Falling asleep is easy. Most nights, I’m unconscious about five minutes after my head hits the pillow…until 2 a.m., when I’m too hot and throw off the covers. And 2:30, when I have to pee. And 2:45, when I hear a weird creak in the other room and go investigate. And 3:15, when I totally give up and start reading The Rules Do Not Apply.
So for the last few months, I’ve been taking melatonin chews to help me through these restless nights. But I don’t love the idea of having to rely on medication, even if it’s over-the-counter. So when I discovered a bracelet that promises to stimulate melatonin naturally in order to help me sleep, I was intrigued.
The Philip Stein Sleep Bracelet looks like a wristwatch—but the face is actually a metal disc that acts as an antenna, picking up natural frequencies and channeling them into the body. Hmm, OK. If this were a $15 holistic bracelet being sold at the health food store, I might give it a shot. But this thing is $400, so I was going to need a little more scientific evidence than that.
I checked in with Dr. Neil Branda of Simon Frasier University, who has been conducting studies on the Philip Stein Bracelet, and he helped break down the science for me. “Many of the frequencies [picked up by the bracelet] have been measured in the brain using EEG analysis during different stages of sleep,” he explained. “Our studies have shown a statistically significant increase in the melatonin produced when exposed to the technology.”
The instructions suggest putting on the bracelet about 15 minutes before you fall asleep, and wearing it all night—luckily, it’s comfortable, and I fell asleep on the first night with no problem. When I woke up with my alarm, I was shocked when I realized I’d actually slept through the night for the first time in…I don’t remember how long. Wow, I thought. If this is a placebo, it’s a really, really good one.
At first, I thought it might be a fluke, but every night for two weeks, I slept straight through until morning. On Saturdays, I’m usually up at 7, even if I don’t set an alarm. But with the bracelet, I found myself sleeping until 10 or 11. Whoa. Maybe this thing is working a little too well.
Then, just for fun, I stopped wearing the bracelet for a few nights—and I was back to my old tossing and turning. Placebo effect or not, this bracelet worked for me. I tested it for 30 days (the recommended amount of time to try it for optimal results), and the only downside was my fiancé making fun of me for wearing jewelry to bed.
Bottom line? If it’s between this and a prescription for sleeping pills, splurge on the sleep bracelet.