If you're a regular traveler, sleep deprivation becomes a normal,
almost ritualistic thing. Jet lag screws up your internal clock,
foreign beds often feel weird, and work anxiety keeps you awake. Sleep
seems to escape us when we need it the most. Insomnia is funny like
Screw the warm glass of milk and the counting of sheep:
technology offers plenty of ways to defend your right to sleep. Here
are some picks that are as cool as they are useful.
If you have to bunk with a co-worker who has sleep apnea (ie, he
snores) or, more importantly, if you are a snorer, check out the
Brookstone Anti-Snore Pillow (brookstone.com, $99.99). It's on the
pricey side, but it offers a lot. For back sleepers, the pillow will
keep your chin away from your chest, relieving pressure and opening up
your airways. For side sleepers, the memory foam contours to your
position and gives support to your head, neck and shoulders. It is also
small and soft enough to pack in with your luggage.
Unfortunately, our sleeping place isn't always a bed, so the
Sharper Image Travel Blanket (-sharperimage.com, $39.99) is a smart
investment for road tripping. The light blanket uses CoolMax
technology, which means it will keep you cool in warm places, like
during summer travel, and warm in cool places, like on a long airplane
flight. It is 4.5' x 6', which is enough to keep you (and a friend)
covered, but thin enough to pack easily. It also has a little bag,
making it an easy in-flight carry-on.
To get really high-tech, consider the Ecozone Moonlight
night-light (ecozone.com, approximately $20). Compact and powerful, the
Moonlight emits a mellow green light perfect for bathroom runs, early
morning/late night navigating or general security. The cool part is the
technology behind it: the night-light is made from the same materials
as NASA's cockpit panels. It is also eco-friendly, running on a
fraction of the power of a regular night-light (according to Ecozone,
it uses only 2.3 kWH per year versus 61 kWH for a regular night-light).
It never heats up and doesn't require a bulb.