What is Tech? Use technology for a better night’s sleep
JAMIE TUCKER is a consumer technology reporter
Daylight saving time starts this weekend, and that often means a lack of sleep not only in the morning when it jumps forward, but during the first few weeks of DST. The National Sleep Foundation traditionally designates the first week of daylight savings time as “Sleep Awareness Week” to re-emphasize the importance of getting enough quality sleep at night.
Can technology help? What about apps?
You can get an idea of the widespread problem of getting enough sleep by browsing the app stores. There are hundreds of applications in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store that help you relax, fall asleep and wake up on time.
If the snooze button has you rushing to get out the door on time, there are alarm clock apps that force you to get out of bed. Alarm calls itself a “motivational alarm clock”. You can only turn off the alarm by exercising, taking steps, playing a memory game or solving a math problem.
You can’t hit the ‘snooze’ button because there is no ‘snooze’ button.
There are dozens of apps for falling asleep that play sleep sounds like waterfalls, thunderstorms, and white noise. Choose here. Some of the best are Soothing Sleep Sounds, which lets you create your own sleepy sounds, and Restly, which claims to use science to put you to sleep in 2 minutes. Both apps are only available for iPhone and iPad.
“Sleep as Android” app with adult lullabies and nature sounds is available for Android users. It also records snoring and sleep talking, as well as a sleep cycle alarm clock to wake you up fully rested.
If you have an Alexa device by your bed, you can use a number of sleep skills. Many require a subscription to block ads. You can also use these devices to stream music made specifically for sleep. Binaural beats are played at two set frequencies.
If you can sleep with earphones or headphones, you will hear one frequency in the right ear and another frequency in the left ear.
According to scientists, your brain creates an additional sound that helps you fall asleep quickly. There are binaural beat playlists on Amazon Prime, Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music. Use the one you’re subscribed to or you’ll hear ads at night that might wake you up.
It’s not safe to wear noise-cancelling earbuds or headphones to listen while you sleep because you can’t hear the smoke alarm or one of your kids yelling from your room.
This may be tempting for some parents, but it is not a good idea.