 hours a day, and is one of the best sleep trackers around.
Best mattress toppers: instantly boost your comfort
If you aren't looking for a new mattress, but you would like to make your current bed softer, firmer or more cooling, a mattress topper will get the job done. They come in a variety of sizes and depths, and make an instant difference to your sleep comfort. Here we look at those worth buying.
Amazfit Zenbuds: sweet sounds and sleep tracking
These tiny earplugs block out distracting noise, play soothing sounds to help you nod off, and monitor your sleep throughout the night. All the data syncs with your phone in the morning so you can check your stats immediately when you wake.
Simba mattress sale: hybrid mattress tech for less
You can save up to 45% on a Simba hybrid mattress bundle right now, netting you a breathable, innovative mattress for less, plus bedding and even a bed frame (depending on the bundle you pick). Don't need the bundle? There's 40% off every hybrid in the new sale, with savings of up to £840.
Sleep Cycle: the sleep help and tracking app
We put this popular sleep app through its paces to see if it really can track your sleep as well as it claims. We also test out its ability to help users fall asleep easier, and to wake up more naturally.
Best pillows: this year's comfiest picks for better sleep
A good bed pillow is more important than you think, as they can make your sleep either comfy and restorative or painful and restless. Find your dream pick now with our guide to this year's comfiest pillows for all-out snoozing.
Withings Sleep Analyzer sale: save over $30 at Amazon
If you're keen to gain more insight in your shut-eye, this under-the-mattress sleep tracker is one of the best we've tried. As soon as you nod off, the Withings Sleep Analyzer monitors your sleep stages, heart rate, breathing rate, and whether you're snoring. All that, and for $30 off too.
Save $250 on Saatva mattresses: TechRadar exclusive
To celebrate the launch of our first ever Sleep Week, we have secured an exclusive discount for you on Saatva mattresses. These luxury beds are handcrafted in America and offer superb spinal support, ensuring you experience less aches and pains after a good night's sleep. You have until November 8 to jump on this one.
QuietOn 3: enjoy a quieter night
These smart sleep earplugs have active noise cancelling to block out distracting sounds like traffic, noisy neighbors, or a snoring partner. They only block low frequencies though, so you can still hold a conversation and won't miss your alarm in the morning.
Brook + Wilde hybrid mattress sale: huge savings
Brook + Wilde has launched its Black Friday sale early, with enormous discounts on mattresses and bed linen. You can save up to £250 on a luxury hybrid mattress, or pick up a free bedding bundle worth up to £1,209 with these discount codes.
Best sleep earplugs: block out annoying noise
A good pair of earplugs can be a real game-changer, but they're not all created equal. We've rounded up the very best, including some with active noise cancelling and others that play soothing sounds to help you doze.
Saatva Black Friday mattress sale: luxe sleep for less
Early access deals are on now, with 15% off orders over orders worth over $2,500, and 10% off everything else. If you've been thinking of upgrading, it's a great opportunity to save hundreds of dollars.
Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300 review: a healthy glow
This smart alarm clock wakes you gently in the morning with a simulated sunrise, helping you avoid that unpleasant groggy feeling. You can also choose to wake to nature sounds, or an FM radio, and it's all refreshingly simple to operate.
Get 20% off the Muse-S sleep tracker at Amazon
One of the world's best sleep trackers is on sale right now, and it could be your ticket to calmer, more restful sleep if you're currently struggling with shut-eye. As we explain in our article looking at the deal, this is sweet discount and one we might not see again before Black Friday, so it's worth a look if your sleep needs a helping hand.
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750 DAB review: rise and shine
A good sunrise alarm clock can help you fend off the winter blues by bathing your bedroom in a cheery, sunshine glow each morning. Lumie makes some of the best we have tested, and the Bodyclock Luxe 750 is no exception. It can also help you relax and unwind at night, so you could make it a soothing part of your bedtime routine.
Best sleep apps: the smart way to drift off
Sleep apps are designed to help you doze off a little easier, with some working their magic through a range of soothing sounds, while others take you on a guided meditation to get the job done. We’ve rounded up the most potent ones here to help you relax a racing mind and sleep better tonight.
Smart Clock 2 review: smart-en up your nightstand
The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 is a phone charger, alarm clock, nightlight and smart speaker in one, with Google Assistant baked in. Yes it can stream songs from Spotify and YouTube Music, but has it done enough to outsmart the Google Nest Hub 2? We put it to the test to find out, and to discover whether it should be your next bedroom tech buy.
Best wake-up lights: sunshine on darker mornings
Rise and shine in the depths of winter with a cheery sunrise alarm clock. These clever alarm clocks bathe your room in a warm glow each morning, and have a soothing sunset setting to help you relax ahead of sleep at night. Waking up on winter mornings just got a whole lot easier.
Best white noise machines: dim the din
Noise, like heat, is a disruptor of sleep for some people. A white noise machine can help by masking certain noises so that they have less chance of waking you up. These bedside machines also play a range of white noise sounds capable of relaxing you and helping you sleep through the night.
Sleep features, tips and advice
Signs of sleep deprivation: an expert sheds some light
Psychologist and sleep expert Dr Juliet Anton explains the six biggest sleep deprivation symptoms to watch for, from poor concentration to catching cold after cold. Dr Anton also explains how you can tackle sleep deprivation and start getting the hours you need in bed.
How to sleep in space: why astronauts struggle to snooze
Space travel sounds glamorous, but it's also a nightmare of sleeping bags, smells, and constantly shifting sunlight that shatters circadian rhythms. Here's how astronauts make sure they grab their 30 winks.
7 major sleep killers: according to experts who solve them
Neurobiologist Dr Verena Senn talks us through several possible reasons why you can’t sleep, and explains what you can do about it so you can feel better both physically and mentally.
How to clean a mattress: tackle smells, stains and spills
Experts recommend cleaning your mattress at least twice a year to get rid of allergy-triggering dust mites, and to tackle a build up of smells and stains. Here we walk you through how to handle fresh spills, ground-in stains, and how to keep those pesky mites at bay.
How to sleep through the night: A doctor talks wake-ups
It's natural to wake up from sleep in the night, but problems creep in when your wake-ups get longer and longer. Here we speak to a neuroscientist and sleep problems expert to pinpoint the five most common culprits behind frequent waking, and how you can make them less of an issue.
Does sleep tech really work? What the experts say
Watches, wake-up lights, white noise machines, noise-cancelling earplugs – are they worth the investment? James Wilson, aka The Sleep Geek, shares his insights.
How often should you change your mattress?
Even the best mattress won't last forever, and different types have different lifespans. Here's how to work out when it's time to replace yours, and the telltale signs that it's nearing the end of its life.
How the moon affects sleep patterns: and why
There are lots of myths about the moon and sleep, but studies have revealed that sleep patterns really are affected by the lunar cycle – particularly men's. Here's what happens, and why.
Sleep myths you can ignore, thanks to science
There are lots of misconceptions about sleep, and bad advice could be preventing you from getting as much rest as you could. Here, expects break down common myths that have been scientifically disproved, and might be holding you back from a better night's sleep.
How to create a bedtime routine: and why you should
The more relaxed you are going to bed, the more easily you'll fall asleep. But getting into a relaxed headspace for sleep takes a little time, which is why having a bedtime routine in place each night can help you. In this feature we run you through the benefits of creating your own bedtime routine, what to do, and how it will help you sleep.
How to choose a mattress: let your sleep guide the way
Buying a mattress doesn't have to be tricky, especially when you let your dominant sleeping position lead the way. Whether you are a stomach sleeper, a back snoozer or your sleep on your side (or a bit of all three), our guide can help you find the right mattress for how you like to drift off.
How to fall asleep faster: 9 techniques to try tonight
Is it possible to fall asleep within two minutes? Try The Military Method out for yourself and you'll soon know the answer. Whether it's stress, anxiety, or a mind that won't switch off, falling asleep sometimes feels like it takes forever. That's why we have rounded up some of the best techniques to help you drift off quickly and easily.
How to track sleep with your Fitbit: our expert guide
Own a Fitbit? Want to start tracking your sleep? Then you're in the right place with our easy guide. Here we walk you through how to get started so that you can get more of an idea about how much sleep you're getting each night. Plus, we show you how to use your Fitbit to create a relaxing wind-down schedule before bed, and to set a smart alarm.
How much sleep do you need: We ask a neuroscientist
The amount of sleep you should aim for each night to feel healthier, happier and well-rested depends on various factors. These include your age, whether you have any existing health conditions, and how active you are on a daily basis. To help you figure out your optimal hours of sleep per night, we asked a neuroscientist to crunch the numbers.
How to adjust your sleep to the changing of the clocks
The clocks have now gone back in the UK, but in America the time change takes place on Sunday 7 November. For our friends in the UK, we’re looking at how you can capitalise on that extra hour of sleep and make this autumn and winter your best seasons for sleep. And for our friends in the US, we’ll help you prepare for the coming clock change.
Why the clock change is a good time to talk sleep
The good news is that the one hour time difference when the clocks go back isn’t as disruptive as when they go forward (when we lose an hour’s sleep). We’ll be looking at this more closely in our forthcoming feature on how to adjust your sleep when the clocks go back, but for now here are some quick tips to get ready (if you need to) ahead of Sunday:
1. Reset your own (biological) clock
Insomnia experts Sleepstation say that if you are sleeping well at the moment, it isn't crucial that you adjust your sleep routine to tie-in with the clocks going back, as chances are it will be pretty easy for you to adjust quickly. However, if you are struggling with poor sleep or you are undergoing sleep therapy, then you will need to gradually shift your usual bedtime routine a little each night as of Friday.
To do this, Sleepstation advises staying up a little later each night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to prepare for that 2am clock windback. Aim for 15 mins later than your usual bedtime on the Friday, 20 minutes later on the Saturday, and 25 minutes later on the Sunday.
2. Go for a morning walk and soak up that daylight
This is good sleep advice for anyone. Light impacts how well we sleep at night, and evidence shows that getting outside into natural daylight is best. There are plenty of mental health benefits of walking outdoors too, especially in nature, so you’re onto a double win here.
If you can’t or don’t want to head outside for various reasons, then you might benefit from using a light therapy lamp each morning instead. These aren’t suitable for use by everyone though – certain health issues and medications will preclude you from using one – so check the guidelines before you buy, or ask your health practitioner if in doubt.
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Claire is a Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach who covers all things related to slumber, and is the go-to person for getting great product recommendations for better sleep. As an expert mattress reviewer, Claire has tested memory foam and hybrid mattresses from a range of top-rated brands, and has extensive experience of testing bedding too. Claire regularly speaks to certified sleep specialists, such as chartered psychologists and doctors of sleep medicine, to stay on top of the research and techniques that can help you enjoy better quality sleep, and she speaks with industry specialists about the latest mattress trends and new releases. Before delving into the world of sleep, Claire was Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that a Senior Content Editor at T3. Having suffered with insomnia for years, Claire knows how much of a difference a good night's sleep can make and is passionate about helping others to sleep better too.