Having trouble getting eight hours kip every night? You need a sleep app

Zzzzzzz.

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

Sleep. We’re constantly told that we need to strive for 7 to 9 hours a night but for those suffering with insomnia or sleep deprivation, that can feel like a far and distant dream. And considering that driving on less than 5 hours sleep is equivalent of driving drunk, it’s important that we catch enough z’s in order to function properly.

Whether you’re suffering from a sleep condition, or stress, work and general life pressures are affecting your ability to nod off, a sleep app could be helpful in getting you toward your hour goals.

Yes – although using your smart phone or tablet just before bed can be detrimental to a good night’s kip, it might just hold the key to the illusive House of Slumber.

Here’s everything you need to know about the perfect sleep app for you…

How do sleep apps work?

A sleep app downloaded onto your smart phone can track your sleep. It works by monitoring your activity, and by registering movement it can detect REM (deep sleep) and non-REM (lighter sleep).

From this, a sleep app can be developed to cater to your every snoozy need.

Do sleep apps work?

Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s a perfect sleep app for everyone. Those available right now can wake you up at the best time for your personal REM cycle, track and monitor how much sleep you actually got, and emit white noise and sound to help you get to sleep.

Are sleep apps accurate?

Although they are not as accurate as a wrist-worn monitor that can also register your breathing in order to detect when you’re in a deep slumber, a sleep app on your phone will be able to provide you with the service you need most – whether that’s as simple as seeing how many times you woke up over the course of a night, or playing you music to distract from noises around you.

There are so many sleep apps out there that promise a solid eight hours – but which ones are worth trying?

Here are 3 of the best…

Sleep App for getting to sleep: White Noise (iOS – free)

This app works by playing relaxing sounds and musics to lure you into a deep sleep. It also has a feature that allows you to upload your own calming music and sounds, and has nothing but good reviews on the app store, with people praising it for its variety of sounds and the ability to work even when your phone is locked.

Sleep App for tracking sleep: Sleep Cycle (iOS – free)

This popular sleep app includes various metrics that monitor your sleep pattern. It collates all of your information so that you can compare your sleep to previous nights as well as to other users across the world. It also claims to work just as well if your bed partner is also using the app.

Sleep App for a gentle wake-up: SleepBot- Smart Cycle Alarm (iOS – free)

The SleepBot app wakes you up at the optimum time during your REM cycle, using your phone’s accelerometer to register your sleep habits. Once you’ve set your time window (say, 15 minutes each side of the time you would like to get up) the app will judge when to wake you.

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