Sleep Apps – Do They Work?

Posted on December 18, 2012 by admin

Welcome to the digital age everybody! It’s been the year of the smartphone and the decade of the internet by all accounts and now there’s something for everyone locked away within the easily accessible laybys of the inter-networked super-highway. And that of course, also means that sleep is a prominent avenue for discussion amongst the billions of internet users that log on, update and tweet every single day – take this very website, for example, a source of sleep info! Not only is the net bustling with ideas and information on sleep, reports on fascinating new studies and helpful ways to nod off at night, but the world of smartphones has been infected with the sleep bug too!

Yes, we’re fascinated with the idea of a nightly snooze, and with The App Store now a second home to many of us, it makes sense that there would be a new-age technical revolution to help! The question is, can a phone really help you sleep?

There’re chiefly two types of App that can directly affect your ability to fall asleep. Sound generating apps, and sleep monitoring apps. We’ll start with the former.

Listening to sounds as we fall asleep is nothing new, and whether it’s music, the ocean waves, or white noise, it is, more often than not, beneficial to have a constant sound present in the room whilst we drop off. For some of us, it gives the mind something to concentrate on, allowing us to block out stressful or preoccupying thoughts with more success. For others; twitches, creaks and noises that occur intermittently throughout the night as the central heating and all the other inward processes of the home work on keep us awake, and a specific noise will help to quell this. Of course, music isn’t often great, even the down tempo, quieter material; as the brain is kept active by interpreting the music, and predicting the upcoming segments. For some, this is just enough stimulation to encourage sleep, as opposed to keeping us awake.

Next then, sleep monitoring apps utilize the accelerometer, a movement detection device, built into your phone that then determines whether you’re in deep, REM sleep, or light non-REM sleep and keeps a track record of this throughout the night. It then wakes you up gently, at a time when you’re most likely to be able to wake straight up, and in a temperate manner. Using this over and over can help the body feel ready for sleep, and worked into a routine, whilst it can also make you feel more awake and alert in the mornings!

Essentially, the effects of either type of App differ from person to person. We recommend you make sure the basics are in place first. Is your adjustable bed set at the right position? Are you getting to bed at a good time? From then on in, experiment. Try out both apps and see what works best for you!

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