Smartphones get the blame for keeping us up at night and disrupting our sleep cycle. But modern apps change the story: they turn our mobiles into practical tools meant to help us get a good rest and wake up fresh in the morning. Plenty of such applications are available on the market nowadays, most of them with similar features, but some stand out by bringing something else to the table.I’ve been checking out various sleep apps, and I noticed their standard functions. Most of them record the time of going to sleep and waking up; they register snoring and other noises; they have smart alarms to wake you up at the best possible hour of your sleeping cycle; they play music, track your heart rate during sleep and provide useful data about your sleeping habits. But aside from monitoring our sleep, what else could smartphones do for us when it comes to sleeping better? The answer is plenty, except for tucking us in! I believe there are many apps which stand as good reasons for not kicking the mobiles out from our bedrooms. Just to name a few:

  • SleepBot (Android) and SleepTracker (iPhone) record the numbers of hours you sleep and let you keep a journal with this data.
  • SleepCycle and Sleep as Android are two of the most popular apps with the smart alarm feature. SleepAid for iPhone records your snoring and helps you determine if you suffer from sleep apnea by comparing your sounds with the ones from a medical database.
  • Grab Spoton lets you know if you’re rested enough to be able to drive, relying on a vigilance test that checks your response time.
  • Count Sheep plays lullabies to help you fall asleep and has a timer which shuts it off automatically once you plunged into the dream world.

ShutEye, which was developed by the University of Washington and Intel labs Seattle for Android, for academic purposes, replaces the parental voice in your head and tells you when you should take a nap, eat light, exercise, relax or go to bed. It aims to improve your sleep cycle by showing you the impact of daily activities on the quality of your repose. If you dislike silence when trying to fall asleep, Sounds of Silence allows you to combine 70 different ambient sounds to induce relaxation. The Sleep app uses a selection of soothing music to help you doze off and to wake you up.

Besides these mainstream apps, there are new, ground-breaking ones, which generate customized recommendations meant to improve the way we sleep. SleepCoacher, developed by Brown University, uses sleep science to guide you towards the change that suits you best for having a healthy repose. The app collects all the data it needs about you and, after a few days, it comes with the suggestions. The main feature of another cool app, MotionX-24/7, is to monitor body motion during sleep. For instance, people who are not sleeping on great mattresses usually toss and turn a lot in bed, which leads to poor quality of sleep. The app draws attention to this, so they’ll know it’s time to make a change.

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