Getting Better Sleep in Addiction Recovery: SleepPhones PRODUCT REVIEW

Recently, we came across SleepPhones, a wearable Bluetooth device that claims to improve sleep. Can it work for you? Check out our detailed product review for first-hand test results.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: People in early addiction recovery can have sleep problems. While natural sleep aids are best, how might a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones help? Check our experiences in this product review.


What Are SleepPhones?

SleepPhones are headphones specifically designed for people with sleeping problems. They are wireless, Bluetooth earphones inset to a headband that you physically wear to bed. So, what’s the creation story behind this new product?

The founders of Sleepphones had problems going back to sleep after late night phone calls from patients. One is a family physician and the other is her video game developer husband. Together, the couple came up with the idea of designing comfortable and compact headphones you can wear to bed. That’s the main reason why SleepPhones were designed and AcousticSheep LLC was founded. [1] Their mission is to offer a fresh, new, natural sleep solution to everyone in the world. [2]

How do SleepPhones works?

SleepPhones: Pajamas for your ears

SleepPhones work like any wireless device. You pair the Bluetooth signal that the phones generate with your mobile phone, tablet, or desktop hardware. Then, you are able to hear the audio through the inset earphones.

Inside the headband there are incorporated two key components: a flat removable speakers and a thin Bluetooth receiver. The receiver has two triangular shaped buttons for controlling volume and skipping tracks, and a square ON/OFF, or paring mode button. All of these internal components are fully adjustable to your head and ears, and easily removable. That means you can wash the fabric anytime you want.

These wearable and wireless headphones are designed to help you improve your sleep care. The idea is that you can load white noise, relaxing music, or even binaural beats through the earphones as you sleep. The smooth fabric is made from 88-95% polyester and 5-12% spandex. It is lightweight, hypoallergenic, soft, moisture-wicking and stretchy.

However, it is not just for people who like to fall asleep with the sound of soothing music, ASMR, natural sounds, or audio books. They can have various applications in your life. You can also use them during the day. Running, washing dishes, biking, and traveling are just some of the activities you can do. They are fixed to your head, and might even look fashionable to some.

How Can SleepPhones Help People In Addiction Recovery?

Insomnia is a global problem. According to data from nationwide surveys in Canada and U.S., more than 20% of the general adult population suffer from insomnia. This number is expected to rise over the next few decades.

However, people suffering from sleep disorders are more likely to self-medicate with alcohol and tranquilizers to sleep better, or take stimulants to stay awake during the day. Substance abuse can also lead to sleep problems, which can result in relapse. [3]

In combination with other therapeutic methods, SleepPhones can be used a sleep aid for those suffering from drug-induced insomnia, anxiety and those in recovery. The soothing background noises of your choice can have positive benefits on your sleep habits and be an aid in the whole process of recovery.

If you’d like to try improving your sleep with SleepPhones, you can order them from their official website or on Amazon. [4]

Testing SleepPhones First-hand

If you have a real product in your hands, the best kind of review is first hand experience. We gathered our small team, and outlined the rules:

1. Each participant will have the phones up to three (3) days.
2. Each participant will examine the external design, material, and technical part of the phones.
3. Each participant will give their first impression before trying the phones on.
4. Each participant will sleep with the phones three (3) nights in a row.
5. Each participant will provide their experience.

SleepPhones circled around our team for few weeks. After everyone had tried them, and shared our sleep experience with the SleepPhones. Read through the results below:

Sleeper Lydia

First Impression

When I touched SleepPhones for the first time, I loved the material so much. They remind me of a soft teddy bear that I used to falling asleep with as a child. However, I am very skeptical about sleeping with headphones. Even though there are still no evidence that technology devices can disturb your sleep patterns, still you are exposed to radiofrequency radiation (RF) which has been classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. [5]

After Sleeping With SleepPhones

Generally speaking, they are okay.
But I won’t sleep with a device on my head. One of the reasons for this is because I don’t have problems falling asleep. SleepPhones might be good for people who are insomniacs, tinnitus sufferers, or for people who share a bed with a snorer. However, I see immediate use and application for when I’m jogging.

What Bothered Me

When I see a device that offers some sort of help, I expect to see tips and recommendations that go with that device. If you offer me SleepPhones, also give me some suggestions on what kind of music/sounds/meditations to listen to when I am using the phones. Many people will listen to the music they like, and may end up wide awake instead of falling asleep. Also, I came across the SleepPhone App which provides four melodies, and it’s available ONLY for IOS. Plus, despite the fact that I love the material, I am concerned that it will make me sweaty on hot summer nights.

Sleeper Kate

First Impression

The first thing I liked about the SleepPhones was that they are wireless and in a form of a headband. The headphones are comfortable enough and great for listening to all kinds of things: music, ASMR, and podcasts, to name a few. People like me who use headphones often will value the comfort and the fact that they don’t tire their ears and head. I liked that they are fixed to my head and even look fashionable.

After Sleeping With SleepPhones

I went to bed and played an ASMR, something I do occasionally before falling asleep. It was great, especially because I’m a side sleeper, and the headphones are comfortable to wear in all sleeping positions. But, I am also a light sleeper, and I don’t like the idea of sleeping with sounds and headphones all night. Also, I don’t like sleeping with a device near me.
The next day I wore the headphones while washing the dishes. They allow you to be mobile around the house, and you can do two things at once; in my case, washing the dishes and listening to an educational podcast.

What Bothered Me

There were three things I didn’t like, though. I had a difficult time pairing the headphones to any of my devices: an Andriod smartphone, an IPad, and a laptop. I tried six times, but I didn’t succeed. I gave it another try after a couple of days, and this time the pairing was successful. The process of setting and pairing it up seemed to me a bit complicated, and not user friendly.

Another thing is not knowing the battery life. I would like to have an insight how much battery life is left before going to bed, so it won’t stop during my guided mediation or whatever I am doing. Finally, it would have been good to have a timer to set up for an automatic shut off, without getting up and turning off the device.

Sleeper Maria

First Impression

I love the material. They are so soft, and seem very cozy. However, I don’t like having something on my head while I am sleeping. I believe that SleepPhones will make me nervous.

After Sleeping With SleepPhones

I’ve never had a chance to sleep with them. I never connected them. I tried to pair the phones with many devices – my phone (IOS) and my laptop (Windows) – but I never succeeded. Also, I asked my boyfriend to connect SleepPhones with his mobile, but the attempt failed. However, I slept with them, just to sense the feeling of having the phones on me. And, I was right, I couldn’t fall asleep with them. I became nervous after only 10 minutes.

What Bothered Me

I had so much trouble in trying to connect the SleepPhones that I’ve lost interest in sleeping with them. I assumed that the process of connecting them won’t require knowledge of quantum physics. 🙂 Nevertheless, I did a research on Internet about pairing the SleepPhones, and it came out that I was not the only one having problems with them. According to Acoustic Sheep, SleepPhones may not pair to more than one device at a time, or when you have troubles with connection, they may need a hard reset. Plus, the pairing sequence lasts only about 10 seconds, which can be little time to synchronize both devices. When I read the instructions, they seemed very confusing. [6]

Personally, I expected a simpler and easier process for connection. Looking at the situation from another angle, elderly people may be those who have sleeping disturbances and may want to try an aid like SleepPhones. But if they have trouble with connection, they may perceive the headband as throwing money down the drain.

Sleeper Miriam

First Impression

I like the way they look. The material is soft, and looks comfortable. There are no visible cords hanging around unnecessarily.

After Sleeping With SleepPhones

SleepPhones amused me. My first impression was valid. They are so comfortable that I enjoyed wearing them. I liked that they fit me perfectly: not too tight, not too loose. Also, the speakers are adjustable, so you can move them around the headband to place them properly. The sound is very clear. What I liked the most was that my ears didn’t hurt. Also, they are very practical because they are washable.

What Bothered Me

My husband complained that he could hear them. I didn’t like the fact that they are not isolated. Also, there is no auto shutdown. When I woke, the music was still on, which I believe is not good for the battery.

Recommendations Future Improvements

Generally speaking, the team liked SleepPhone because the sound was clear, and they were very comfortable. However there are few things that could make this product better:

1. Develop SleepPhone App for other operational system, not only IOS.

We believe that the app should be paired with the SleepPhones, and can include several features for better experience such as:

  • Automatic shutdown that you can customize
  • A battery life timer
  • Provide more than 4 melodies to help you fall asleep
  • Provide diary entries for users to track their sleep patterns

2. Isolate SleepPhones better.

3. Make the process or pairing with other devices easier.


Still have questions?

We encourage you to post your questions and experiences about this product in the comments section below. We’ll try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Reference Source: [1] SleepPhones: Pajamas For Your Ears 
[2] Acoustic Sheep
[3] Sleep Research Society: Sleep Problems: An Emerging Global Epidemic? 
[4] Amazon: Acoustic Sheep: SleepPhones
[5] CDC: Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Phones and Your Health
[6] SleepPhones: Quick Start Guide
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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