The one, tiny change that revolutionised my terrible sleep

Product review.

I’ve always been a lousy sleeper.

From all accounts, I was a wide-eyed baby with no time for slumber, and I grew into a wide-eyed adult craving her eight hours, but barely ever getting it.

Between racing thoughts, an inner monologue at the same volume as radio coverage of a rugby match and maybe a touch of the old anxiety, sleep has ever been my elusive lover, taunting me with his affection for a few weeks, only to whisk it away the night before a crucial meeting.

Penny Burfitt Yahoo Lifestyle Bose Sleepbud review
I always struggled with my sleep, until I tried one, tiny gadget. Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle

I have tried most thing – better ‘sleep hygiene’, a new mattress, a prescription of sleeping pills.

So it’s safe to say I was intrigued when I was presented with the chance to give the new Bose Sleepbuds II a red hot go.

The tiny earphones are designed to block noise, and are specifically engineered towards better sleep.

The only drawback? I am a spendthrift of the highest order, a cheapskate my friends might say, and the Sleepbuds II retail for a cool $379.95.

My miserly soul shuddered – in what world could I, Penny-pincher Burfitt, justify spending just shy of $400 on a sleep aid?

And anyway, as far as I was concerned it wasn’t noise that was keeping me awake at night – I felt sure there was no way I would recommend the buy to our faithful readers.

Conclusion: I recommend this buy to our faithful readers

Image of individual Bose Sleepbuds II
The Sleepbuds II get a big, fat tick from this crummy sleeper. Photo: Supplied

I am here to formally recommend this buy to our faithful readers.

I know, I know I said I wouldn’t, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After three weeks of using them, I can’t do without them. Frankly, the change I’ve noticed in my daily doze is well worth the price tag.

The product is a technological revolution, building on the audio company’s original Sleepbuds with new technology that targets low-frequency noises most likely to disturb sleep.

As I found out, that ‘low-frequency’ noise group includes a whole host of sounds you might not even realise are ruining your rest.

The first night I nested the tiny buds into my ears I was astonished.

Living in a major city, on a busy road, I had never considered that the traffic I’ve grown so used to was keeping me awake, but when it was drowned out by the buds I was smacked in the face by the silence – it was glorious.

I wasn’t the only one to have been tossing and turning of late either.

There has been documentation of widespread sleep disruption since the coronavirus pandemic first touched our shores earlier this year, with a dangerous link between not enough sleep and diminishing mental health leaving experts concerned.

In May, Aussie experts reported that half of the respondents in a global study reported poor sleep compared with just 25% before it.

In other words, the pandemic has sent our ZZZ’s haywire and if you’re anything like me this might be a small step to fixing that problem.

After plugging into the Sleepbuds I enjoyed three weeks of good old-fashioned sleep, the type that, at least for the past year, has eluded me entirely.

One major thing I noticed is the lack of distraction the buds allow – the accompanying app only allows the buds to play in-built sleep-focused tracks, no music or podcasts.

At first, I found that incredibly frustrating – why couldn’t I connect the buds to whatever I liked, particularly if I was paying top dollar?

In reality, it’s the best part of the device, and maybe even the secret to its success.

Image of Bose Sleepbuds II and phone app
The Bose Sleep App that accompanies the Sleepbuds II only lets you play their specific tracks, and set an alarm. Photo: Supplied

The Sleepbuds might not stream your favourite pod, but they come equipped with three types of tracks engineered to minimise the three main factors known to affect sleep.

The standard 14 Noise-Masking tracks mask night-time disruptions, targetting noise as a major factor.

If it’s a snoring partner that’s keeping you awake then Bingo! This is the setting for you.

If your racing mind is keeping you up (guilty) the 15 Naturescapes are designed to calm racing thoughts.


Interestingly I didn’t initially know there were separate track categories but found myself turning to Naturscapes again and again as my preferred track – it all made sense when I realised they were specifically designed for those with a mind moving at 1000 km an hour like mine!

And if it’s the mad dash before Christmas that has you tossing at turning, you’ll need the 10 Tranquilities designed to help lower stress and tension.

I thought podcasts were helping me fall asleep, but in reality, they don’t hold a candle to the in-built tracks which instead of stimulating your mind, as podcasts or music tends to, switch it off entirely.

How to use them

Image of Sleepbuds II charging lights in case
The low light on the case means I'm one night away from needing a recharge. Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle

First thing you’ll need to do is plug these bad boys in.

The actual audio device is minuscule, almost pea-sized, that’s what makes the buds so comfortable and hard to feel, but it does mean it runs for just 10 hours, so they need to be charged frequently.

The case automatically charges them, and it’s important to always pop them back in when you’re done, otherwise, you find out the hard way how much of a difference they have made when you're forced to go without for one night, as I did on day five.

The case itself will give you about three full night charges on the earbuds before it needs to be plugged in for several hours to bring it back up to full charge.

A helpful light system will show you how much charge the case has left, and if you’re down to one light I suggest you stick that guy on charge quick sticks.

Once your case is charged up and good to go, you’ll need to download the Bose Sleep App.

The free app will pair with your buds and allows you to choose a track, and set an alarm through the Sleepbuds themselves, making sure that white noise doesn’t keep you snoozing past your wake up time.

Now to get them in your ear holes.

Image of sleepbuds II small and medium
The inner bud comes with a changeable outer rubber case, here you can see the medium (left) and small (right). Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle Supplied

Each bud comes with three different outer casings, a rubbery fitting that holds the buds, and slips neatly into your ear, with a design that secures the bud under your ear cartilage.

The case is designed to be as undetectable as possible, but I did struggle to find the right fit, taking a few nights to get used to the feel of the buds in my ears.

Choose the small, medium or large – whichever secure the buds in your ears blocking noise, and feels the most comfortable.

I oscillate between the small, which is slightly more comfortable but doesn’t quite block the sounds as well, and the medium which at the wrong angle I can somewhat feel, but which makes the bud sit snugly in my ear.

I suggest you have a play around with the different sizes until you know whats your best fit.

Would we repurchase? Sure would!

Image of woman asleep with SleepBuds II
Almost everyone studied, and myself, has reported a serious difference to their sleep thanks to the buds. Photo: Supplied

If you don’t take my word for it, though I consider myself an expert in crappy sleep thanks to 26 years of it under my belt, others have almost all reported the exact same thing.

Bose reports that they conducted a study with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the UCHealth CARE Innovation Center to test the impact of the new technology.

All participants agreed the buds reduced noise and 86% said the product helped them fall asleep easier; 76% said it helped them stay asleep, and 80% reported an overall improvement in sleep quality.

A perfect gift for a loved one who your raucous snoring is keeping up, or for yourself if you are desperate for something that might make an actual difference, as it did for me.

If you’re hesitant, the device comes with a 90-day risk-free trial. They are on sale online and in major stores now.

Sweet dreams!

Yahoo Lifestyle received no monetary benefit for this article.

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