Our world is technology-driven, whether we like it or not. We work with tech, we communicate with tech, and when we think about it, we even sleep with tech. There are articles and blog posts all over the web about reducing our use of technology to help us sleep better at night. However, there are ways we can use our daily tech to help us sleep better.
Sometimes, it seems we’re attached to our phones at all times. Why don’t we start using that attachment to help us sleep better? There have been many apps developed with your sleep health in mind.
This app tracks your sleep cycle through the periods of light sleep and the periods of deep REM sleep. Having a better idea of how you sleep through the night and when your body wakes up can help you identify the causes of poor sleep habits. Further, this app can analyze your sleep sounds and help you determine causes for grogginess, such as excessive snoring. SleepCycle is available for iPhone and Android. While the app is free, there are in-app purchases and subscriptions.
Tide is an app that guides your mind to a restful state through relaxing pre-recorded white noise and meditation. Combining sleep and focus helps ease your mind into a natural form of restfulness. The white noise options help your sleeping mind stay calm during the night. This app is available on iPhone and Android for free, with in-app purchases for premium content.
In past years, meditative coloring has become a massive part of our self-care. This app allows you to create works of art on your phone as you power down your mind. Combine this with soothing music, and you’ve got yourself a perfect combination of mindfulness and rest-inducing meditation. This coloring app and more like it are available for Android and iPhone for free. There are in-app purchases to be mindful of.
Sleeplessness can cause a lot of issues outside of the bedroom too. One in every three Americans don’t get enough sleep. Between insomnia, sleep disorders, and general sleep disruptions, it can be challenging to pinpoint the culprit of your sleeplessness. Pillow is an iPhone app designed to record your sleeping habits, movement, and sounds to help you analyze your sleep cycles and better understand your unconscious disruptions. It is not yet available on Android, but many similar apps like this for that platform. The app is free, but you’ll need to pay for the premium app if you want to access all the features.
Calm is one of the most downloaded sleep assistance apps on the iOS or Android marketplace. The base version is free, with more features coming from the premium app. Calm features guided meditation, relaxing stories, ambient white noise, and rest-inducing soundscapes. Psychologists and therapists across the nation regularly suggest this app. You can purchase the premium version for $70/ year to gain access to advanced features.
Phone Adjacent Technology for Sleep
There are several options to consider to help your sleep that isn’t directly related to your phone. Technology like CPAP machines and other mechanical sleep aids used to be the best new tech, and while they are still the golden standard for treating sleep disorders, sometimes they’re not the tool you need.
- Fitness Trackers
Fitbit, Samsung Watch, and Apple Watch are all great options for tracking your movement, heart rate, and calorie burn levels during the day. They’re also the perfect tool for sleep tracking. Part of monitoring your sleep needs to be tracking your breathing patterns and heartbeat. Fitness trackers are great for this, and they’re constantly monitoring your pulse. Some fitness trackers can monitor your oxygen levels and more. Many can link into the apps described above as well.
- Withings Sleep Pad – by Nokia
This sleeping pad is a set it and forget it tech option. Plug it in, tuck it between your mattress and box spring, link it to your phone, and let it do its job. Over time, the app will compile data around your sleep movements. Similar products to the Withings Sleep Pad are used in NICUs across the country to monitor baby sleep.
- Mattress Choices
Traditional spring-style mattresses are almost a thing of the past. New mattress types incorporate the spring concept but have added it to air chambers and memory foam to better support your body and sleep needs. Finding the right mattress for your sleeping habits and positions could be the best thing you can do for your sleep health. The materials your mattress and bedding are made from can make a massive shift in the quality of your sleep.