We know: We just told you a few weeks ago that the key to getting a good night’s sleep is to get rid of technology in the bedroom. Still, we can’t ignore the fact that there are some apps you can use on your tablets and smartphones that are designed to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Losing sleep can lead to depression, cost you hours of productivity at work, and lower your immune system. In fact, some experts suggest that accruing “sleep debt” and missing your downtime can take years off your life! Using these apps can help you build better sleeping habits and pave the way to a healthier, happier lifestyle.
We’ve picked three apps that work with your natural sleep/wake rhythm, and don’t require any fancy dongles or devices to set up. If you’re tired of being tired all the time, you’ll want to give these programs a try.
Headspace was originally designed for meditation, but has found a unique niche in helping users catch a good night’s sleep. It uses calm, soothing voices and tranquil sounds to create audio environments the designers term “sleepscapes” that help relax you into slumber.
The app is free to download on both iOS and Android, and receives daily updates and changes to prevent you from hearing the same thing twice. There is a paid option to upgrade that gives you access to more than 40 themed audio courses as well. These are mostly meditation themed, but some are specially geared towards helping you get drowsy after a long day.
Just like Headspace, Noisli is an audio program that lulls you into relaxation with tranquil sounds. This app, however, focuses more on creating a “white noise” effect that blocks out excess audio in your environment so you can drift off more easily.
Noisli is a useful sleep aid if you have a loved one that snores, or neighbors that party a bit too loudly in the late hours of the evening. The program is free to access and use on Noisli.com, but you can download a smartphone optimized version for $2.00 on iOS and Android.
If improving your overall sleep-health is a goal for you, Sleep Cycle can help you track your sleep/wake patterns and build more positive bedtime habits. The app works to coach you into healthier patterns with suggestions on times to hit the hay, when to wake up, and other productive tips.
Sleep Cycle features a sleep journal that lets you jot down the hours you spend unconscious, and includes the ability to monitor your actual cycles like REM and deep sleep. Sleep Cycle is free to download on both iOS and Android.
Keep in mind, no non-medical program will completely understand your biological cycles with 100% accuracy. If you’re having more serious issues, such as insomnia, you’ll want to meet with a doctor to discuss a plan that works for you.