Maybe it seems counterintuitive, but these tech tools can help you get some shut-eye
If you feel you never get enough sleep, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
For adults 18 to 60, getting less than seven hours of sleep each night can increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and frequent mental distress, the CDC reports.
Though it may seem absurd to use technology to help you sleep (especially if it’s your phone that wakes you up), there are sleep apps that are specially designed to help you have a more restful night.
Whether it’s going to bed at the right time, blocking out noises or finding the perfect pre-bed yoga sequence, getting a full night’s sleep is important for your mind and body. In addition to the apps below, consider adjusting your device to warmer colors at night.
According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the use of light-emitting electronics before bedtime “prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, reduces the amount and delays the timing of REM sleep, and reduces alertness the following morning.”
But you don’t have to completely banish electronics before bed. Apple iPhones have the ability to switch to Night Shift mode. After sunset, Night Shift will shift your display colors to the warmer end of the spectrum, making the display easier on your eyes. Happy snoozing!
Free with in-app purchases
One of the perks of vacation and weekends is the ability to wake up without a loud alarm in the morning. Because your sleep ranges from deep sleep to light sleep, the phase in which your alarm goes off can impact how tired you feel once you wake up.
This app uses the microphone to monitor movements and wake you during your lightest sleep phase, which can help you feel well-rested.
If it’s hard to shut your brain off at the end of the day, practicing yoga before bedtime may help. This app provides a structured series of poses aimed at reducing insomnia and stress in order to improve sleep quality.
This app, designed to help ready your brain for sleep, was featured in the NASA publication Spinoff. Sleep Genius will help you discover your perfect bedtime so you can reclaim your sleep health. With the progressive alarm, the app will wake you from any sleep stage with periodic sound cycles.
Find yourself awakened by loud cars or sirens in the night? This app offers ambient sounds to help create a relaxed environment, even for the most difficult sleepers or in the noisiest areas. Choose from sounds such as light rain, thunderstorm, whale song and gentle frogs.
If you find yourself unable to fall asleep due to outside disruptions, consider downloading an app like White Noise to help block them out. Classic sounds such as beach waves crashing, oscillating fan and white noise may be all you need for shut-eye.