It's hard to put your best foot forward and have a great day when you've had a lousy night's sleep. If you're not getting a full seven to nine hours of sleep every night, not only will you feel groggy and sluggish, you could also be at greater risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes or depression.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of things that can keep you awake long past your bedtime, or even worse, wake you up in the middle of the night. On top of that, how you wake up also affects your day. A loud car horn alarm first thing in the morning isn't doing you any favors.
Luckily, you can get all of these different factors on the same page and improve your sleep quality with a handful of apps.
Here is a list of three apps that made the cut, no fitness tracker required! Keep going till the end, I've saved the best for last.
Sleep Science Alarm Clock
The creators of the Sleep Science HQ want you to wake up each and every morning feeling refreshed and energized. That's why they've included 750 different alarms to wake you up gently, during your lightest sleep cycle, creating the best wake up call you can get.
With the Sleep Science Alarm Clock you can also track your sleeping habits, set goals, see your sleep trends, even keep track of your dreams. Even better, this app will record the loudest sounds made in the middle of the night, so you can finally figure out what's been waking you up or disrupting your cycle.
The Sleep Science HQ app is for iOS devices and will set you back $1.99.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Much like the Sleep Science HQ alarm clock, the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock wants to help you wake up gently every single morning, while helping you understand your sleep patterns and habits.
All you need to do is open the app and set your phone on your nightstand before bed. While you are asleep, Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock will analyze your sleep. When it's time to wake up, this app will wake you up during your lightest sleep phase and you'll be able to see a full, detailed report about how you slept.
Once you go over your sleep report, you'll begin to understand what changes you need to make in order to get the best night's rest possible.
Good Morning Alarm Clock
The third and final option on our list of great alarm clocks is the Good Morning Alarm Clock. Like the other two apps on this list, the Good Morning Alarm Clock app tracks your habits while you sleep, presenting you with a full report in the morning.
But what's different about this one is that not only does it wake you up gently, but with Good Morning Alarm Clock you can create soothing playlists of your favorite songs, or other relaxing sounds, to fall asleep to. This alarm clock can be fully integrated with Apple's Health Kit and even provides a weather forecast.
Do you have trouble sleeping? In this interview with Emily Laber-Warren in her article in "Scientific American Mind" about circadian rhythms, we explore sleep habits. Learn how your phone, tablet, TV, computer and blue lights can affect your health and how well you sleep.