If you’ve been following the great sleep explosion over the past few years, you’ll know that the secret to a good night’s sleep lies in all the things you do leading up to the main event. From keeping your bedroom cool but cozy, to eliminating blue light-emitting screens at least 20 minutes before you head to bed, there are tools beyond a comfy bed and earplugs that can help make your sleep the best it can be. Now, the sleep geniuses over at Casper — yes, the very same folks that have completely changed the mattress game — are launching a new bedroom accessory that's helping to make falling asleep and waking up an integral part of the sleep experience. The Casper Glow is a light that responds to your touch (and an app) to gently wind you down to sleep and wake you up in the a.m. — after trying them for a few weeks, I can’t think of a better way to get ready for bed at night.
Here’s how it works: the portable lamp, which is sold individually for $89 or $169 for a set of two, turns on when you flip it, then gradually starts dimming itself to lull you to sleep. You can twist the light to adjust the brightness level, or hit the buttons on the top and bottom of the device to pause dimming, if you’re looking to keep it on longer. If you wake up overnight, you can give the Glow a shake to give off a very subtle nightlight, which is just enough to make it to the bathroom and back without exposing yourself to your phone’s screen (and all its tempting notifications). From the app, you can also set the light up as an alarm: After setting a wakeup time, the Glow will gradually get brighter over 30 minutes to gently wake you up with natural-feeling light (rather than a harsh, blue-light emitting phone alarm).
“Our goal at Casper is to bring people better sleep. We started with one universally comfortable mattress — which is critical to a good night’s sleep, but is just one of many factors that impacts your rest,” Jeff Chapin, Casper co-founder and chief of product, tells Bustle via email. “Glow is our first step in improving the sleep environment, beyond the bed and bedding, and addressing a top environmental factor — light — that often gets in the way of a good night’s rest.”
After being sent the Glows to test for this article and having them in my bedroom for a few weeks, I can confirm that they are very futuristic, and they work. Once we’re ready to start getting in bed, my partner or I flip the Glow on our side of the bed over — which illuminates the other one at the same time, since they’re synced — and we sleepily recap our days to each other while the light gently fades to dark. More times than not, we’ve actually fallen asleep before the light has gone fully out. “The dimming effect … makes me feel sleepier than I used to before,” my partner says. “Falling asleep is faster/easier, [and] I wake up less in the middle of the night.” It also doesn’t hurt that they look impossibly chic on a nightstand (and take up very little space).
There’s plenty of science to show how the dimming effect works, too. “Light is a primary cue for setting our circadian rhythm,” Chapin says. “In the middle of the night, exposure to any light, and to specific types of light in particular — like amplified blue light, which comes from your phone — is disruptive to sleep. Blue light enhances your alertness and actually suppresses your ability to fall back asleep.” The Glow, by contrast, uses warm light to help you see without stimulating you with blue light or a slew of notifications.
The secret to a good night’s sleep doesn’t have to lie in buying accessories or products, but why not have a bedside light that pulls triple duty as a reading light, a sleep starter, and an alarm clock? The Casper Glow is fully a sleep game-changer — just don't sleep on it.