5 Apps To Help You Fall Asleep
While constantly yawning and always feeling sleepy is an unpleasant experience, a lack of decent sleep can potentially have a significant influence on your health. Experts recommend aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep every night— and why is that— why is enough sleep important? What are the benefits of a good night's sleep?
- The human body releases a hunger-stimulating hormone called ghrelin upon sleep deprivation. You become agitated and face an uphill battle with unhealthy food desires, leading to weight gain.
- Getting enough sleep results in a well-rested feeling when you get up in the morning. Being well-rested skyrockets the energy levels and lowers stress.
- Sleep is important for the brain— sleep has been linked to increased attentiveness and cognitive functions, both of which are pillars for personal and professional success.
- Healthy sleep hygiene is essential for sustaining good heart health. Sleep deprivation stimulates the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) which taxes the heart, causing it to work harder than normal. Proper rest allows the human heart to function effectively.
Do Sleep Apps Work?
Individuals who face trouble falling asleep naturally seek a remedy, such as sleeping apps. This is because as people get older, the level of activeness decreases, dwarfing the ability to enjoy a decent sleep. Then, there is the medical issue— 70% of ADHD individuals waste at least one hour every night in an attempt to drift off to sleep. In a sleep survey involving about 1,767 U.S adults, 80% reported facing sleep problems at least once a week.
The 21st-century modernity has led us to be less active physically while taking more naps— throwing off the circadian rhythm in the body, resulting in the difficulty of falling asleep. Meanwhile, smartphones, a vital component of modern lives, are increasingly becoming a part of sleep routines. Around 85% of Americans utilize smartphones to access news, social media, games, calendars, and even for facilitating sleep hygiene.
Sleep apps are known for helping a rushing mind to slow down, falling asleep, and waking up early. While conclusive research on the effectiveness of sleep applications is still due, over the years sleep apps have been booming with millions of user downloads— people recording activity data to assist them in adopting a healthier sleep cycle. As the good old counting sheep fail to summon sleep, people resort to apps in hopes to get a good night’s rest.
So, what apps help you fall asleep? Here are 5 that can potentially help you!
- Oura: The Oura Ring is a health tracker with smart features— internal battery, sensors, and Bluetooth. It connects with smartphones via Bluetooth to send data collected by the sensors. Oura analyses sleep and other metrics organized into two major categories— readiness & activity levels. It monitors the heart rate, body temperature, sleep, and movement. And based on it, provides an overall score out of 100— a gross margin of the progress. The Oura Ring is pretty much similar to traditional ring accessories in terms of visual appearance, available in a multitude of shapes, designs, and finishes.
- Muse: Muse is a meditation device that comes in a wearable headband style. It detects the brain rhythms— coupled with a smartphone app that monitors the synchronized electrical activities of the brain. Users are provided with a performance graph after every meditation session that shows the brain activity during the meditation— peaceful, energetic, or balanced state.
- Noiseli: Noisli is a productivity app that provides an immersive soundscape to drown the external noises, while also lowering emotional distress. The app mitigates the repercussions of unexpected noise surges. This helps enhance concentration levels, making it ideal for study time or calm sessions. Noiseli has 28 high-quality background tracks which can be played as single or multiple tracks. If played in multiples, users can also adjust the volume of a particular sound as they see fit.
- Calm: Calm optimizes sleep quality, enhances self-assurance, and decreases stress through relaxing meditation guides, soft music, and stories. It was voted as Apple's 2017 iPhone app of the year. However, aside from Apple devices, its compatibility extends to Android smartphones as well.
- White Noise Lite: White Noise Lite is considered to be amongst the finest sleep apps. The calming sound of ocean waves kissing the shores sinks the user into a profound slumber. White Noise app incorporates a range of looping soundtracks, including soft rain drizzles, crackling campfire, and other calming sounds. Users also have the option to set soft instrumental melodies for alarms.
Are There Other Ways To Fall Asleep?
It is exceptionally difficult to escape the deluge of sleep apps that profess to induce sleep and ease the symptoms of sleep deprivation. Yet, the reliability of the sleep app continues to be a challenge. According to research, sleep apps that have been fully studied and proved to aid in sleep management are limited.
So, how do you choose the best option, and how do you know if it works?
Well, it all depends on your situation— sleep apps are designed to help you sleep. Do your research and try them out to see which app best helps you sleep. However, you also want to consider the natural ways before deciding on an app as experts recommend using any kind of sleep aids for a temporary or minimal period.
Sleep aids facilitate sleep but not the cycle of sleep, meaning you are sleeping but not sleeping better. So, it is best to first attempt to sleep the old-school fashion— the natural way. Research reveals that most of the sleep apps are not clinically tested, resulting in counter effects— anxiety and insomnia instead of peaceful sleep. And, you don’t want to risk that!
According to an article by the New York Times, striving to sleep and wake up at the same time every day can help achieve a sleep cycle. Along with that, making lifestyle changes such as lowering room temperature, complete lights-out, no heavy dinner or alcohol in the evening, and avoiding gadget screen time before bed.
Clearly, even without apps, a good night's sleep is achievable. So, if you are wondering what you can do to induce sleep naturally, we’ve got some tips for you. Here are simple practices you can employ to promote a deep sleep—
- Consistency is the key to getting proper sleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time. This will strengthen the circadian rhythm of the body, making the sleep cycle easier.
- Decelerate the body by one or two hours before actually sleeping— pajamas on, lights dimmed, and perhaps a light book reading while tucked cozily under the sheets?
- Keep the room cool, as cooler spaces promote sleep faster. If you’re one to restlessly throw covers off the body in the dead of night, replace thick winter materials with lighter summer organic cotton blankets.
- The surface you sleep on impacts the quality of your sleep— look for high-quality certified organic natural mattresses that are free of flame retardants, toxic chemicals, and polyurethane foam. These mattresses are environmentally friendly, conformable, and promote luxurious sleep. The same for sheets— choose Fair Trade organic cotton sheets which are naturally better for the skin and the environment. Organic bedding fundamentally improves the quality of sleep by making you feel more relaxed and at ease. As a result, you wake up feeling refreshed every morning while also knowing that your bedding is doing good for the planet.
We hope this helps. Bonne nuit!