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A lack of good sleep can have several adverse effects.
It leaves you with low energy throughout the day, an inability to focus for long periods, and affects your body’s health too. Surprisingly, one in three people across the world are suffering from not getting a good night’s sleep.
Even if you don’t suffer from clinical insomnia, it’s important to take the right steps to improve your sleep patterns. Identify what works for you, and find a solution. Some people need videos. Some people need music. How about a bed-time story for adults? Some others rely solely on science and nothing else.
Whichever method will work best for you, the internet has excellent resources to help you fall asleep faster and more soundly.
1. Sleepio (Web): Figure Out Your Sleep Problem Scientifically
Colin Espie, the Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford, has studied human sleep for decades. Sleepio is how he puts his research to use through a web app. While this is a paid program ($300 per year), you can still use the site to get a basic diagnosis of your sleep problems.
The app takes you through a series of questions. That includes what kind of sleep problem you have (get to sleep easily or stay asleep or wake up refreshed), your behavioral patterns, your sleep environment, and so on. After gathering all this information in a short survey, Sleepio will generate a “sleep report” for you.
This report can serve as the basis for you to find more information. It also includes a few best practices based on your answers. For example, if you have a “racing mind”, it suggests relaxation techniques to calm your mind. Since this part is completely free, it’s the perfect starting point to tackling your insomnia issues.
2. Sleepfulness (Android, iOS): Guided Meditation for Different Night Problems
So, you know what your sleep problems are, but you still need to act. Sleepfulness is an excellent mindful meditation app that will guide you to a peaceful slumber.
First, choose among four options: going to bed, can’t sleep, waking up, or in the daytime. Depending on what you choose, you can then listen to one of the guided meditations in that section. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it works like a charm.
You can unlock all meditations for a one-time payment of $8, but try out the free tracks first. Most of them do the job really well, especially when you want to quieten your overworked mind.
3. Rainy Mood (Web, Android, iOS): Soothing Sounds of Rain
Ah, the pitter-patter of rainfall, and the slow whoosh of the wind carrying those water droplets. Science says the sound of water helps us sleep, and Rainy Mood is here to give you that relaxation.
You can use the website or the mobile apps to start playing that calming audio. Switch between settings like the countryside or the ocean, and adjust elements like the intensity of the rain or the chirping of birds. It’s one of the best apps for nature background sounds.
The mobile apps and website vary slightly in features. For example, the apps have a sleep timer. On the other hand, the website has the option to listen to rain with background music (sourced from a YouTube video). No matter how you use it, you’ll be a happy customer.
4. Napflix (Web): Slow TV to Fall Asleep To [No Longer Available]
Recently, Netflix started “slow TV”, which are real-time videos intended to make you fall asleep. It’s not that the video is happening live, but it just needs to capture the slow progression of time. Well, you don’t need a Netflix subscription for that.
Napflix is a free slow TV alternative that sources all its videos from YouTube. From sports and video games to music and documentaries, there’s something to bore anyone to sleep here. Even if you love Tetris, try watching someone play it for half an hour.
The app also has a full section for ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, videos.
5. Sleep With Me (Podcast): Bedtime Stories for Adults
When you’re a kid, your parents can put you to sleep by reading you a bedtime story. There’s no one to do that when you’re all grown up. Well, no one until you meet Scooter from the Sleep with Me podcast.
Usually, podcasts entertain or educate the listener. But Scooter uploads new stories almost every day with the singular purpose of making you sleepy. Pop in your headphones and listen to him narrate, with perfect pitch and pauses that make you drowsy. He has a uniquely rambling, slow style of speech that gets the job done every time.
The stories aren’t always the best, but that’s half the point. If it was too interesting, you’d stay awake to find out what happens next. But as you listen to him drone on, your mind is kept quiet from starting its own dialog. And slowly, you’ll drift off.
Have You Tried Sleep Tech?
If you have trouble sleeping, we want to hear from you. Whether it’s an app, a gadget, or slow TV, we want to know if you have tried any sort of technology to help you sleep.
Has it aided you in any way?
Image Credits: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock