There’s been huge excitement surrounding the launch of a new app that helps you decide what you want to dream about. ‘Dream: ON’ monitors your sleeping patterns and plays different soundscapes while you are asleep, helping influence what you dream about. The idea of using your smartphone to help dictate what you dream about might sound like something out of a sci-fi film, but in fact apps to help you while you’re sleeping are nothing new. Here are some of the best.
Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson is an app from the self-help expert that helps you get more relaxes. Almost like meditation it includes breathing and relaxation techniques to help you wind down and drift off easier. The app costs $2.99.
Many people say they can’t sleep in silence and the app aSleep 3 helps with that. Providing nature sounds it can help create a calming atmosphere to aid sleep. There are other services like a snore detector as well as an alarm clock to help you wake up in the morning.
Another similar app is eSleep which helps users pick a different background noise. It loops different sounds. There’s a deluxe version for $2.99 and a lite version for $0.99
Pzizz Sleep pitches itself as a “personal sleep assistant”. For those who suffer from insomnia the biggest issue can be that while we can doze we never reach the deep state of sleep known as REM, which is when we dream and get the most effective sleep during the night. More expensive that its competitors at $9.99 Pzizz says it relies on scientific techniques to help you drop off including a wide range of soundtracks and binaural beats designed to suit your sleep patterns. For those who don’t want the expensive version there is a light one at $0.99.
Fans of yoga will know one of the best relaxation techniques is deep breathing. Long Deep Breathing is an app that helps you learn a similar technique. It has visual cues encouraging the user to imitate inhalation and exhalation designed to help the body wind down. Calming the mind and body makes it much easier to drop off.
For many who have problems sleeping one of the most useful lessons to learn is to breakdown how they sleep and then try to change their sleeping habits. The Sleep Cycles Alarm Clock is an app that analyses sleeping habits by monitoring your movements. It will wake you up in your lightest sleep pattern meaning you will be more refreshed.
An alarm clock and ambient music might be common but if you want to go further to track your sleep patterns Proactive Sleep is an app that includes a sleep diary. Users can include when and how they sleep, when they’ve found it difficult to drop off, what they’ve had to eat before they go to bed. The cycles can last days, weeks or even months and can help you track lifestyle factors that affect how well you sleep.
Smartphones aren’t just useful for helping us during the day in terms of organisation our lives, they can also help us organise our sleep and make sure we get more of it and that it’s of a better quality.
Simon Drew is a technology enthusiast and blogger at Best Mobile Contracts, a leading mobile phone comparison website and the best place to find iPhone deals in the UK.