What We Tried: The Dreampad, Integrated Listening Systems' recently launched relaxation pillow, which has been described as a "massage to the nervous system."
Where: This is one gadget we'll allow in the bedroom.
What We Did: The Dreampad uses bone conduction to deliver calming music through the pillow that only the user can hear. I downloaded the accompanying app on my smartphone (you can also order your Dreampad with an MP3 player), and plugged it into the handy zipper pocket on the side of the pillow. The first night, after making sure I had turned my phone to Do Not Disturb, I set the app's timer for two hours, selected one of the five music options, tucked the Dreampad inside my pillowcase and drifted off to sleep. The second night, I set the app's timer for 25 minutes and leaned against the pillow while I did a little reading, then tossed the pillow out of bed when it was time for lights out.
How'd It Feel: I wasn't crazy about sleeping with the Dreampad, mostly because I'm very particular with my pillow. But I am a big fan of white noise to block out changes in sounds throughout the night, and the Seaside Strings track did just that, while also relaxing me before bed. Bed partners can rest assured that they won't be disturbed, either; I was surprised to find I really couldn't hear the music when I took my head off the pillow. However, I did have a little difficulty with the timer setting on the app. Whether because of human error or app glitches, the music didn't seem to stop after the time I had decided on.
What It Helps With: For some people, calming music is the perfect bedtime ritual, while others might not notice a relaxing effect. However, Integrated Listening Systems is conducting research to support claims not just of relaxation powers but decreased anxiety and hypersensitivity in children with autism and ADHD, respectively.
What It Costs: $179. The app is free for Android and iOS.
Would We Use It Again: Because of my pillow preferences, I won't be sleeping on the Dreampad again. But I can certainly see lounging with it some relaxing afternoon in my future.