It became apparent with the recent Daylight Savings Time change that many people’s natural sleep patterns are off-kilter. And the reason for our catawampus sleep could be a variety of reasons, ranging from stress, overwork, or unhealthy habits. Since there have been many studies into sleep patterns, we now know the real culprit behind our irregular sleep patterns is electricity, television, smartphones, and other electrical devices.
There’s been plenty of evidence to back the theory that our ancestors slept in two stages prior to the invention of electricity. They would go to bed shortly after sunset, about 8pm, and then wake up in the heaviest part of the night, around midnight. Experts aren’t sure why this happened, but our ancestors would use the few hours they were awake in the middle of the night to socialize. They would hold late dinners, soirees, get-togethers, and more. About 4am, two or three hours before sunrise, our ancestors would go back to sleep for a second slumber period. This would give them 6-8 hours of sleep through the night hours.
In these modern times of 24-hour, 7-days a week tech entertainment, we should all be more cognizant of the amount of time we set aside to be offline. Countless doctors and health experts have warned that the hour or two prior to bedtime is essential for us to stay away from the internet. This is because the light from a dim tablet screen can send signals to your brain that it isn’t time to sleep. And this could cause sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed.
There are numerous apps on the market today that are built specifically to help you get a better night’s sleep. There are four distinct categories of sleep apps: sleep monitoring, soft music, staying active, and lucid dream management. Here are a few of our favorites, in no particular order:
You might be one of the millions of people who use their phones built-in clock to set alarms to wake up for work. If you do, we recommend an app that goes a step further to monitor your sleep cycles (through your phone’s speaker) and at the correct time in the morning, it will wake you up during your lightest and accommodating sleep phase. This little sleep tracker literally makes it easier for the heaviest sleepers to wake up.
Available for: iOS
The app artwork is simple, easily introducing you to the simplicity of this app’s overall feel. With Sleep, you can choose to fall asleep to relaxing music, or even awake to soft, worry-free musical notes in the morning. Many users count this app as their favorite because of its simple usefulness.
Available for: Android
If you have an Android device, but want the ease of simplicity of using the Sleep app, the Sleep as Android app is the perfect choice. This app allows you to set your alarm to play your favorite ringtone, track your sleep patterns, and even record you if you talk while you’re in dreamland.
Drown the ugly noises and retreat to your own world at night before bedtime with the White Noise app. Every sound available in this app is associated with an image, making it easy for you to create the perfect soundtrack to your dreams. You can even record your own sounds and add your own images.
Love going to sleep with the sound of a soft rain shower pattering outside? What if you can better relax while listening to the ocean waves instead? With Relax Melodies app, you can create your own custom ambient music playlist, set your alarm, and sleep easy. This app also has the ability to save, name, and replay your favorite ambient creations.
This app was created to solve the problem of insomnia and relieve stress. By claiming more sleep during the night, you’ll experience a noticeable energy boost during the daytime. The app has two interfaces: Nap or Sleep. While you sleep, the app plays quiet music that has been optimized with soft voiceover and sound effects, which will put you to sleep and keep you there for the amount of time you’ve allotted for yourself to sleep.
Available for: iOS
Many people find it difficult to sleep at night because of other health conditions, like sleep apnea, or irregular resting heart rate. The MotionX 24/7 sleep app addresses the concerns of insomniacs and other health conditions. Only available for iPhone, this app measures your resting heart rate and other sleep metrics, while also encouraging you to become more active during the daytime. You can set goals and monitor your goal’s progress all from this app.
Practice yoga every day for a better night’s sleep! This app encourages you to do yoga exercises for a better night’s sleep. You can design a yoga routine that works best for you, pick your difficulty level. There are easy-to-understand pictures and descriptions that explain each yoga pose.
Lucid dream management
Available for: Android
Do night terrors keep you up all night? With the Awoken app, you can take nightmares into your own hands. You’ll learn what dream awareness is, how you can lucid dream, and exercise your own dream awareness. Awoken even has a journal feature, so you can keep your thoughts on your dreams all in one place and learn what the real reason is for your insomnia.
If you are interested in skipping the basics of falling asleep and want to delve deeper into the lucid dreaming world, Lucid Dreamer is a great app choice. This app includes a sleep journal, reality check training, and harder, more experimental modes. It will work with your sleep cycles, and adjust to what works best with your body. There are even a few apps to coach your mind into shaping your dreams positively with this app.
Don’t let your ancestor’s sleeping habits ruin your night. Sleep through the entire night with any one of the above listed apps. And if you need a device to download these apps to, be sure to visit a TCC store near you. There are plenty of ways to save money this holiday season, just visit our Special Offers page for the best deals on devices and accessories.