If your new year’s resolution isn’t to get more sleep, it should be: It’s a fact that inadequate sleep can cause a slew of health problems, from weight gain and mood disorders to even memory loss and depression. But we get it—getting enough shut eye can be a huge issue (especially in our stressful world), and sometimes, a cup of lavender tea just doesn’t cut it.
People insist that the blue light from cell phones and other forms of technology substantially reduce sleep quality and make it harder to fall asleep—but thankfully, there’s some use for your iPhone yet. Below, we list the best sleep apps we’ve found that promise a slew of amazing benefits, from tracking your sleep cycle to providing calming music. It turns out, a great night’s sleep might just be a download away.
Have you ever woken up from your alarm exhausted, as if somebody just shook you from deep slumber and left you with a splitting headache and blurry eyes? If so, you need Sleep Time. It turns out that your body actually goes through five different phases of sleep in order for you to feel well-rested, so if you wake up while you’re in the deepest phase (phase four), you’re likely to be disoriented and tired all day.
Sleep Time focuses on fixing that problem by tracking your sleep and determining which phase you’re in. All you have to do is set a time for when you’d like to be awake, and Sleep Time wakes you up around that time based on what phase of sleep you’re in. Waking up when you’re in a lighter sleep phase automatically leaves you refreshed all day, making this app ideal if you’re not a morning person.
A Domino favorite, Calm relies on the concept of bedtime stories for adults, read in soothing voices in order for you to get the best sleep possible. You can pick different ones based on theme, and they range between 20 to 30 minutes long—a better version of reading in bed, if you will.
Co-founder Michael Acton Smith explains, “They have been incredibly popular, as there is something very comforting and relaxing about being read a soothing story while tucked up in bed. To make them even more effective, we decided to create a scent to pair with the story. Spraying lavender on your pillow while listening to a story set in the lavender fields of Provence is a very effective way to calm a racing mind and help you drift off naturally. The scent and sound combination transports you to another part of the world, which is enjoyable and deeply relaxing.”
Another soothing app, Relax Melodies works with the concept of sleep meditations for you to customize your own sleep soundtrack based on ambient sounds, melodies, and white noise. You can choose from pre-determined options or even mix your own, and have it play either the entire night or for a stipulated period of time. The goal is to relax your brain with these soothing sounds, thus allowing you to fall asleep quicker and faster.
Somewhat of a “digital drug,” Digipill relies on 10-minute “pills” or meditations that each work to target a different issue, from curing insomnia to easing anxiety. You’re given one complimentary pill, and then buy others depending on your mood or needs.
The pills have been created by Neuro-Linguistic Programming master trainer Brian Colbert, who explains, “Each Digipill has been uniquely formulated using specific blends of sound and language to gently engage and activate more of the mind. This makes it easier to bring about change, build new habits, and promote an overall sense of wellbeing.”
Recolor takes the concept of adult coloring books and moves it to mobile, with new pictures appearing daily. Organized in levels from beginner to expert, Recolor provides several high resolution images that allow you to color on the app itself. It’s been shown that coloring offers a number of therapeutic benefits, from reducing stress to allowing mindfulness—thus letting you to be in the best state possible to get a restful night’s sleep.
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