We all live on our phones. Screen time has become a common piece of our daily routines. It’s natural to wonder what this is doing to our health and wellbeing. But used in the right way at the right time, our devices have the ability to change our lives for the better, including improving our sleep.
There seems to be an app for everything, but among the games and social media networks are many tools designed to help you manage life. Cutting through the clutter, we’ve rounded up a list of apps we think can help you achieve a healthier life and more restful sleep.
You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating: Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to reduce sleep apnea symptoms. For many, knowing where to start and feeling motivated is the biggest barrier to an active life. That’s why apps like Couch to 5K, one of the best fitness apps, can be so beneficial. This activity motivator will get you out and running your way to a healthier life and better sleep.
How it works: Created by RunDouble C25K, this app lets you choose the pace, from a jog to brisk run, three days a week. Listen to playlists from your personal music collection, and follow the prompts that run in the background, telling you when to change pace. You can track your progress and view your routes within the app as well.
How it can help you sleep: Regular aerobic exercise – even moderate exercise – has been shown in numerous studies to contribute to better, more restful sleep1 and can reduce the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.2
Meditation and sleep go together like chocolate and peanut butter. If you haven’t incorporated restful mindfulness into your routine, Insight Timer will give you the perfect incentive to start. There are always a million reasons to neglect your downtime, but taking breaks is a way to ensure you find balance. After making meditation a part of your life, you’ll likely sleep deeper and feel more relaxed.
How it works: This free app is a collection of over 15,000 guided meditations. With so many options, you can personalize your sessions and choose ones that fit your moods and needs. The app includes a whole section on sleep meditation, so it’s a wonderful choice if you’re looking for some bedtime Zen time.
How it can help you sleep: Studies show meditation is linked to improved sleep,3 and having an app to provide themes and keep you on track is an invaluable tool that helps you make meditation a seamless part of your life.
There’s no denying that after sleep apnea diagnosis, change is inevitable. With therapy, life changes for the better, but shedding habits you formed throughout your life takes work. Change can be daunting, and that’s why Way of Life is one of the best apps if you’re looking to switch it up, get out of ruts, and form new healthy habits – ones that can even help you sleep better.
How it works: The app tracks your habits and sends reminders for healthy behaviors, to incorporate into your daily routine. It also sends graphs that allow you to look at the whole picture of your habits and see trends over weeks, months and years.
How it can help you sleep: Good sleep comes to those who are mindful, and tracking certain habits is a great way to stay in tune with the behaviors that add to overall health. When in balance, our body’s rhythms stand a much better chance of finding a healthy cadence. The way it helps you achieve this makes it one of the best sleep apps (that’s not technically a sleep app).
Part sleep tracker, part educator, part inspiring sleep coach, the myAir™ sleep cycle app rounds out your therapy and enhances your CPAP journey. It’s the sleep ally many with obstructive sleep apnea dream of, and with regular use, those dreams may just get sweeter.
How it works: Compatible with any ResMed Air10™ device, myAir™ collects data from your CPAP machine and transforms it into daily snapshots, detailed metrics and therapy summary reports. Within the app you’ll also find educational videos and guides, as well as personalized coaching, tips and encouragement sent to your phone or tablet. You can see your nightly myAir score and challenge yourself to reach that 100 (perfect night’s sleep) goal.
How it can help you sleep: When you know more about your own sleep activity and learn how to correct disruptions, you can better understand the barriers to restful sleep. With the educational tools in myAir™, you can make adjustments based on your sleep score, like reconsidering mask fit and attempting to sleep more hours.
Developed using research to help NASA astronauts sleep, Sleep Genius is a science-based sound app made by experts. It was initially so successful that NASA included it in their annual publication of technologies, and it continues to be highly reviewed and considered one of the better sleep apps. Not just for bedtime, it includes a Power Nap function for midday snoozing.
How it works: The sound system trains your brain to follow natural sleep rhythms, aiming to help you sleep faster, longer and deeper. It uses neurosensory algorithms to prepare your brain for sleep and guide you through each stage in the sleep cycle. It even wakes you with a gentle alarm.
How it can help you sleep: The programs in the app help you find your ideal bedtime and encourage optimal sleep times (most people need to get 5 sleep cycles, each lasting around 90 minutes). It also includes a relaxation program with modified music that triggers the relaxation response and synchronizes brain activity.
SleepScoreTM helps you track your sleep progress by scoring your sleep. Providing deep analysis with the aim to improve your sleep over time, this app is peer-review proven to be unparalleled in accuracy. Calculating nightly scores from 0-100 and analyzing 32 parameters of your sleep, it gives you personalized, science-backed advice and data.
How it works: SleepScoreTM uses your smartphone to track and measure your breathing rate and body movements. It follows metrics like sleep duration, time to fall asleep, deep sleep and REM and wake time, to give you insightful analysis into how you rest at night. You can follow your development on the detailed graphs and streamlined app interface. Get your nightly score, track your progress and compare your historical patterns to get a clear view of your sleep journey.
How it can help you sleep: Learning about your breathing, movements and sleep times empowers you to understand how your sleep patterns affect you. Wake at the ideal moment in your sleep cycle with its smart alarms. Gain deeper understanding as you compare your nightly sleep to an optimal night for people your age and gender. You also receive personalized, actionable advice generated by top sleep experts that can help change the habits and environments that lead to disrupted sleep.
A lot goes into a healthy sleep routine, and it’s important to stay educated on your options. Technology is becoming a part of the sleep health landscape, and these apps can help you change and form the habits that lead to better and more restful nights. Happy sleeping!
This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.