by Jason Edelman
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic,” affecting over 100 million people.
And the vast majority of those afflicted are prevented from achieving their desired amount of sleep because they’re concentrating on anxieties, and thinking about unfinished items from waking life, such as bills. As a result, an entire pharmaceutical industry has evolved, catering to the needs of those who require extra help shutting down at the end of the day. Unfortunately, many drugs have undesired side effects, create dependencies, and, of course, cost money.
Luckily, there are a variety of sleep apps, (for both Android and iOS), to help people fall asleep without the drugs, and sleep better.
1. Sleep Cycle
Most of the new sleep apps seek to help regulate users’ sleep cycles. Sleep Cycle utilizes the discovery that we sleep in 90-minute cycles, during which our body restores and revitalizes itself. Typically, these cycles include a significant period of REM, or Rapid Eye Movement. During these parts of the sleep cycle, we experience dreams, as well as the most productive recharging. If woken up before a cycle completes, we feel drowsy and disconnected, and often feel the need to nap later in the day. Sleep Cycle aims to remedy this problem by calculating the optimum alarm time based on the time you go to bed. It’s simple, popular, easy to use, and it comes in at only 99 cents, that’s much less than any over the counter sleeping pill. In fact, it has long been one of the top ten paid apps in the Apple App Store, reaching as high as second in the Store’s rankings.
Recharge, a sleep app released back in May, takes a holistic attitude towards life and sleep patterns. The app helps users regulate not just their time asleep, but extends into waking life, with a well-designed schedule that even includes exercise reminders and goals. That way, the app improves the quality of sleep, while simultaneously improving users’ quality of life. Recharge is intended for those who recognize an imbalance in their current sleep schedule, and aims to help people get to a healthy amount of rest within 6 weeks.
An important part of sleep, often overlooked in mass culture, is dreaming. The people behind Dreameo have crafted a free app that allows people to easily document their dream experiences, and comes complete with a key of common dream interpretations. For those that sometimes wake up perplexed by a strange dream they’ve had the night before, this is the perfect app. Sometimes, just the act of focusing on the dream world improves it, and sleep, significantly.
4. Deep Sleep
Finally, there’s Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson. This app features the voice of hypnotherapist Andrew Johnson. The app provides users with guided meditation that calms users and allows them to float gently into the world of dreams. It’s received rave reviews on app marketplaces, and aims to help calm the endless noise that the mind naturally engages in to fill the void. For those who are plagued with insomnia this is a must download. The app is less than 3 dollars, and is available for both Android as well as Apple.
As you can see, the app store offers many different kinds of sleep apps, and each appeals to a different crowd. Chances are good that a quick search will reveal one that fits your approach.
This post was written by Jason Edelman of Fueled, the premier agency for iPhone app design and Android app development in New York City.