When you put on your pajamas and climb between the sheets each night, you’re doing a lot more than just “resting.” You’re powering your mind and body in ways you may never have imagined. Sleep enables your body to go into renewal mode, encouraging the cellular and metabolic processes you need to stay healthy.
Not getting enough quality sleep each night does more than make you tired and cranky; it can cause serious problems in your body linked to heart disease, obesity, depression, and diabetes. It can even weaken your immune system’s ability to fight off colds and flu.
Beauty sleep is also more than just a rumor. Sleep renews your skin cells for a brighter complexion, minimizes dark circles and bags under your eyes, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and helps keep your skin tight and firm.
So, with all that in mind, how many winks are you getting each night? Experts recommend at least seven solid hours of sleep for normal adults; getting less than that can impact your health, your looks, and your mental clarity.
If quality sleep is elusive, you can help yourself by establishing a good bedtime routine at night, signaling your mind and body to shut down and prepare for sleep. If these things fail, a good massage – like the ones offered by Candle Spas therapists – can give your body the relaxing push that it needs to rest well.
And if you still need a little extra help, there’s always technology to the rescue! Check out these top 10 sleep apps to improve both the quality and quantity of your slumber:
The Pzizz sleep app can help you to get to sleep faster at night, sleep deeper, and wake up with more energy. Or, you can use the power nap feature during the day to wake up from a nap feeling energized and refreshed – not groggy. The app can work in as little as 10 minutes, and uses a combination of relaxing music, sounds and voices to guide you into sleep. It changes the patterns constantly, so that it never loses effectiveness, as your mind never knows what to expect.
Relax Melodies is an advanced white noise ambiance app that can help you to fall asleep or just relax. You can also use it to create a custom track of the sounds that work best for you. The app includes multiple binaural beats to send different messages to your brain at the same time, resulting in deep relaxation for sleep. This feature also makes it ideal for use while meditating and yoga.
Andrew Johnson’s deep Scottish voice provides relaxing instructions through a guided meditation app that will help your breathing and brain waves to deepen and to ease you into a restful sleep. You can select the length of your sessions and customize other options to make sure that the program hits the right target for you.
The Lightning Bug ambiance and white noise mixer can help you relax and fall asleep to a combination of over 200 sounds. You can pick up to three to play together, and you can control the volume of each individually. Loop the tracks to the length you need to fall asleep each night.
Choices include standard rain storms and ocean waves, but you can also choose more unusual sounds, like city trains or meditation bells. You also get a customizable digital clock and alarm feature with custom snooze and access to local weather.
This app has plenty of different features to help monitor your health and sleep. Put your iPhone under your pillow or on your mattress, and the app analyzes your sleep cycles – telling you when you’re in deep sleep or light sleep when you’re waking up during your sleep, and more.
Best of all, you can set the gentle and non-jarring alarm to wake you up at some point during a 30-minute zone. The app can then determine when you’re sleeping the lightest and wake you – instead of pulling you from a deep sleep. This helps you to wake up faster and feel more refreshed.
This restfulness app by Joerg Wissemann offers some cool features. First of all, it will measure and save your sleep cycles, giving you a place to take down notes to capture your dreams and how you felt when you woke up that morning. Compare that to sleep data showing how long you slept, your sleep cycles, and a recorder that can help determine what’s disturbing your sleep (like snoring or the neighbor’s dog). Together, these data sets can help you optimize your sleeping environment in the future.
Another unique feature of this app is the weather wake-up mode. You can tie the alarm time to weather conditions, so that if it’s stormy outside, the app will wake you up earlier to give you more time to drive to work. Or, if you want to take a morning run, have the app wake you up 90 minutes earlier if the weather conditions meet your criteria; otherwise, you can sleep in.
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This is a low-cost app that offers excellent sound quality and a variety of sound combinations, including music, white noise, environmental sounds, and entertainment tracks. You can create custom combinations and seamlessly loop sounds. There’s also an end chime if you’re using the app for power nap functions, and a countdown timer that fades while you drift off to sleep. The alarm function can even wake you to your favorite tracks – ending your sleep cycle on a positive note.
Relax and Sleep
Easy-to-use and intuitive, this Android app by Mizu Software Solutions lets you choose from over 35 ambient sounds, play several at once, and even control the volume of each one. You can choose from preset sleep aids or create custom tracks based on your preferences. The app comes with a countdown timer and a fade-out feature that eases you into sleep. Mizu Software has other versions of Relax and Sleep to choose from, but this is a good basic choice if you just want a few features to help send you off to sleep.
The free SleepBot app provides plenty of interesting information about your sleep. You clock in when you’re officially trying to go to sleep, and it starts measuring your movement and noises (including snoring or breathing troubles). When you wake up, you clock out, and the program stops, giving you data on your whole night’s sleep.
The app also offers a deprivation sleep counter to show you when you’re falling behind on sleep. You can use this data to analyze your sleepover days, weeks, and months to detect patterns or track improvements.
The White Noise Lite app by TMSOFT is free to use by all who suffer from sleep abnormalities. Like many of the other tools listed here, this ambient noise app allows you to choose from looped sound tracks or create your own, use it as a clock, adjust brightness and volume, and use the fade-in alarm to wake you gently in the morning.
Of course, these are only a few of the different sleep apps available today. If you have another favorite, share your recommendations in the comments below!