June 19, 2012

Can't Sleep? High Tech to the Rescue! (Review and Giveaway)

Whatever it takes.

Anyone ever have trouble sleeping? Show of hands?

Oh goodness, that's quite a few of you!

Well let's see what we've got here.  Hmm, a review of Sheex Performance Bedding, and a reader giveaway of the LARK sleep sensor and docking station.

Plus the usual irrelevant prattle that Crabby Slacker is famous for would be famous for, if she were famous.

First, you may wonder, why am I just doing a lazy product post instead of writing an informative, comprehensive guide to beating insomnia with a compilation of all the latest research?

Well, that's because:

1. I'm really freakin' lazy.

2. You've read that all "sleep hygiene" stuff a million times before and it's not hard to find on the web. The Mayo Clinic, for example, has insomnia advice, and a quick visit to Dr. Google turned up another 42 tips for getting to sleep.

Yet many people diligently try all these sorts of suggestions and still find themselves wide awake at 3am reviewing their most humiliating high school moments or wondering whether the refrigerator kicking on every few minutes has always sounded as loud as a cargo plane making an emergency landing on the kitchen counter.  So I'll let some other eager health blogger write that helpful post.

3. Stress makes sleeping harder, and so why should I scare insomnia sufferers half to death by listing a bunch of Horrendous Health Consequences?  In fact, let's just state for the record that chronic insomnia will not make your brain explode out of your head, result in random limbs or digits falling off, or cause you to sprout horns, fins, or a tail.  So next time someone starts to tell you about some grim study, just put your hands over your ears and sing the alphabet song over and over until they go away. Or, alternatively, start shrieking it at high volume until someone hauls you away to a securely locked facility where they have nice nurses and soundproof rooms and heavy-duty drugs and you can get some rest.

OK, so now on the The Stuff.

Sheex Sheets


Gosh, I was a short-haired, middle-aged brunette when I went to sleep...
 That's some amazing technology!

Now don't get too excited; this one is a REVIEW not a giveaway. The giveaway is is of the LARK thingy below.

The premise:  Sheex makes "High Performance Bedding" and it's billed as "The Preferred Bedding of Professional Athletes." The company founders come from the world of women's basketball so the idea of using high performance athletic fabrics in bedding must have seemed like a slam dunk. (har, har). Oh gosh, how will I ever rebound from such a corny joke? 

Now I am not a professional athlete.  But I am a professional whiner! As well as a sufferer of epic hot flashes and occasional insomnia,  plus I'm a hyperactive tosser-and-turner and a championship perspirer.  I could win an Olympic medal in sweating were there such an event.  They must have figured: Crabby McWho?  Well, she's grumpy and the right age for hot flashes, good enough!

The technology: the sheets are made from athletic "performance fabrics" designed for "temperature control, moisture transport, breathability, four way stretch, durability, and superior feel."

What I thought of them: Quite comfy!

At first I did feel a bit weirded out by the synthetic feel. They're very soft, so they almost feel like "real" sheets, but not quite.  It's the same way that a high-tech workout top can be cool and comfy and practical but still make you momentarily nostaligic for your old favorite cotton T-shirt because that's what you're used to, even though your brain says get over it, the new stuff is better. But I got used to the texture pretty quickly, and the sheets were an immediate hit with the Lobster.

The important thing: they do stay dryer than cotton sheets, hooray!  Though I think I fantasized that this would somehow prevent me from waking up throughout the night drenched in sweat... they didn't.  But the sheets, while high-tech, aren't spun from fairy dust.  All they can do is wick the sweat away once it appears, they can't magical restore my premenopausal temperature regulating abilities.

The sheets are stretchy so that they're easy to put on the bed, and don't wrinkle easily, and though they're thinner than cotton, they seem well-constructed and built to last. They retail from $159-$219, so if you're not a greedy blogger grabbing up free sheets for review, and that's within your bedtime budget, you may want to give them a shot!

Giveaway: The LARK Sleep Sensor and Docking Station




I haven't tried this, since they're designed to work with iPhones and I have a Droid, darn it!

But according to the promo material, the LARK’s app and wristband monitors your sleeping patterns, and analyzes your “sleep health” on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It can also "wake you up silently through a vibrating sensation that gently rouses you from sleep without disturbing the person lying next to you." It figures out your "specific Sleep Type" and "creates a personalized report for easy better sleep so you can optimize the other two thirds of your day." It's an official product of the National Sleep Foundation, and cheaper than hiring a herd of sheep to leap over your head every night.

Curious? Leave a comment, and a random winner will be chosen Monday June 25th. The giveaway includes the watch and docking station, which retails for $99. But sorry, it's U.S. only, and the giveaway does not include an iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch, so if you, like me, ain't got any of those, this thingy might not do you much good.

Good luck!

Anyone have any trouble sleeping? Or waking up?

56 comments:

  1. I have an iPod touch, and lots of trouble sleeping. I'd be game to try this, even though I doubt I could wear anything on my wrist without adding to my insomnia. Should I win, and this prove to be the case, I would pass the thingy on to the next iEnabled person Mr. RG picks.

    (The sheets, of course, being synthetic, would completely prevent me from sleeping.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  2. DAMMIT! I always miss out on the good giveaways because I am poor and cannot afford an Iphone or IPad.

    *sigh*

    I have trouble staying asleep, I wake up so frequently in the night.

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  3. I've had insomnia in the past, but have been lucky to not suffer from it in general. I have no tips for anyone as I simply suffered through it.
    I am reluctant to get out of bed most of the time as I find it a comforting, soothing place.

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  4. Oooh I need that sleep sensor for my sad insomniac boyfriend!

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  5. I want a Lark! I've been debating whether or not I'm willing to fork out the $100 for one, but if I could get it for freebies, that would be awesome!

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  6. I only really get insomnia a couple of times a year. I think I would prefer the Lark for waking me up gently. Thanks for the opportunity

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  7. For the most part, I sleep really well...It's the waking up that's hard, especially in the winter - if it's dark, my brain/body thinks I should be sleeping. What works best for me is a Dawn Simulator alarm clock, so that I can wake up with light. The Lark sounds interesting though (but I'm Canadian so don't enter me:) ).

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  8. I have a lot of trouble sleeping during the summer...if it is light outside when I'm trying to sleep, it's near impossible!

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  9. I have an iPhone and a hubby who doesn't sleep well...please enter me in the giveaway!

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  10. I also have an ipod touch, so I can use this. Yay!

    I'd be interested to see what it thinks my sleep pattern is; I always refer to it as "sleep like the dead," since nothing on earth wakes me up. I slept through the fire alarm in the dorms for twenty minutes in college, so the thought of a little vibration trying to do it intrigues me. I'm also a very active sleeper...like my ex and I had a California King and there was still the occasional kick or smack from my end. Oops. :)

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  11. There's a National Sleep Foudation? For some reason that strikes me as strange. Is that where scientists go at night when they can't sleep?

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  12. Oh wow. Sleep tracking has always been something interesting to me. I just got an iPhone recently and it would be pretty nifty to use a product like that even though my low dosage of Doxepin is usually a hit or miss.

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  13. Cool! I go through phases of having trouble sleep, and I'd love to try this out with my iPad. :)

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  14. I've always wanted to try one of these sleep monitoring devices because I toss and turn so much. I'm sure my husband would let me borrow his iphone to try it out :)

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  15. I had an anatomy professor that told us to read anatomy books at bedtime because nothing puts you to sleep faster than doing that!

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  16. I have a love hate relationship with sleep.
    I will sleep a solid 12+ hours on the weekend. Full blown comatose until someone wakes me up. And on the week days I'll get my regular 8hours, but I'm still tired and fatigued.

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  17. My best friend bought Sheex and did NOT have a good experience with them - having stayed over there once myself, I can say that they feel really comfortable, but seem to make you sweatier. I think they did a good job wicking the sweat away (kind of?), but they seemed to retain heat more than regular sheets so you initially sweat more. If that makes sense?

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    1. Interesting! Now that you mention it, they have a more "neutral" temp than cotton sheets, which can feel cooler at first. Thanks for the feedback!

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  18. Is there such a thing as waking up gently? I'm all for alarms other than that one annoying, loud, heart beating out of your chest, find the nearest bomb shelter kind of standard alarm. I hate that one. This would be cool to win, I just wish it had the feature of putting more hours in a day so I can sleep longer ;0

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    1. If you find that "more hours in a day" product, let me know and I'll offer to do a review & giveaway! That and calorie-free totally healthy brownies. Calling all scientists & engineers!

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  19. I'm curious! My partner and I work different shifts, so I'm often getting up just as he's trying to get to sleep. Having a way to wake up without disturbing him would be awesome.

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  20. I never get quality sleep. I could really use something like that :)

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  21. That would be great, I have been sleeping so horribly lately!

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  22. Totally interested in the sleep gadget. I love the idea of a gentle wake up instead of me flailing away at the alien noise m iPhone alarm makes every morning!

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  23. Don't enter me for giveaway cause I have a droid BUT the sheets sound interesting but if they are not going to take my might sweats way well... ;-) I like the sound of them though.... Sleep - elusive at times due to hormones & noise in this high density area!

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  24. I have trouble sleeping constantly and think LARK would be great to try!

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  25. This is amazing technology and would save my need to go to a sleep clinic. I have insomnia and sometimes sleep apnea tendencies. It is incredible I could hook this with my iPod touch and find out my sleep patterns. Even if I don't win, it seems well worth the $99.

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  26. I sleep like the dead, so no worries for me. But the S.O.- she is up and down and never gets a good night's sleep ( not that it wakes me or the dogs up!) The "gentle awakening" the Lark is offering seems pretty interesting though.
    Just curious, but do those sheets feel like "sheets" or do they feel like a performance coolmax type t- shirt?

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    1. Sort of in between "real" sheets and a coolmax shirt. Softer than the shirt, but still a little more slippery than a cotton sheet. Oh, and thanks for the encouragement on website... still tons to do but am having fun with it!

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  27. ... oh, and I like your new website design! :)

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  28. Ok so I could sleep on a hardwood floor with a heard of horses passing by until the last two years and now sleep eludes me more often than not. I could use some help other than the above Dr. Google's 42 tips that DO NOT WORK LOL. Since the 26th is my birthday it would be nice to win :) Not that I am trying to get your vote or anything!

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  29. Holy moly! A good nights sleep in cool sheets. I would have no trouble falling asleep in those babies ...

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  30. Interesting. I have an iPhone, and I'd like to try this out! (too bad it's not a giveaway for the sheets, I could sure use those, too)

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  31. I bed the worst sleeper ever.
    LIFELONG.
    actually I guess thats not true ;) Im the worst most LARKy person ever. Lifelong....

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  32. Thanks for another giveaway. My husband has an iPhone and I'd love to give this to him.

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  33. i'm in the third trimester- lots of trouble sleeping
    tcogbill at live dot com

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  34. Thanks for the give away. I love your blog.

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  35. Would love to try this out, to figure out why I am so exhausted after a full night's rest!

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  36. This is fantastic. Not fun waking up tired.

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  37. I am having trouble typing because my hand is still raised high in answer to your "who is having trouble sleeping" question. I would so love to win this. I have read about the LARK in a magazine but thought it a bit pricy to buy it on a gamble. It sounds like it could help me. Thanks!

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  38. I am glad you wrote about the sheexs. Do they stay put on the mattress? I have dreams (when I can manage to get to sleep... see how I snuck that in there? : )) of finding the perfect sheets. Ones that allow me to twirl around without taking all the bedding with me, but not satin ones so I do not slip off the edge... that will soak up my yummy to think about night sweats and other drippy things and simply make them disappear so I can then forget about them and put off washing my sheets for another week. TMI? LOL NEVER!

    About sleep loss and what I like to think about. Last night I could not stop thinking about what my doctor might ask me while I am being put under anesthesia and what I might just blurt out. I also wondered how I could sit in my yard without attracting the neighbors who will not leave hermity me alone. I know - big problems. I like to keep my nocturnal pondering low key since they always SEEM bigger in the dark.

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    1. Sheex do stay put, at least so far!

      And I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks anesthesia is kinda creepy. Not only do I worry what I might say, I worry that I really WILL feel something hideously painful but just not remember it! Fortunately it hasn't come up too often.

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  39. Oh the Lark! Yeah, I've heard about this and was really interested but for my husband. He's lousy at sleeping...I'm quite good at it. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  40. That Lark thing looks cool! And the idea of sweat-wicking sheets sounds amazing! Between my husband and I, we can soak some sheets! (With our sweat while sleeping, you nasty.) Usually resulting in me waking up freezing cold in the middle of the night, but too exhausted to actually get out of bed to change into dry clothes. Disgusting. But... that's a lot of money...

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  41. I'd love to try that LARK contraption! I feel like I sleep well most of the time, but I still wake up feeling like I need to sleep a lot longer. It would be interesting to see what it says about my sleeping patterns! The sheets sound interesting...

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  42. I'd like to try the LARK! I'm always interested in something that confirms I'm only getting a few hours of sleep each night.

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  43. I have trouble sleeping- maybe this would help!
    kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

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  44. I don't know about you, but whenever insomnia hits, I think I do grow horns. My voice gets all deep and sarcastic and creepy, like Linda Blair's in The Exorcist. Once, I could have sworn I saw pea soup on my sheets, but that may have just been baby spit.

    The sheets look comfy. Too bad they can't make some that wick away fat while you sleep. I'd like to try the LARK gadget. It has to be better than waking up to crying, hungry babies. Do they make a gadget that feeds hungry babies while you sleep? That'd be awesome.

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    1. I'll bet they're very CUTE horns though!

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  45. Very good blog and I love the humor! I will be looking into the sheets as they seem like they would be very comfortable. As a professional in the field of sleep medicine. I would to suggest that if your readers have an on going issue with insomnia they should seek medical advice. There are several sleep disorders out there that can, if not treated cause serious health issues down the road. On the main stage is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which contrary to belief is not a disease that only affects the obese. There is also Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Bruxism (Teeth Grinding or Clenching), REM Behavior Disorder (RBD), Snoring, all which can be subtle and you may never know you have until the damage has been done. So, it is always a good idea to seek advice when it comes to your sleep and health.

    By the way, I do own an iphone... :)

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    1. Hey thanks for the informative comment! As a chronic tooth grinder who hates my night guard, I'd love to be a former Bruxist some day.

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  46. This device looks pretty cool. I just got the new Iphone 4s so I'm gonna try it out on that.
    Thanks

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  47. Technology has come so far in my lifetime. It never ceases to amaze me.

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  48. Wow! great tool. I think I'm really gonna need that one now. I'm having trouble with my sleep since I started with my job at night. And this is so unhealthy.

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  49. I've been tossing and turning a lot lately, so I may have to try this out - Thank You.

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  50. It’s worth mentioning that for me, insomnia is not always bad though. I’ve had some of my best thoughts and ideas during this semi-meditative state of trying to fall asleep.

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