Tech

 Health

Living in a culture that favors the grind over the importance of resting, many of us are becoming burned out and worn down. You would think that we wouldn’t have any trouble falling asleep right when our overtired heads hit the soft and cozy pillows. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be true. 

Many Americans—one out of three Americans to be precise—report issues sleeping and getting enough sleep. Talk to anyone you know, and you will find people trying all sorts of DIY craziness just to make themselves feel tired at night or well rested once morning comes. 

Whether you are having trouble winding down after a stressful workday, your mind won’t stop thinking about to-do lists, or you are a self-proclaimed insomniac, there may be hope in the form of something quite close within your reach: your smartphone.

There’s an app for that

While many of us are trying to spend less time on our phones before bedtime, there may be a few apps that can help us to get a good night’s sleep. Once you have spent some time winding down before bed and you feel ready to try to get some shuteye, there are a plethora of helpful apps to guide you into a deep and restful sleep. Not all of them are created the same, however, so you must know where to look when it comes to getting that rest and relaxation help you so desperately need.

A unique solution

Apps offer a unique solution to numerous sleep issues. Many of them are tailored specifically to the user. What works for you depends on your source of trouble. Is your problem that you can’t seem to stop the stream of thoughts and worries before bedtime? Meditation apps might be the best bet for you. What if you are trying to incorporate a sleep routine? Sleep tracking apps can help you to stay on target. Is your partner’s snoring really getting to you? Some soothing white noise or music (and soundproof headphones) might be just what you need.

Meditation and mindful relaxation for beginners and beyond

Turning off the outside world and tuning into your inner one is an important step in helping you to calm down before bedtime. As night falls, this naturally happens for many people, and they favor quieter activities like reading. When you are finally ready to get settled for bed, meditation apps can help get you over that wakefulness hump to finally relax and surrender your body. Guided meditations are great for this because you have a calming voice in your ears that is helping your own mind to turn off for the night. Check out these apps for a wide variety of meditations and something for everyone, whether you are a beginner or pro.

  • Headspace – This app guides users through both daily practices as well as sleep meditations. Practicing meditation during the day can help you to have a more relaxing evening, so it is worth adding into your morning or afternoon routine as well. 
  • Insight Timer – With meditations searchable by teacher and topic as well as calming music, this app is one of the best freebies you can find. The app also tracks your meditations so you can see how many consecutive days you have practiced.
  • Calm – Whether you are trying to get some shuteye or incorporate more relaxation into your everyday, this app makes a great ally. You can even enjoy sleep stories, a mix between quiet music and soothing tales that are great for adults and kids alike.

For tracking your sleep and building a routine

If you tend to go to bed late and then toss and turn all night, a sleep routine may be in order. Sleep Cycle is an app for both iOS and Android that has been named one of the best sleep tracking apps of 2022. By tracking your sleep and waking you up at the most perfect time, this app can help you to feel more rested and less groggy in the morning. It can also help you understand more about your quality of sleep as well as how much rest you are getting every night. Getting enough sleep isn’t just good for your mood, it is vital for your physical health too. In fact, lack of sleep can contribute to a myriad of chronic and acute illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression.

White noise and other lovely audio

If you need to fall asleep to noise, you can forget about spending hundreds of dollars on a sleep machine. Now, with a smartphone by your side, you have a portable and completely customizable white noise machine at your fingertips. BetterSleep is a comprehensive library of customizable sounds, great for both kids and adults. They even offer sleep stories, great for the younger set of restless sleepers who keep their parents up at night asking for another glass of water. Noisli is a similar app that offers ambient sounds with offline capabilities so you can even bring it on the road with you. Many meditation apps, such as the ones above, have great instrumental music or nature sounds to choose from. The sky’s the limit when you are trying to soothe yourself and settle down into sleep. 

By choosing to engage in meditation, listen to relaxing music or sounds, or establish a sleep routine, you will be decreasing your own anxiety and stress, helping you to sleep better and longer. It is so important to get a good night’s sleep and knowing that you have apps to help you may make you feel even more confident in your ability to get some Z’s.

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