American actress & writer who stars on the popular NBC sitcom, The Office, Mindy Kaling once said that “There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.” Well, there’s a grain of truth from it and most people would rather draw the curtains and go back to sleep. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a data and statistics report dated March 14, 2013 which stated “Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic”. But thanks to advances in technology, the problems with sleep-related disorders may be a thing of the past. So, how can we realize our dream of dreaming while sleeping?
Utilize White Noise
Scott Reyns is a voice actor who believes that mobile technology has helped him sleep better. “As an actor, I’m basically on call. Sometimes the hours get a little crazy,” Reyns commented in an interview with channel 41 NBC-affiliated television station serving Kansas and Missouri “KSHB TV”. He also shared that the app he’s using provides white noise (a random signal with a flat (constant) power spectral density) to help him relax before going to sleep. “The main thing for me is just making sure I get enough sleep,” he added. On the other hand, Bob Kelley, public relations manager of Verizon recommends Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep because it helps people sleep better. In his article titled “Sleep Better with Mobile Technology” posted on November 1, 2013, he also said that the audio therapy app can help them sleep while tuning “into the sounds of the outdoors.” While we experience the benefits of these apps, experts always advise people that these applications can’t diagnose sleep disorders. People should still consult a doctor if they’re having trouble sleeping.
Apps for a Better Sleep
The American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report on August 29, 2011 showed that a good night’s sleep is as important as exercising and a healthy diet. Also, sleep is considered as the “Third Pillar of Health” and not getting enough of it can result to adverse health outcomes later on. Below are some examples of mobile apps to help people to sleep better:
Sleep Genius – designed by neuroscientists, this application will help people sleep faster and reach deeper REM (Rapid Eye Movement sleep is a stage of sleep characterized by the rapid and random movement of the eyes ) levels. It taps the brain’s sleep center which is responsible for inducing deeper levels of sleep. Once the brain is calm, it helps slow down a person’s heartbeat and breathing patterns to help them sleep better.
The Story Home – at first, one may think that it’s only designed for kids but adults can benefit from it as well. Alan Scofield, Purple Button’s CEO, provides the voice for the stories. His soothing and calming voice can definitely help anyone sleep while being entertained.
Relax Melodies: Sleep and Yoga – sleep is always personal and this app can give its users a restful night every time. Sounds and melodies can be mixed to better suit anyone’s sleeping pattern. With more than 46 high-quality white noise music available from its library, anybody can achieve a blissful night’s rest.
Wearable Activity Monitors
Most people are now using wearable activity monitors to learn the state of their health. Some of these devices can track your stress levels, calorie intake, steps taken, and sleeping pattern. Recently, AIRO Health announced its newest device—the AIRO wristband. Using its embedded spectrometer, it tracks almost everything: heart rate, nutritional intake, calories consumed, and most importantly, a user’s sleeping habits. While in sleep mode, it scans the nervous system to analyze if a person is a light or a heavy sleeper. Once it’s done analyzing a user’s sleeping pattern, it will automatically vibrate to wake the person up. The data gathered will be sent to its accompanying app to let its users know how much sleep they need. Abhilash Jayakumar, the company’s co-founder, said in an interview with a technology blog network “Engadget” that “We built AIRO to help people become more proactive about their health.”
Sleep experts are continuously researching on better ways to help us achieve a good night’s sleep. Maybe, in the future, we’ll begin to see more mobile technologies and wearable devices to help us sleep, without counting electronic sheep.