5 Apps to Help You Catch More Z's
Getting enough sleep is important to overall health. It plays a role in our focus and alertness, along with our body’s metabolism, hormone regulation, and immune system. The National Sleep Foundation advises that adults should attempt to get between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep each night. There are many factors that can affect the quality of sleep we are getting. For instance, light and noise distractions can affect your body’s ability to wind down while too much exposure to smart devices and blue light before bed may decrease your body’s ability to get a good night’s rest. In the age of smartphones, our minds are constantly working through information overload from the moment we wake up until the moment we lay down.
However, our phones and tablets can be useful tools to monitor our sleep patterns and help to improve overall sleep health. There are dozens of different apps that are geared towards winding down and preparing you for sleep.
Here are 5 apps that will help you to catch the better Z’s and build good habits:
Calm offers a variety of mediation, soothing music, and stories to help your brain wind down and get you prepared for bed. They also provide videos on body movement, stretching, and tips on how to be more mindful. Calm’s approach aims to not only help with sleep but improve overall mental health as well. After their free 7-day trial, Calm is $69.99, annually.
2. Sleep Cycle
Sleep Cycle works by monitoring your movement and activity while you sleep. Once you have the app downloaded, your phone is meant to be placed on your mattress while you sleep. This will help to keep track of your movements throughout each sleep cycle. Sleep Cycle offers a variety of both free and premium features including sleep analysis, sleeping aids that help you to fall asleep faster, and the ability to compare your sleep stats to others around the world. The premium version is $39.99 per year.
SleepScore keeps track of your sleep by providing a score for the quality and amount of sleep you get each night. Your score changes based on the time it takes to fall asleep, how long you spend in each sleep stage, and how many hours of sleep you get each night. SleepScore helps to analyze your sleep and can provide recommendations on how to improve sleep patterns. The company behind SleepScore has different products for sale that can help you get your best sleep, too! SleepScore also has a free option or premium option for $49.99 per year.
Reflectly’s approach to winding down is a bit different than the other apps listed. They focus on journaling as a way to calm your mind and reflect back on the day. Promoting mindfulness really helps us to slow down and appreciate things that we often take for granted or are too busy to be present for during the day. After the free trial, Reflectly is $59.99 annually.
SleepTown is completely unique from the other sleep apps listed as it focuses on creating good sleeping habits and setting sleep goals. It does this by creating virtual buildings; the more you meet your sleep goals, the more buildings you create for your town. On the other hand, not meeting your sleep goals will demolish the buildings you’ve created for your town. A very different but fun way to ensure you’re getting good sleep. It is also a great app for helping kids to get better sleep and is user friendly for ages 4 and up! SleepTown costs just $1.99 and does not have a subscription.
Next time you find yourself tossing and turning, consider picking up your phone to download one of these helpful apps. Adequate sleep is necessary for both mental and physical wellness, so making it a priority will help you to be your healthiest self.
Learn about more ways to improve your health and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.
Written by: Katy Pierce, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern