Sleep devices offer the promise of quiet rest — relief from the buzz of our high-tech world that can make us a bit frazzled at the end of the day. Artificial light throws off our bodies’ biological clocks.
“Blue light” is on the shortwave/high-energy end of the visible light spectrum: the kind of light emitted by energy-efficient light bulbs and computer and phone screens. Light at the blue wavelength is helpful during the day because it boosts energy and mood.
At night, however, staring into the blue light of a phone or computer screen can disrupt sleep. That’s where energy-efficient sleep technology steps in.
Sleep technology and bedtime devices help us fall asleep, stay that way and support our comfort and health during this vital mind-body state. As research uncovers more of the mysteries behind a good night’s sleep, a wide variety of sleep technology devices have come on the market:
The sleep devices we’ve reviewed above all use electricity. For all their benefits, they have costs. You can calculate the energy requirements of your bedtime technology using this handy appliance energy calculator. It’s important to consider energy-efficient sleep technology and to develop good habits in the use of bedtime devices at night.
The biggest mistake people make is failing to turn them off in the morning. Running the electric blanket and leaving the white-noise machine on all day wastes power and reduces their life spans. Many devices continue to draw power even in the off state, so unplugging in the morning is a good habit to acquire.
Because a good night’s sleep is important, chances are that you’ll be using your bedtime technology every night. With constant use, power use really adds up. Here are some tips to increase your energy efficiency and reduce your sleep technology energy costs:
When shopping for devices, energy consumption labels can help you compare and choose the most energy-efficient sleep technology. The labels typically give you a range between the highest and lowest energy consumption to make it easier to assess energy cost and efficiency when shopping.
One of the benefits of smart lighting and smart devices is that they can help you conserve energy. Smart homes and connected technology optimize operation of your devices for energy efficiency and relieve you from having to remember to turn them off.
Each category of device offers a number of different options. Consider your needs and avoid paying for features you don’t need, especially features that can also run up energy consumption. Some features help you control energy use, like smart automation and built-in shut-off mechanisms. Also take a look at specifications, particularly energy usage, to select units that are most efficient.
Energy-efficient sleep technology isn’t so efficient if you don’t use it thoughtfully. Don’t operate devices at max power unless you need it. Turn them off when not in use, such as when you wake up in the morning. Keeping devices clean further improves efficiency.
Using light-emitting diode (LED) technology is one of the most energy-efficient actions you can take today. Comparing LED vs. CFL bulbs, LED lights last longer, are less prone to breakage and offer better light quality, with filters that reduce blue light. Consider connecting them to smart plugs to automatically dim and switch off according to your schedule.
Many electronic devices are energy vampires, sucking down power even when off. Idle, plugged-in appliances can increase your power consumption by up to 23%. Unplug devices you’re not using to maximize your savings.
Unplugging devices one by one can be a chore. Consider grouping devices — for example, your television, DVD and game system — onto one power strip. With one click, you can conveniently turn them all on and off as needed, saving you money and effort.
Energy-efficient sleep devices can enhance your sleep and quality of life. With careful selection, efficient use during low-cost nighttime hours and making sure they don’t run all day, you’ll ensure that your sleep devices can also give you peace of mind. That’s smart home energy saving that really pays.
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