Gadgets, Tools and Apps that can Help You Get a Better Night's Sleep
We don’t have to tell you what missing out on quality sleep feels like.
At one point or another you’ve likely experienced the effects of “pulling an all-nighter” (for whatever reason), and you likely know that it makes for a very difficult experience the next day.
However, in addition to making you feel like a grouchy zombie, insufficient sleep and poor sleep habits—especially when sustained on a regular basis—are associated with a long list of health issues.
Science has shown than missing out on quality sleep is related to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and impaired immunity.
Recently updated guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation recommend that adults 18 to 64 get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Yet according to a 2013 poll from Gallup, the average American only gets about 6.8 hours of sleep, and only about one third of adults regularly reach the eight hour mark.
What’s more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep is considered a public health epidemic. The organization estimates that as many as 70 million Americans suffer from some form of a sleeping disorder.
Luckily, for anyone who struggles with developing or maintaining healthy sleep habits, there are a handful of effective solutions. Experts suggest strategies that include everything from cutting back on caffeine and staying away from your smartphone to creating bedtime rituals and reducing stress, and the following gadgets, tools and apps were all designed to help aid and supplement those types of practices.
Put simply: Versus helps to improve your sleep by regulating your brain activity. It was designed as a tool to help train the brain to better manage stress, maintain focus and improve performance in sports, work and other areas of life. Many athletes who have used the headset and app combo say that it has not only improved their performance through better focus, but also through better sleep quality. “[It] allowed me to turn off my mind after being stimulated from performance,” said Carlos Quentin, an All-Star MLB player who participated in a case study with Versus and logged more than 50 varying sessions with the headset and app. “It has allowed for better sleep, deeper sleep and better dream states. It has increased the quality of my sleep tremendously.”
According to the National Sleep Foundation, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a safe and effective treatment for chronic insomnia. However it typically involves weekly visits to a clinician, which can be costly and time consuming. To help overcome these obstacles, ex-insomnia-sufferer Peter Hames and world sleep expert Professor Colin Espie created Sleepio: an online and mobile “sleep improvement program” that incorporates CBT to help users defeat insomnia and sleep better. Users first answer a short questionnaire about their current sleep habits and are then introduced to “The Prof” who will talk you through personalized exercises and help to evaluate your sleep habits. A clinical, peer-reviewed, randomized controlled trial published in the journal Sleep found that Sleepio helped users fall asleep 50 percent faster, spend 60 percent less time awake during the night and overall, boosted their daytime mood and energy and concentration levels.