Sleep Awareness Week

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It's Fitness Friday, and we're talking about your sleep. Studies show over and over again that good quality sleep is essential to health and maintaining a healthy weight. The National Institutes of Health estimates sleep-related problems affect 50-70 million Americans. National Sleep Awareness Week was this week so we are going to look at some snooze-friendly products.

Fitbit Sleep

You have always been able to track sleep on certain Fitbits, but now the technology is getting more precise. Fitbit is updating its sleep tracking to allow Fitbit customers with the heart rate monitors the ability to differentiate sleep states, including light, deep, and REM. Before, certain Fitbits only tracked movement during the night, it didn't help users analyze the quality of their sleep. The upgrade will be available on the Alta HR, one of the best selling Fitbits, when it launches in April. The Charge 2 and the Blaze will get the upgrade later this month. Go to fitbit.com for more information on these releases.

Illumy Smart Sound Sleep Mask

This new product helps you sleep better and helps you wake up refreshed with the use of natural light. It's called the Illumy Smart Sound Sleep Mask, a high tech tool used on the International Space Station to help astronauts' body clocks stay in sync.

You put the sleep mask on as you are trying to go to sleep at night, and it displays dimming sunset colored lights to give your body a visual cue that it's time to sleep. In the morning, Illumy illuminates a blue sky to wake you up. The color blue helps your body naturally prepare for waking up, rather than being jolted awake by an alarm. Go to soundoasis.com to order. It will also be available at sharperimage.com and Amazon.

Dreampad

This next product is called the Dreampad, which creators say is going to reduce your stress and help you get to sleep faster. It is a comfortable pillow that eases you into sleep through relaxing sounds and gentle vibrations that only you can hear.

It was originally created as a therapy tool to calm stressed kids. It calms the nervous system and is available in a variety of supports. Go to dreampadsleep.com for more information.

Hooded Travel Neck Pillow

This next product is something that helps you sleep while you travel. What makes this a little different is the fact that it has a hood. Go to grandtrunk.com to order.

Parachute Hylon Hammock

Have you ever been hiking, camping or on the beach and though "I think I need to take a nap right here." Well now you can do it with the Single Parachute Hylon Hammock. It's especially made for people on the go. It packs nice and small, and when you get to a place where you want to take a nap, it's easy to unfold and attach. It's ultra lightweight with caribiners on the sides for easy attachment, and it's mildew resistant. Go to grandtrunk.com to order.