How To Use Technology To Improve Sleep
Many people use cell phones and tablets day and night. Unfortunately, thanks to the kind of light it emits, your favorite device may be to blame for your inability to sleep. But, the same technology that keeps you up all night can also be used to help you fall into a deep sleep if you know how to use it. Keep reading for a few tricks, apps, and usage rules that make your smartphone an integral part of your sleep zone.
There are some wonderful, snooze-enriching apps out there, but keep in mind that apps do take up considerable space on your phone’s memory. If you find that your current model is unable to keep up, look for a more capable device, such as the new iPhone 11. Not only does this innovative Apple product offer 26 hours of continuous battery life, it also has ample memory for all the apps you need to send you off to the Land of Nod.
If you’d rather stick to Android, the Moto G7 Power has one of the longest battery lives (up to 60 hours!) available on a budget device. It is not as powerful as the iPhone, but it does have a standard headphone jack, which comes in handy if you don’t want your bedmate being disturbed as you listen to your nighttime meditations.
Thanks to clever developers and sleep scientists, monitoring your sleep is easier than ever. A few apps that can help you do just that are:
- Snorelab. SnoreLab is great for people who suspect sleep apnea or find themselves waking through the night because they’re making loud noises. The app is designed to record snoring and to offer advice on how to minimize this nighttime disturbance.
- Sleep Cycle. If you feel fatigued after what you thought was a full night of sleep, download Sleep Cycle. This app tracks your overnight movements using either your phone’s built-in microphone or its accelerometer. When you awaken in the morning, you’ll see a chart that can alert you to irregular sleep patterns.
- Headspace. Headspace takes you to your happy place with audio recordings of guided meditation practices. PsyberGuide points out this is a good choice for the whole family, as there is some content especially for kids.
- Calm. Calm, like Headspace, offers guided meditation directly from your phone. However, if you’d rather listen to a story, Calm’s Sleep Story function has you covered.
- Capture. Nightmares are a problem for millions of Americans. Capture allows you to quickly record your dreams so that you can explore them when you are ready. You’ll gain self-knowledge by having your dreams interpreted and analyzed from the palm of your hand.
When it comes to late night surfing, it’s crucial to quit staring at your screen at least 30 minutes before bed. This is because blue light, which is the wavelength that makes your phone display look great, sends the same signals to your brain as sunshine.
You can invest in special glasses to help filter out those rays, and some newer phones allow you to adjust the display for evening use. For instance, HowToGeek explains you can activate a night shift setting on an iPhone that will automatically adjust the display as the sun goes down so your circadian rhythm stays on track. Androids offer a similar feature, so ensure you use it with whichever phone you choose.
It doesn’t matter how many digital tools you have at your disposal, Tuck explains that basic sleep hygiene is still crucial. Make a point to go to bed at the same time each evening, keep your home’s nighttime temperature a bit cooler than during the day, and keep the room as dark and quiet as possible. If you think you suffer with insomnia, apnea, or other sleep disorder, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.
Remember, you should not stare at your phone overnight but you can use it to help yourself ease into a state of relaxation and track your sleeping patterns. With the right applications, your phone can become a powerful tool in the fight against sleeplessness.
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