Sleep is perhaps one of the most important aspects of our lives – and one that we neglect surprisingly often. Take a moment to think about the last time you managed to get a full night’s sleep – eight hours or more.
It’s all too easy to stay up browsing the internet past midnight when you have work the next day, or staying out for drinks when it was supposed to be an easy night. And while you might get some enjoyment out of these activities in the moment, you’ll pay for them the next day when you’ve only had four hours or less of shut-eye.
We humans tend to ignore the importance of sleep and think we only need a few hours to function correctly. Don’t be fooled by this, there are plenty of studies talk about how sleep affects our health and productivity.
Fatigue and perhaps a foul mood are to be expected, but there are a number of other detrimental effects caused by a lack of sleep. Increased risk of heart disease, impaired attention, concentration, and short-term memory retention, lower libidos and the onset of depression – these are all conditions either directly caused or exacerbated by the lack of sleep.
However, even though you don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day, there are ways to get not only a longer night’s sleep, but sleep of a higher quality. A two-pronged approach for superior sleep what we recommend.
Firstly, having a firm mattress is hugely beneficial to achieving better sleep, and looking at one made of responsive memory foam should ideally be what you’re sleeping on.
Secondly, there are fantastic technological options that assist in helping your body and mind during rest, four of which we will discuss here:
It might seem a bit strange to suggest that an alarm clock can help you sleep better, but that’s exactly what Withings set out to achieve with the advent of the smart alarm clock named Aura.
Armed with an array of sensors that can measure and regulate everything from temperature to the luminosity and ambient sound levels of a room, the Aura goes to great lengths to create an optimal atmosphere to nurture good quality sleep.
One of its greatest features is the way in which it wakes you up. The Aura is able to cycle its lamp to simulate a sunrise that will wake you up gradually, rather than all at once with a grinding alarm tone. It’s also able to sync up to your Spotify and get you out of bed to your favorite playlist.
Other great features of the Aura include simulating a sunset which will dim until it eventually turns off, as well as emitting sleep-inducing sounds – the sound of waves gently lapping at the shore – that are meant to help you drift off to sleep smoothly.
Microsoft Band 2
While primarily a bracelet and fitness tracker, the second iteration of the Microsoft Band features a sensor that is able to determine the quality of your sleep.
It shows standard light, deep and restful sleep markings throughout the night, and is also able to determine your heart rate and body temperature. This data can be tabled and correlated and, over time, provide information about what is or is not disrupting your nightly rest.
It also features a vibrating alarm, so if you share a bed with a partner you can wake silently knowing that they won’t be disturbed.
Sleep Cycle is an iOS app (also available for Android devices) that monitors your sleep patterns and wakes you during light sleep. The reason for this is that waking up during light sleep is the most natural time to rise.
Sleep Cycle is also able to monitor your movements as you sleep using sound analysis, and waits until you are in the lightest possible state of sleep to wake you up.
It’s remarkably easy to use. Simply place your iPhone on your side table or on your mattress near your pillow depending on whether you choose to track yourself using your phone’s microphone or accelerometer. Depending on your mattress or layout of your room, certain configurations may work better.
Once you’ve been tracked, the app collects the data and presents it to you in simple and lucid graphs that show you how the conditions were during the night, how your behavior may have changed from previous nights and how these are affecting your sleep.
Like the Aura, the app is also able to wake you gradually with either your own music or one of a dozen alarm tones that will ensure you’re not roused by the blaring of a traditional alarm clock.
Sleep as Android
Sleep as Android is a fantastic sleep cycle tracking app that improves your sleep and wakes you up gently in optimal moment for pleasant mornings.
Some of its most important features are following:
- Smart alarm clock
- Sleep graph history
- Gentle volume nature sound alarms (birds, sea, storm…)
- Sleep talk recording, snoring detection and anti-snoring
- Never oversleep again with CAPTCHA wake up verification.
You will find more and more features of this app after installing on your Android device. It has got 10,000,000 – 50,000,000 installs and 4.3 rating on Google Play.
That’s all for now! You can use these tech options to make your night’s sleep better than ever before. And also share your feedback out these gadgets and apps with us via comments below.