Relaxation is a way of life – a state of mind. But in today’s fast-paced world, technology is also a way of life. With new technology emerging each day, it’s not hard to believe that we now have ways to analyze and improve our sleep cycle. Apps and wearable technology have allowed us to learn more about our sleep than ever before.
The Sleep Cycle app not only provides a way for you to monitor your sleep, but also analyzes that information and gently wakes you at the optimal time. The app prompts you to enter a time that you need to wake up, and, throughout the night, monitors your movements. Once the app learns your general sleep patterns, it will begin watching for your lightest portion of sleep 30 minutes before your alarm is set to go off. Sleep Cycle is only available for iPhones, but is perfect for waking up early. Instead of relying on an obnoxious alarm sound to jolt you awake, the app using the accelometer in the iPhone to determine your lightest stage of sleep to begin the alarm sound – ensuring for the least intrusive waking process.
Other apps simply provide soothing sounds or speeches to help you fall asleep such as Sleep or Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson. Yoga for Insomnia is an app for smart phones that features Yoga poses specifically designed to stretch and relax the body.
Wearable technology is a trend increasing in popularity that, generally, helps monitor physical activity. Pulse O2 is a form of wearable technology that – along with other physical tracking such as step counting and exercise goal setting – allows users to monitor the hours you are awake and asleep to improve your sleep cycle. Upon waking, you are provided with a detailed graph depicting the times you woke during the night as well as overall sleep quality.
The Lark Pro wristband also helps to monitor sleep, but in a different way. This technology is ideal for those who wake up before their significant other. The wristband gently vibrates to wake the user without disturbing anyone else. The technology also allows you to record a sleep journal, tag issues your may be having while sleeping and compare results over time – a process ideal for coping with sleep disorders or improving sleep quality.
Currently, there are hundreds of apps for improving sleep and more emerging every day at varying prices. Whether you are looking for a way to get a better night’s sleep or trying to find your optimal alarm time and style, it is clear that technology is becoming the most effective way to monitor sleep.
“The Best Sleep iPhone & Android Apps of the Year.” The 16 Best Sleep iPhone & Android Apps of 2014. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/top-insomnia-iphone-android-apps#1>.
“Sleep Cycle.” Sleep Cycle. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://www.sleepcycle.com/howitworks.html>.
“Lark Pro™ | Experience.” Lark. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://lark.com/products/lark-pro/experience>.
“Pulse O₂ Track. Improve..” Withings Store. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://www.withings.com/eu/withings-pulse.html>.