A good night’s sleep is vital. Sleep promotes healthy brain function, not to mention physical and emotional well-being. Without it, we can’t perform well and could suffer devastating health consequences such as heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and depression, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. So it's pretty important. But over 60 million Americans struggle with sleep every year. Tech has stepped in to help and now there are many apps designed to help us sleep better and for longer. Here are some possibilities.
For those who suffer from sleep inertia (a period of intense grogginess and impaired performance upon waking), Sleep Cycle may help. Sleep inertia occurs when you wake up at the wrong time in your sleep cycle. Studies have shown that caffeine and light can help reverse the problem. However, waking up at the right point during your sleep cycle is the most effective. And this is where the Sleep Cycle app comes in. It monitors your cycle and wakes you at the proper moment.
The app is available for Apple users, and limited features are currently available to Android users.
Trouble falling asleep? Relax Melodies may help. This app relaxes you with sounds, music and a guided meditation session to lull you to sleep. The app boasts more than 100 sound and music programs.
Relax Melodies is available for Apple and Android users.
Naps are a fantastic way to catch up on some missing zzz's. But they can leave you feeling groggy and even more tired. This is where the Power Nap app from Sleep Cycle can help. This app monitors your sleep and movements and wakes you just before you fall into a deep sleep, which prevents sleep inertia and after-nap grogginess.
The app is only available to Apple users.
If your mind won’t stop at night, Pzizz could be the sleep app you’ve been looking for. Pzizz creates instrumental and acoustic soundtracks that can help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep. The more you use it, the better it works because your brain starts to associate the soundtracks with sleep.
Pzizz is available to both Apple and Android users.
Noise (or too much quiet) keeping you from sleep? When it’s too quiet and you don’t have a fan, or when the drone of the city wakes you up, the White Noise app may help by disguising the ambient sounds that can keep our minds active. Loaded with 76 uniquely relaxing sounds, including waves, chimes, campfire and guitar, the app allows you to listen to one sound at a time or create a custom soundtrack.
The app is available to both Apple and Android users.
If you suffer from insomnia or sleep deprivation, the Relax and Sleep Well Hypnosis app may help. The app guides you in self-hypnosis so you can attain mental and physical relaxation. In addition to a bedtime session, the app includes a wake-up session that you can use in the mornings.
Relax and Sleep Well Hypnosis is available to both Apple and Android users.
Once you master sleep, it's time to tackle those dreams. If you have difficulty remembering your dreams, Awoken may help you become more mindful during sleep and may even help you remember your dreams. The app utilizes a combination of sounds and a digital dream journal that you can use to become more lucid during your dreams.
Do sleep apps really work? It depends on how you use them. If you use sleep apps to get consistent sleep on a regular schedule, then, yes, they work. However, if you depend on sleep apps to dissect, analyze and change your sleep patterns, you will be disappointed. There are too many variables at play for modern sleep apps to keep up with, according to sleep researcher Jordan Gaines Lewis, Ph.D. The best hack for a good night’s sleep is a consistent schedule.
Copyright 2019, Wellness.com