9 January 2018

REVIEW: Sleepace Nox

Wake wakey.

Just like our recent review of Modius, a device that could help with your New Year weight loss goals, today's review is perfect for those difficult January morning wake ups. If you feel like you're starting each day with zero energy because of a rubbish night's sleep, we know of a bedside lamp that could help. Proving that alarm clocks can do so much more than merely scream at you each morning, we check out the Sleepace Nox Smart Alarm.

In a nutshell, this is a device designed to send you off to sleep and wake you gently, using a combination of soft light, soothing music, and a connected, sleep-tracking app. The Nox from Sleepace has had proud of place on a couple of Test Towers bedside tables for about a month now, giving us the opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. And it's a good fuss, trust us.

The Nox functions by illuminating a reddish light when you're ready to drift off, and by playing some preset music or sound effects. The tone of light is supposed to increase levels of melatonin, the hormone you release when you're tired and ready for sleep, while the sounds (we all seemed to prefer the sound of raindrops) creates a background white-noise.

After a night's sleep, and just before your selected wake up time, the Sleepace Nox will start to raise the light level again, this time a brighter white - mimicking the natural sunrise. It will also play some music or effects, which also build to be loud enough to stir you (this time, birdsong was our favourite).

However, what is clever is that the Nox will choose when to wake you, based on your sleep patterns. As we said, there is a connected app which is running in the background on your phone throughout the night. The app captures conventional sleep-tracker data, like when you actually fell asleep, how often you moved during the night, and what your bedroom environment is like. Sending info to the Nox, it will pick a wake-up slot when you appear to be at the lightest point of your sleep cycle, meaning you shouldn't feel jarred awake and so adversely effected for the rest of your day.

In practice, it seems to work like a Goddam dream. At first we were all sceptical, both of the effectiveness of the Nox, and the app itself using smartphone sensors to collect data without being in physical contact with us. But, even on the first night, it worked excellently well, sending those who tested it (individually, mind) off to sleep pretty speedily, and waking them within the desire time slot.

One thing we quickly learnt was that the Sleepace Nox is not magic. This thing will not fill your brain with attention and wit each morning when you're only getting four hours sleep. Think of it as a tool for helping you to get longer and better sleep: you just first have to recognise that more sleep each night is better for you. Going to bed at 3am each night, for a wake-up call at 7am, ain't gonna do you any good, not even with the calming lights and soothing sounds of the Nox.

So, once we accepted that, and started to actively go to bed earlier, we found that the Sleepace Nox became invaluable. For those struggling to go to sleep at an earlier hour then they are used to, the lights and sounds truly do help, and the data captured by the app will provide you (after a number of nights) with enough info on how to improve the environment of your slumber chamber. We found that each room we tried it in was, on average, too warm, and suffering from high humidity. So, after mucking about with the heating schedule, and leaving the dehumidifier upstairs for a few nights each week, the conditions soon improved, as did our sleep cycles.

This so easily could have been a simple drift off/wake up light alarm (like the Lumie Bodyclock LUXE 700), but instead the Sleepace Nox is more like a sleeping assistant, helping you fall asleep, and scanning to keep you comfortable throughout the night. And then, via the app, being able to wake you up at the best possible moment is fantastic. Oh, and yes... the light can be used like a normal bedside lamp, with colour, tone and brightness controls available in the app.

If you are committed to improving your sleeping routine (and, after having done so ourselves, we recommend that you do), the Nox is well worth the money. Prepare to be better.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

© The Test Pit

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