The quality and duration of your sleep, as well as the phase of sleep you’re in when you wake up, can set your day in motion. It makes sense, then, to invest in getting the best night’s sleep you can. There are mobile phone applications you can download to help monitor sleep, including ones that can determine whether you’re getting enough restorative REM sleep. Here are four innovative apps that are well worth a try.
Sleep Cycle App
Sleep Cycle App tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep. During sleep, you go through cycles of sleep states including light sleep, deep sleep, and a dream state referred to as REM-sleep. A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is normally repeated several times through the night.
Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis to identify sleep states and track your movements with each sleep phase. It uses a wake up phase within a 30-minute time frame of your desired alarm time. During this phase, the app signals your body to wake up softly when you are in the lightest possible sleep state.
The Sleep Cycle app takes advantage of your body movements. You set a 30-minute window in which you want to wake up and set your phone in bed with you. Once that window is reached in the morning, the app will wait until you’ve entered light sleep before bringing you out of rest. As a result, you feel well-rested.
Price: $1.99 on iTunes
Sleep as Android
Sleep as Android, a similar app to Sleep Cycle, tracks your sleep pattern using its accelerometer to know when you’re in various sleep states so that it wakes you up at the optimal time within a 10 to 40-minute window of your choosing.
The app also includes features such as the ability to record sleep talking or snoring, and it offers soothing nature sounds that can help you fall asleep.
Price: Free on Google Play for a 2-week trial; $2.99 for the full version.
Sleep Better tracks daily habits and other variables (like daytime activities, exercise, stress, and alcohol) and how each affect your sleep. The app has a smart alarm feature that wakes you up at an optimized time within a certain range, helping you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to seize the day.
The app also provides features to:
- Track your sleep duration, cycles, and efficiency
- Develop a better understanding of your light sleep, deep sleep, and time spent awake in bed
- Store your sleep data regardless of device transfer
- Enter daily habits and variables such as caffeine consumption, exercise info, and alcohol consumption
- Personalized wake-up window
- A variety of alarm sounds and snooze functionalities for a personalized start to your day
- Filtered history, taking daily variables into account, to determine when you’re sleeping best
If your sleep patterns are erratic, then your mobile phone could be to blame. Blue light emitted by electronic devices, especially during evening hours, can disrupt your circadian rhythm and lower the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
Twilight is designed to transform the blue light into red light to encourage relaxation and calmness. In spite of the color red often being associated with energy and activity, when used with lighting it tricks our bodies into thinking there is very little or no light present and, in turn, encourages the production of melatonin. This is because red light is the lowest energy, slowest moving form of visible light.
Price: Free with no in app purchases on Google Play.
Schedule a Consultation
The importance of quality sleep cannot be overstated — from keeping your appetite in check to regulating your blood pressure and cholesterol, the proper amount of sleep ensures your body is functioning at its best. To get you started, discuss and review your treatment options in order find the perfect option for you and your loved ones. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukla today.