Morphée sleep and meditation aid review

Falling asleep and staying asleep can be difficult, especially when there are so many worries in the world right now. Sure, finding the right cooling blankets or using a weighted blanket can help, but sometimes your mind needs to rest before your body can. That’s where the $99.99 Morphée Non-Digital Sleep Aid comes in handy. The compact, travel-friendly device comes with 210 meditations ranging from body scans to nature sounds to breathing exercises to help you get a better night’s sleep without the negatives of a digital screen or internet browsing.

A non-digital sleep aid that actually works

If you want to express zen before bedtime without using your phone or other digital electronics, the Morphée can help, with 210 meditations including breathing exercises, body scans with nature sounds and more.

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The first thing you notice about the Morphée sleeping aid is its simple and aesthetic design. It comes with a nice wooden case that protects the device when not in use (or traveling), as well as doubles as a base. You can remove it and place the main speaker device in it like a bowl, without covering the speaker or major ports (of which there are only two: a headphone jack and a charging port).

With the wooden shade removed or used as a base, Morphée is a sleek, bulbous, jet-black device with very few bells or whistles (or buttons) – in its favor. Three gold cranks, or keys, extend vertically about an inch from the top and are used to select your meditation theme, session, and duration, respectively. The black and gold colors mixed with the design of the cranks have a certain steampunk vibe to them, but don’t let that description put you off; it is elegant enough to fit into the decor of most homes.

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Aside from the cranks, there’s a power button, play/pause button, volume up button, volume down button and toggle to choose between a male and female voice, plus the aforementioned headphone jack and charging port. And that’s it. Since I got it, I’ve proudly displayed the 4.33″ wide Morphée on my nightstand without the cover, and I absolutely love that I can just slide it off the wooden base, cover it up and put it in my suitcase. can throw while traveling and you don’t have to worry about it breaking or taking up a lot of space.

The other aspect of the design that I love is the lack of anything digital. No screens, no internet, no lighting (except for a harmless power light in the center of the device that turns off immediately when you press play during a meditation). Before the Morphée entered my life, I relied on YouTube meditations on my phone, and interacting with my phone’s blue light before and after the meditation defeated much of the purpose of my night’s resting phase. Plus, I would inevitably be distracted by phone notifications and social media. Lose-lose.

Finally, even the booklet that comes with the sleep aid is well designed. It includes glossy color pages, a thick front and back cover, and easy-to-follow directions. I notice this mainly because you will likely return to the booklet more often. (More on that later.)

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There are no fewer than 210 meditation combinations to choose from on the Morphée. Wait, how exactly is that possible on such a simplistic device? Let’s break it down.

For starters, there are eight themes to choose from using the first crank: Body Scan, Breathing, Movement, Visualizations, Heart Coherence, Napping, Relaxing Music, and Nature Sounds. Each of these themes corresponds to a small symbol on the Morphée: respectively the body of a person, a person who breathes, a hand, a sailboat, a heart, a sleeping mask, a musical note and a leaf.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred theme, you can choose your session, labeled 1 to 8 next to the second pendulum on the Morphée. For example, Session 1 under the Nature Sounds theme is called “The Cat” and includes purring sounds. Session 2 under the same theme is “The Log Fire”, Session 3 is “The Jungle” and so on.

The third crank is simply used to choose the duration of your session: eight minutes long or 20 minutes long, indicated by the numbers 8 and 20 below the third and last crank. Finally, the male and female voices each offer completely different sessions, so it’s not just the timbre of the voice that’s different – it doubles the number of meditations altogether. For a non-digital device, that’s an amazing number of options to choose from, and if you think about it, it’s like paying only about 50 cents per meditation.

Daniel Toy/CNN

Morphée claims that every meditation on the device was designed by a sleep expert and that even the sounds of nature and music around the world are recorded in 3D audio. That must be true, because after trying a few 20 minute sessions over the course of a week, I noticed an improvement in my overall sleep. I have more trouble falling asleep than staying asleep, and playing a Nature Sounds, Breathing or Body Scan theme definitely helped me pick up some zzz’s faster. I am also prone to nightmares, and I also noticed a decrease in them while taking Morphée.

Daniel Toy/CNN

When I first started using the Morphée, I was a little surprised by the male voice in particular, which sounded gruff and a little… creepy. I switched to the female voice, and while it was a little better, I still struggled to get into a Zen state while listening to either one. Fortunately, this feeling subsided after going through a handful of meditations and getting used to each voice. Now I pay more attention to what is said than how it is said, but since you are forever stuck with just these two voices, I thought it was worth noting.

Also, while the speaker is pretty good for a standalone non-digital device, it can sound a bit wrinkly and static when the volume is turned all the way up. I noticed this especially with the Relaxing Music and Nature Sounds themes, but keeping the volume at medium solved this problem.

Daniel Toy/CNN

With 210 meditation combinations to choose from on the Morphée and just three cranks to choose from, chances are you won’t remember them all. Even remembering which theme each symbol corresponds to is hard enough, let alone remembering which session is which. This is why you will likely return to the booklet more often. The booklet outlines exactly what each session is focused on, but it can be tedious to turn on the light, flip through the pages, and pick what you want if you’re trying to relax into a good night’s sleep.

I’ve gotten into the habit of randomly picking a meditation, turning the crutches to a new position and seeing what I get, rather than referencing the booklet, but that doesn’t work for people who need certain types of meditation on specific nights.

The Morphée is a great solution for falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer without the harmful blue light from your phone screen or the distraction of the internet. Its beautiful design looks great on any bedside table, and its small size and wooden cover make it the ideal on-the-go meditation box that you can take with you on a trip.

With 210 meditation combinations including nature sounds, body scans, breathing exercises and much more, the Morphée offers a lot of material for its price. While some may take some getting used to the male and female voices of the speakers, it’s still a worthwhile investment if you’re someone who has trouble sleeping and wants to dip their toes in meditation before bed.

If you’re looking for a simpler, no-frills device that’s a little cheaper, you might want to check out the $59 Dodow Sleep Aid. While it doesn’t offer voice meditations, it does help with your breathing by casting a pulsating light on your ceiling for you to breathe with. Plus, it’s even smaller and more portable than the Morphée. At the other end of the spectrum, the $129 Hatch Restore is a more expensive and robust sleep solution that lives on your nightstand (it’s a bit too big and bulky to be portable). The Hatch is a digital smart alarm clock with a library of meditations, many alarm options and a gradual light that slowly brightens when you wake up. But if you want a sleep aid that sits somewhere in the middle — and avoid screens at all costs — the Morphée is well worth it.

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