Getting a good night of rest can make or break the following day. The process of falling asleep and waking up is regulated by our natural circadian rhythms, but there are lots of apps out there that can augment our natural cycle — especially if that cycle involves laying in bed for hours staring at the ceiling, or being groggy and still half-asleep in the morning. Here are some helpful apps that can help you fall asleep and then wake up at the optimal time in order to feel refreshed and well-rested.
This app can help you calm down a hyperactive mind by taking you through several different types of breathing exercises. Slow, deep breathing has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, calm us down, and even lower our blood pressure and heart rate. If have are having trouble falling asleep because you are getting stressed about the next day, try out this app in order to relax so it is easier to fall asleep.
The Mindfulness App
If you’ve mastered the deep breathing technique, maybe try out some meditation before bed. Mediation is another practice that has many health benefits, one of which is making it easier to fall into deep sleep. This app can aid in your meditation pursuits by providing guided meditation sessions that can last between 3 and 30 minutes. If you prefer to meditation silently, you can set a timer to be gently alerted when you’ve finished your session.
Relax Like a Boss
This is a blog that promotes mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation. This is good for applying any breathing exercises or meditation to your nightly routine to relax before bed.
Relax Rain – Nature sounds
If you deep breathing and meditation aren’t your thing, you can always try zoning out to peaceful rain sounds. This app has some great customizable options which allow you to choose the strength of the rain and also the location of the rain (on windows or on leaves, etc.) Transport yourself to a rainforest, the height of a thunderstorm, or drift off to the sounds of a rainy night with crickets in the background.
For Android, free.
Do you wake up groggy and sometimes feel like you don’t actually “wake up” until hours after you’ve been up? It’s possible that your alarm is waking you up at a point in your sleep cycle when you are in deep sleep. Pillow is an app that can help! Stick it under your literal pillow and it will wake you up within a 30 minute customizable window at a point when you are sleeping the lightest — making it feel easier to get up and get going. It finds the optimal “wake up” time by recording movement and sound to figure out when you are in light sleep.
For iPhone, free with optional premium upgrade for $4.99. An alternative that can also run on Android is Sleep Interval, also free with optional premium upgrade for $1.99.
Spin Me Alarm Clock
If you are the type of person who will hit snooze over and over no matter if you wake up during light sleep or deep sleep, this app may be the solution for you. It forces you to stand up and spin around twice in order to disable the alarm. Spin Me also adds, ““think you can cheat and simply spin the device while still in bed? Try and see for yourself!”
Sleep Genius boasts that it is “the world’s most scientifically advanced sleep app,” and with research from NASA informing the design of the app, they are not exaggerating. Sleep Genius utilizes a gradual alarm system that will wake you up from any point in your sleep cycle. The combination of gradual frequency and volume shifts will “prevent elevated stress caused by noisy alarm clocks and sudden waking.” While the app is on the pricier side, it also provides sleep tracking and a relaxing program you can use before bed.
Sleep well and let us know in the comments which apps are your favorite!