How to Use Sleep Apps and Wearable Tech to Sleep Better

From Alarm Clocks to Tracking, Programs May Improve Your Sleep

The technology of sleep apps may improve sleep if used well
The technology of sleep apps may improve sleep if used well. Funky Illustrations from Holland/Moment/Getty Images

The saying goes that there isn't much new under the sun. However, you may not believe that if you explore the various applications, or apps, pertaining to sleep available for smart phones, wearable technology devices, and even accessible through the Internet. Learn how to use the best sleep apps and wearable tech to help you to sleep better.

The Functions of the Best Sleep Apps

There are thousands of applications, or apps, available for download to a variety of devices.

If downloaded to your phone, you can have these apps on hand whenever you need them. Apps can serve astounding, varied, and impressive purposes, and many are designed by entrepreneurial software designers. It is relatively surprising how many relate to sleep.

Most of the sleep-related apps fall into broad categories. Without promoting any specific ones, it is possible to discuss these various options.

  • Alarm Clocks: There are a variety of alarm clocks┬áthat can use movement to determine the best time to wake you. This may ease the transition to wakefulness in the morning and reduce sleep inertia.
  • Sound Machines: Countless apps are meant to produce sleep-inducing background noise such as calming streams, rainstorms, or crickets chirping. These can be used to distract and relax the user and ease the transition to sleep.
  • Sleep Diaries: There are apps that are designed to serve as sleep diaries to log your hours of slumber. In most cases, this is helpful when used as an adjunct to activity tracking by the device.
  • Sleep Tracking: Many wearable technology devices - including FitBit, Jawbone Up band, Nike Fuel band, Apple Watch, and others - are able to track basic activity patterns. They can infer when you are still, and presumably asleep. Though they may suggest depths of sleep, this is not currently accurate based on available technology.
  • Insomnia Programs: Formal programs for the administration of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) are increasingly accessible. These can provide advice on ways to improve your sleep when you suffer from insomnia.
  • Dream Interpretation, Hypnosis, and Others: There are other allied sleep apps that may attempt to provide information about dream interpretation, induce a hypnotic state, and otherwise analyze your sleep. These have a limited scientific basis.

Using Sleep Tracking Technology to Sleep Better

Truly, in the world of sleep, the app cup runneth over. Not all of these apps are of substantial quality. Many may posit analysis or benefits that are not substantiated by rigorous scientific testing. However, as the technology improves and experts are able to strengthen the recommendations provided, sleep apps will become increasingly useful. In the meanwhile, the information gathered may require an expert consultation to make meaningful changes that improve sleep.

Many of the currently available sleep apps seem to be of most benefit for entertainment purposes but there are also a few that may directly improve your sleep.

Most importantly, having an app around might prompt you to place a special importance on your sleep. This may be all you need to sleep a little better.

Getting More Help When You Need It

If you continue to have trouble sleeping, seek out a sleep specialist who can provide the accurate testing and optimal treatment you need to sleep better.

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