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Can an App Really Help You Sleep?

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Can an App Really Help You Sleep?

August 12th, 2014

Smart phones are common contributors to lack of sleep and late nights. However, although they often hinder the quality of our sleep, they also have the ability to help.

With sleep apps becoming a growing trend, people are now able to use their phones for relaxation instead of stimulation. If you’re one of those people who collapse into bed feeling exhausted only to then spend hours tossing and turning, unable to switch your brain off then a sleep app might be just the thing you need.

There are thousands of sleep apps to choose from and they all offer something different, but here are a few general categories:

SLEEP TRACKERS/MONITORS

By placing your phone underneath your pillow or on your bedside, these trackers use sound and motion sensors to detect the quality of your sleep. Apps such as SleepBot (iOS) graph the data so you can have an overall look at your sleeping patterns.

GUIDED MEDITATIONS and SELF-HYPNOSIS

Zen-inspired apps are designed to make you stop and just “be”. There are many different styles available. all promising to help ‘switch off’ a busy brain and get you concentrating on… well… nothing! One of the most popular is Simply Being- Guided Meditation for Relaxation and Presence (iOS). The Mindfulness App (iOS) is also worth a try.

RELAXING NOISE

If you don’t like the idea of having someone talk in your ear while trying to get to sleep, some gentle music may be all you need to be sent off to sleep. This style of app provides a wide range of peaceful sounds, such as rain, waves, thunder or birdsong. Try pzizz (iOS) or aSleep (iOS) for a blissful slumber.

ALARM CLOCKS/GENTLE AWAKE

Prefer to listen to your own music? With these apps you can select your own playlist and set a sleep timer. Many of them, like the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (iOS) have a gentle wake feature that uses phone sensor technology to stir you during a light sleep phase with gentle music or sounds. So, do they work? Some people swear by them, and yet others claim they don’t work at all. Everybody is different, and for the sake of your required seven hours, it’s worth giving these apps a try!

Apps are an awesome way to be assisted to sleep, however, it’s important not to forget about the sleep basics! Limit late night snacking, make sure your bed is comfortable (we can help with that!), ensure your pillows are supportive, the room is dark and you’re going to bed at a reasonable hour. Once you are settled and relaxed, simply pop in your ear buds and let the app work its magic!

Who knows, the gentle sounds of flute music and running water may just be the answer …

As always, Sleep Healthy!