Sometimes, getting to sleep can be such a struggle. You toss and turn, and you can’t even remember how many times you woke up over the course of the night. And then there’s the part where you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. That’s probably the worst of all. You never seem to get enough shuteye, and the sound of that blaring alarm shocks you so much you feel like you’re about to start hyperventilating.
Every once in a blue moon, however, the stars seem to align, and you sink easily into a restful sleep, and the alarm seems to come at just the right time, pulling you easily out of a light slumber.
How can you make more of your mornings like scenario B, instead of the dreadful first scenario? You could get a new mattress. Mattress technology is rapidly changing, with new things like gel memory foam mattresses and Sleep Number beds. It could be time to upgrade from your old clunker.
In the meantime though, the answer may lie with sleep apps, the high tech future of snooze. Some of these apps aim to quantify your sleep habits to make that perfect night of sleep just a little more attainable. Some of them take your typical alarm clock and put it on steroids, giving you all kinds of options you’ve never dreamed of, and some just make the process of going in and out of consciousness just a little more pleasant, with the help of soothing sounds and gentle alarms.
Ready to use technology to get the best sleep you’ve ever had? Just keep reading.
- Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Sleep Cycle offers a unique way of learning about the way you sleep. Slip your phone under the fitted sheet on your mattress, and it will record your tossing and turning over the course of the night, teaching you how many REM cycles you go through per night.The coolest thing about the app is that from your sleep cycles and the range of acceptable wake-up times you provide, the app will find the optimum time to gently bring you to consciousness. Available for iPhone ($0.99) or Android (free with in-app purchases).
Like Sleep Cycle, SleepBot tracks your movement while you sleep in order to give you a broader picture of your sleeping habits and how to improve them. It also has audio tracking that you can use in conjunction with the motion sensor, or instead of it. The window of time is less adjustable than Sleep Cycle’s (30 minutes) but some prefer this app for the sound tracking and other differences. Oh, and unlike Sleep Cycle, it’s free. Available for iPhone or Android.
Better Alarm Clocks
The default Apple alarm clock could use some work. If you are lying in bed in the dark, the last thing you want to do is pull up a bright white alarm clock to set and blind yourself in the process. Rise uses beautiful, darker-colored gradients and a minimalist design to make a far more functional and relaxing alarm clock. Set or disable the alarm with simple swiping gestures, and wake up to soothing music or your own music library. Available for iPhone ($1.99).
- Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)
A devious alarm clock that won’t let you turn it off until you are truly awake, Alarmy (Sleep If U Can) forces you to move around and take photos of your home, in the process waking you up. Set up the app by “registering” places like your bathroom sink or your fridge, and then take photos of these places in order to shut off the alarm. This app has won awards for being the world’s most annoying alarm clock, but it might work for you. Available for iPhone ($1.99) or Android ($1.71).
Connect with your inner zen with the ZenAwake alarm clock. Including inspirational Buddhist quotes and zen imagery and sounds, this alarm clock is a great way to wake up feeling refreshed and inspired. Available for iPhone ($2.99).
Soothing Sounds and Relaxation
- Yoga for Insomnia
Stop going to bed stressed out. If your day has got you anxious and wired, calm down and relieve tension with Yoga for Insomnia. Learn the best stretches and other relaxation moves for before bed and when you just can’t get to sleep. Available for iPhone ($4.99) or Android ($4.99).
Pzizz uses the power of soothing sounds to help you drift into a better quality of sleep. Create your own mix between different sound elements by independently changing the volume. The sounds play a different way every time. You can set Pzizz to play anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 hours. Available for iPhone ($4.99).
These apps will take your problematic or so-so sleep habits and super charge them. You might even have the best night of sleep you’ve ever had! Have you tried any of these apps? Share your experiences in the comments below.