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There are some ways technology can hinder our sleep, such as reading from an e-reader right before going to sleep or watching a television or computer screen in bed. However, there are ways technology can help your sleep too! Here are five apps from your smart phone that you won’t believe you haven’t found and downloaded yet.
1. Sleep Genius
This app was developed to help NASA astronauts get to sleep and has almost all the features of other sleep apps combined. It helps you figure out how much sleep you need to get and what your ideal bedtime is. It includes a relaxation program that helps reduce stress and anxiety though music and sounds that target cardiac and respiratory systems. It can be listened to before bed or to meditate throughout the day. It also has a soothing wake up alarm that gently wakens you for five minutes, beginning five minutes before you have set the alarm to go off. There is also a power nap feature that has psychoacoustic music designed to trigger relaxation and then wake you at the end of the time you set. Not only that, but the app also collects data about your sleep quality and quantity throughout the night to monitor your sleep habits.
SleepCycle has a bio alarm clock that uses motion sensors in your phone to track movements during sleep to estimate what sleep stage you are in. It then wakes you up around the time you have your alarm set when you are in the lightest stage of sleep so as to wake you up in the most gradual way possible. It also keeps track of your sleep quality and presents it to you in a graph form so you can see your estimated sleep habits.
This app is not an alarm or sleep tracker, but it helps lull you to sleep with relaxing sounds and white noise. There are 100 billion possible combinations of sounds this app can play to help you get to sleep. It mixes quotes, music, tones, and sound effects to make a soothing white noise sound track that helps you get to sleep. You can set the sounds to play from ten to sixty minutes.
For the restless insomniacs that need more than white noise or soothing melodies to relax, this app guides you through meditations to help promote relaxation and calm you into sleep. The app helps you concentrate on breathing and letting go of the stress of the day while accompanied by nature sounds or music.
There are plenty of nature sounds and white noise sleep apps but this one stands out for its hypnotherapy. The sessions are narrated by Kym Tolson who is a licensed hypnotherapist. In addition to getting to sleep, she also has sessions that can help you quit bad habits or form good ones such as stopping biting your nails or forming better study habits.