Too often we only hear about the negative effect smartphones and tablets can have on your sleep. Whilst it’s not advisable to immerse yourself in any high-concentration or flashing tech before bedtime, it is worth countering the current argument with something a little more positive – your smartphone may actually be able to help you sleep. With our lives becoming increasingly busy, perhaps a little time out via a helpful app will do the trick.
If falling asleep is the problem there are many freely available apps with downloadable audio available for you to try. I regularly use Joseph Clough Hypnosis. I have installed this on my Android tablet, and listen to it every night to help me drift into a deep sleep. I dare anyone to listen to the insomnia track and still be awake by the end of it. This blogger often wakes up at 7am with the headphones still in ears.
Although rest-inducing recordings don’t monitor your sleep pattern, they can be perfect for relaxation, trips away and jet lag, when you just need a helping hand to help you doze off.
Alongside the free, perfectly good and regularly added-to content is the opportunity to purchase additional downloads, featuring everything from phobias, to helping with a stammer, to weight loss, all priced at £1.99 each.
If you wake up feeling tired every morning, Absalt EasyWakeup PRO could shed some light on your night time activity. As the first ‘smart sleep’ app running since 2008, the developers have incorporated user suggestions over the years to create a truly user-friendly device.
It is an alarm clock but, instead of the rude awakening we’re used to, EasyWakeup PRO senses when it’s the best time to wake you up, during a pre-selected period of time. Placed on your bed, the app senses your body movements during your sleep.
As well as waking you up at a time that suits your body, users are also able to analyse the quality of their sleep by viewing the graphs and stats, which may offer some insight into sleep patterns. Available on iOS for £6.99.
One app which has become highly successful is Headspace. Having used the free trial ‘Take10’, I was impressed with the animations and audio quality and calm vocal clarity. Designed for those who simply cannot ‘meditate’, this app is all about mindful thinking and body relaxation, using techniques such as body scanning and is a lot less ‘hippy’ than it sounds.
In between each of the ‘Take10’ levels, users are treated to some superb animations which explain how and why we think as we do. It makes everything feel simple – and achievable. Although it never made me fall asleep personally, each 10 minute session was enjoyable and relaxing and I felt aware of my thought processes and was far more refreshed afterwards.
Headspace offers a free trial, however a membership is required to take full advantage of it; it just depends on how much you value your own me-time.
Finally, beware the blue light (technically known as ‘blue wavelengths’). If you still want to use your device for non-sleep-app-purposes before bedtime, you could try an app designed to reduce the level of blue light such as Bluelight Filter for Eye Care designed for tablets.
Once installed, the shortcut remains in the settings menu and when turned on, changes the hue of the device to a softer and warmly tinted tone. Blue light tricks our brains into believing it is days more than any other light (it is twice as powerful as green light for example); it boosts our attention and stops the sleep hormone melatonin from being produced.
However it is worth considering a holistic approach because blue light isn’t just emitted by smart device screens. We are increasingly using LED lights in our homes, along with watching TV on our blue light emitting screens, which is then ‘topped up’ by late night smart device activity. All of this could affect your night time melatonin production.
So, perhaps the answer is to consider the overall use of blue light in our homes and perhaps enjoy a few more candlelit dinners.
Catherine Howe is a Marketing Executive at Total Ltd – a business to business service provider, delivering genuine solutions across all core telecommunication services, based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Total Ltd is a business that brings together and unifies all the component parts. For up to the minute business telecommunications news, please view the Total Ltd blog.