There are nights where we can’t sleep well and there can be hundreds and thousands of reasons for this. It could be some work-related stress regarding what is to be done when and who will do it or whether the meeting next day will be successful or not, family tensions like buying a new house or your child’s education, etc.
Also, there can be past incidents that haunt you whenever you try to sleep, it might be an accident on the road that you witnessed or maybe a paranormal experience that you had as a child.
As a child there was a time when we used to be very frightened as bedtime approached, wondering why? Because then we used to have nightmares that scared out our wits. But as we grew up all of us realized that it was nothing as compared to the situation now.
Now we have sleepless nights even today but not because of the scary ghosts in our dreams but our tiring work life! We frequently have to stay up late at night to get work done before the deadline. Sometimes on weekends we go out to party with friends and return home early in the morning and just pass out on our bed. All this has messed up our sleep pattern. I believe that this situation is somewhat similar to all. If yes, then let me assure you that you have come across the right article!
Sleep apps have been there in the market for a long time, thanks to sleepless nights. So let’s dive in and analyze whether these apps serve their purposes or not.
Why do you need good sleep?
Being busy all day stuck between work, household chores, family responsibilities, your sleep is always the one that suffers. Here’s where the modern-day sleep apps step in. But before knowing the working and benefits of a sleeping app let us discuss the advantages of good sleep in short. Regular and deep sleep may help in :
- Reducing stress by limiting the production of stress hormones.
- Improving your memory so that your brain can organize the memories well and help you remember things better.
- Lowering blood pressure as relaxation helps to keep the blood pressure levels in control.
- Protects you from diseases by producing a large number of protein molecules to fight infections.
- Maintaining weight by regulating the number of hormones that affect our appetite and also reduces the craving for unhealthy food items.
A good night’s sleep thus helps you to lead a happy and healthy life!
What is the purpose of sleeping apps and how do they work?
In brief, a sleep app helps you track your sleep patterns by keeping a record of everything like:
- How long does it take for you to fall asleep after going to bed?
- How much time you spend in each of the three stages of sleep: light, REM, and deep.
- The quality of your sleep by analyzing your movements while you were asleep. It monitors your body movements while you sleep.
- It also detects if you are snoring and records it. This helps you hear the sound the next day and figure out whether you were making weird noises at night which may be a symptom of sleep disorders like Catathrenia and sleep apnoea.
- Keeps a check on the noises in the background that might affect your sleep.
Now after knowing about the benefits of a sleep app the next question in your mind must be ‘how does an app do all this?’ so, here how:
- Body movements – We have negligible body movements while we are asleep. This makes your body movements a useful indicator to detect your sleep status.
- Noise – Some sleep trackers might have an in-built microphone that can capture noises not only from the environment but also from your body. It also measures your respiration, to check whether you are snoring is one of the reasons affecting your sleep quality.
- Heart rate – The heart rate decreases and the blood pressure lowers when you are asleep. Your heart rate is steady throughout your sleep, except when you are in the REM stage. When you are in REM sleep you might experience an increased heart rate, which is nothing to worry about.
- Temperature – Sleep trackers that have a thermostat, accesses your bedroom temperature as it might affect your sleep quality. Ideal room temperature for adults while sleeping is low to mid 60°F and a little warmer for children.
Sleep apps on your smartphone are dependent on the phone’s accelerometer to assess body movements. While other devices that access your sleep may rely on the light and temperature sensors to find out when it’s bedtime.
Do sleeping apps serve their purpose?
The readings of a sleep app may not prove to be very accurate in some cases. Like, when there is too much noise from vehicles moving outside your house the microphone might have some problem accessing your sleep sounds.
As it might appear to some as a ‘diagnosis tool’ it does not necessarily assist your sleep disorders but it is preferable to visit a physician whenever your sleep app warns you about you having a sleep disorder.
Some people may not prefer a sleep app for the reason that it wakes you up at a different time from when you set an alarm, as it is believed that one should wake up in light sleep. The app wakes you up whenever you are having a light sleep around the time of your set alarm.
Instead of making you feel energetic during the day this feature may adversely affect you and make you feel sleepy and groggy all day.
In most of the cases, a sleep app worsens your insomnia rather than curing it. Being much concerned about their sleep pattern one might as well suffer from Orthosomnia. So in a run to maximize your sleep efficiency you might just end up in having even more reduced sleep and an unhealthy sleep cycle.
If you are someone who is health-conscious and wants a stats of your sleep cycle then you must install a sleep app. It helps you get the exact amount of sleep that you might need, which generally ranges between 7-7.5 hours each day. But a sleep app has its advantages and disadvantages just like every other thing.
Some people may not be very happy with the fact that their sleep pattern is being monitored so closely. They can be even more stressed regarding this and in such a case a sleep app will do them more harm than good.
So, do you need a sleep app? Well, that’s a question only you can answer yourself!