Sleep can be a pretty complicated thing. It would be great if there was a little button we could all press to turn our brains off at night, but the unfortunate reality is that is far from the case. What is fortunate is that we have a greater understanding of our sleep behaviours now than ever before, and I’m not just talking about the experts who spend their lives studying it. Thanks to a handful of fascinating apps, we have access not just to tools that can help us get to sleep, but also help us understand why we might be struggling and what we can do to reverse the trend. Here are just three of the many apps that can help you tangibly improve your sleep on a nightly basis night.
Aside from having a scientist stand over you watching you sleep all night (which sounds undesirable for a number of reasons), you won’t find a way to get more comprehensive analysis of your sleep patterns than what you can from SleepScore. The app utilises sonar technology, analysing your breathing and other sounds to give you a full breakdown of your sleep patterns and providing an objective measurement of the quality of your sleep. Simply enabling its tracker and leave it on your bedside table before you put your head down and the app does the rest. Both the free and paid versions offer a worthwhile evaluation and can help you paint a clear picture of how you’re sleeping.
Sometimes, the thing you need to get to sleep is, ironically, a little bit of noise. There are lots of options when it comes to ambient noise or meditation apps, but Better Sleep might be the most interesting, as it offers probably the highest level of customisation. Where most apps have a set selection of tracks that you can play to help your brain wind down, BetterSleep allows you to be your own ‘Sleep DJ’, allowing you to experiment with different combinations of beats and sounds to find the combination that hits the right notes. With an extensive list of different sounds to play around with, users can take their time tinkering and figuring out what works for them.
The best sleep apps are ones that are able to not just identify issues in your sleeping, but help you understand how to fix them. Sleep Cycle is another app that uses comprehensive data to create an astoundingly thorough picture of what is effecting your ability to reach REM sleep. Over time, the app attempts to use both the data provided by tracking your sleep as well as your recording of external factors to draw correlations between what is affecting your sleep patterns, both positively and negatively. The app is compatible with the Apple Watch, meaning you can literally wear the app to bed with you, given you an even more accurate picture of your sleep.