Sleep Deprived? There’s an App for That

If you need a solution to a problem in today’s digital age, there’s probably a smart phone app that can help you. Technology’s become so advanced that we’re finding ways to improve our sleeping patterns with the click of a button.

As any non-morning person knows, a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in your day. A lack of sleep can affect your judgment, mood and performance and eventually lead to serious health risks like strokes or diabetes.

Though sleep technology isn’t quite a perfect science, certain techniques and products have proven to help treat short-term and chronic sleep deprivation. Here are some exciting and viable alternatives to traditional sleep remedies like sleeping pills and health foods.


Technology-Guided Relaxation Techniques

Have you tried meditating before bed, but need help getting to that Zen-like state? The NightWave Sleep Assistant guides you through a pre-sleep meditation process using a soft blue light that projects around your room. Your eyes follow the light as it rises and falls, and your breathing’s matched to its tranquil rhythm. The light’s movement gradually slows and lulls you into a deep, restful sleep.

If you’re more auditory than visual, the White Noise app for smart phones plays soothing, ambient noises that help you get to sleep. Their repertoire of relaxing, looping sounds include chirping crickets, rain fall or ocean waves.

Sleep Technology You Can Wear

The SleepTracker SmartStart watch is a fashion accessory that doubles as a sleep assistant. It monitors your sleep stages – wakefulness, light sleep, deep sleep, or REM sleep – to determine the precise moment you should wake up. The watch also tells you how you slept, how to improve your sleep and your overall sleep score.

The Zeo headband has a lot of the same functionality but you wear it on your head instead of your wrist. The band wirelessly monitors your brain waves while you sleep to determine your different stages of sleep. The accompanying bedside alarm wakes you up at the time when you feel the most refreshed and energetic.

If you’re the athletic type, a Fitbit helps you to kill two birds with one stone. The small, clip-on device tracks both your sleep and fitness patterns using an altimeter, 3D motion sensor and accelerometer. It can also detect how many times you wake up in the middle of the night.

If you’re looking for sleep technology to match your pajamas, look no further than the Nyx Somnus Sleep Shirt. Fabric electronics are implanted in the shirt to track the wearer’s breathing patterns. A microchip in the shirt pocket processes the data to determine the sleep stage.

Bed Sheets Scientifically Engineered for a Better Sleep

Studies in alternative medicine have shown that “earthing,” the healing practice of connecting with the ground’s natural energy, has been found to improve sleep cycles. Fitted earthing bed sheets, made of cotton and conductive silver fibre, use specialized cords and electrical outlets as a grounding method for your bare feet.

SHEEX, the world’s first luxury performance bed sheets, are engineered to help regulate your body temperature as you sleep. The sheets are made of specialized fabrics that breathe comfortably, just like athletic wear. They use tested, sleep-fit technology to transport moisture and help you achieve a comfortable, restful sleep.

Mattresses Optimized for Maximum Comfort

Can’t afford the electronic beds seen in late-night infomercials? The BAM Labs® Touch-free Life Care System can make any run-of-the-mill mattress into a digital platform.  Sensors are placed under the bed and paired with a cloud-monitoring platform to track the sleeper’s breathing rate, heart rate, presence and motion. Smart bed technology cannot only process a person’s sleeping habits, but can also detect any serious health problems that can happen throughout the night.

Sleep Apps for the iPhone?

A recent article at LifeHacker highlights some popular iPhone apps including the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock.  As LifeHacker mentions, it’s a $1 app that’s grown in popularity over the past few years with an increasingly loyal following.  Some of the features of this app include its use of your iPhone’s accelerometer which tracks when you toss and turn in the middle of the night or wake up.  The app even functions as an alarm clock.

Just in Case you Haven’t Tried These Already…

Sleep technology is developing at a rapid rate. Though its products have tested successfully on many, it doesn’t always mean they’ll work for you. If you haven’t tried them already, you can also opt for more holistic or traditional sleep remedies.

Other common sleep aids include regular exercise, a healthier diet and stress-relieving techniques like yoga and meditation.  As a last resort, sleeping pills can also help get you to sleep. If you’re suffering from more serious sleep conditions like sleep apnea or insomnia, it’s important that you seek the advice of your doctor.

Joyce Smith

I'm a PR professional, news junkie, tea lover, tech nerd and enthused blogger for Expert Notion. You can find my Google+ profile here.

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