8 gadgets that will seriously reduce your stress levels
From a sunrise-imitating alarm clock to a brainwave-tracking headband, these stress-busting devices will guarantee that 2015 is your most relaxed year yet.Peter Iantorno January 6, 2015
But it doesn't need to be that way. Here we've compiled eight handy gadgets, apps and fitness devices that could transform your stressful day-to-day regime into the chilled-out life we all desire:
Clipping on to the inside of your trouser waistband, it looks just like a normal pedometer, but Spire is much more than that. According to its makers, Spire can actually measure your breathing through a series of sensors, which detect abnormal respiratory movement of the body, therefore knowing when you're stressed.
Once this data is collected, it is then sent to a paired smartphone, and from there, the cloud, where it's analyzed and a real-time recommendation for how you could relieve your stress is sent to your phone. Details: AED 550. Visit spire.io
Last week we told you how the pocket watch is more likely to be a hit than the smartwatch in 2015, but Montblanc may just have come up with a solution.
Specially designed for its Timewalker series (although it will fit many other watches) the e-Strap is a tech-filled strap that allows all of the benefits of a smartwatch while retaining the style and sophistication of the classic mechanical watch it's connected to. It syncs with your smartphone and is able to monitor physical activity, tracking your progress and giving gentle vibration alerts. Details: From AED 1,100, or AED 13,200 if bought with the watch. Visit montblanc.com Sleep Cycle
If you're woken from a particularly deep sleep, you're likely to feel groggy and tired, no matter how many hours you've managed to get, but the Sleep Cycle app uses your smartphone to track your sleep phases and wakes you up when you're in your lightest phase of sleep, in a 30-minute window before the time you've set the alarm for.
All the data is tracked so you can view the results and see the quality of each night's sleep. There are plenty of these sleep-tracking apps around, but this one is the most popular, and at less than four dirhams, you'd have to say it's a steal. Details: AED 3.69. Visit sleepcycle.com Wake-Up Light
Another traditional alarm clock alternative, Wake-Up Light coaxes you out of your slumber using a sunrise-simulating light, which begins the glow half an hour before your alarm is set and by the time you should be getting up, has your bedroom at the brightness of a sunny afternoon.
If you're a particularly heavy sleeper and you think that being woken up by light alone is far too risky, there's also the option to have a normal alarm go off after the light has done its stuff. Details: From AED 260 to AED 625, depending on model. Visit philips.com 20 Cubed
How many of us spend hours upon hours staring at computer screens every day? Lots, we'd imagine, and it's having a serious effect on our health, causing all manner of ailments such as eye strain, short sightedness and repetitive stress injury.
This can be combatted by something called the 20-20-20 rule: taking a 20 second break every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away. Sure, you can set an alarm to remind you but this handily plug in for Google Chrome will pop up on your screen so there's no chance you'll miss it. Details: Free to download on Google Chrome. Visit chrome.google.com/webstore Fitbit Charge
Some gadgets monitor your sleep, some track your physical activity, some pair with your phone, but the Fitbit Charge does all of those things.
With a battery life of seven to 10 days, a sweat-, splash- and rainproof case and the ability to sync with your mobile device from up to 20 feet away, it's more of a life companion that a stress-busting device. Details: AED 480. Visit fitbit.com Muse
An over-the-ear headband that can measure your brain activity through EEG technology, Muse has been described as a Fitbit for your brain.
The device is designed to measure your brain activity during three-minute spells, in which you perform an exercise on a smartphone or tablet that's equipped with the accompanying app. If used over an extended period of time, the makers claim it will train your brain to be better able to deal with stress. Details: AED 1,100. Visit choosemuse.com Tinke (also main image)
Tinke, from Thailand-based company Zensorium, is a clever device that can take a whole range of bodily measurements, including heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation and heart rate variability.
Available for both iOS and Android, Tinke plugs into your smartphone and, with the touch of a finger, takes down all your vitals. The data is then sent to the accompanying app, where it's analyzed and various health, fitness and even 'wellness' reports are produced. Details: AED 440. Visit zensorium.com