Maybe it’s the longer days at this time of year. Or maybe it’s getting close to the end of the school year. Or expectations at work have increased. Or maybe it’s just the norm for our society these days. Everyone I talk to – colleagues and clients alike keep saying how tired they are. If they aren’t talking about it they are showing it!
For some it seems to be an issue of having difficulty falling asleep. Too wired up or tense from the day’s stressors. For others it is an issue of interrupted sleep or being awoken too early. We all know how important sleep is for our physical and mental well-being. What to do?
There’s an app for everything it seems and sleep is no exception. I found over 2,000 apps related to improving sleep. That number may be indicative of just how many people are struggling with getting a decent night’s rest.
There are apps to help you determine your optimal sleeping patterns and that then help you set an alarm that is a “natural” awakening. There are apps that are aimed at creating a relaxed state for you to drift into sleep naturally. You have to pick those ones carefully. Some of my clients have commented they find certain voices to be “creepy” or just plain annoying. Not exactly conducive to relaxing and falling asleep.
And let’s not mention what happens when some people listen to sounds of waterfalls….or….rain….!
One of the most popular sleep apps is Sleeptime. It serves both as an alarm clock and sleep cycle analysis. You put it on your bed or under your pillow and it monitors your sleep cycles and, apparently, wakes you up in a more natural way. The reviews are consistently positive and people say they feel much more rested when they use Sleeptime.
Sleepbot is similar and equally popular. It has a “smart alarm”, motion and sound trackers and a sleep debt log. What I like about these is it gives my clients and I more information about their sleeping patterns in an easy-to-capture format. Not that keeping a sleeping log is arduous but an app can make it easier. It’s been helpful for clients to really have a close look at what happens when they sleep.
In an article in Psychology Today, sleep researcher Jordan Gaines Lewis questions whether an app such as these would have the precision needed to accurately assess a person’s sleep cycle. He wonders if the hype about these apps is due to the placebo effect. Of course, it might also be the pretty graphs that you get every morning that shows your sleep patterns. Whether it’s precise or a placebo he thinks it’s a positive thing that people are paying more attention to their sleep patterns.
Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA