Every year World Sleep Day is celebrated as an awareness event to promote the importance of good, healthy sleep around the planet. Supported by the World Sleep Society, a US-based non-profit, World Sleep Day is held each year on a Friday before the Spring Vernal Equinox, which marks the first day of spring and when the Sun crosses directly over the Earth's equator. 19 March this year marks the 14th annual World Sleep Day.
A recent Mint Lounge story looked at the findings of the annual Great Indian Sleep Scorecard (GISS) 2021, which is published by sleep and home solutions company Wakefit. The findings revealed that there has been a 100% increase in the number of people in the country going to bed before 10 pm since the 2020 survey. This new report was based on data from 16,000 respondents between the age of 16 and 45 years.
Lack of sleep, however, continues to be a problem for many people around the world. The covid-19 pandemic has only made matters worse. According to the recently-released Philips 2021 Global Sleep Survey, based on interviews with more than 13,000 respondents in 13 countries, 70% of the people said they were experiencing one or more new sleep challenges.
Thankfully, while technology sometimes remains an impediment to good sleep -- using smartphones in bed right before you doze off -- there are certain apps that are designed to help you sleep better. Here’s a look at some of them.
This is one of the best sleep-tracking apps available at the moment. Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis to identify sleep states (light, deep or REM), tracking your movements in bed, and a wake-up phase (set at 30 minutes by default) that ends at your desired alarm time. The app uses two different detection modes and a phone’s in-built microphone, accelerometer to analyze your sleeping movements. It wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, which feels like waking up naturally rested. Data around how well you’ve been sleeping is presented in the form of sleep graphs.
Available on iOS and Android
Listening to white noise, calming and soothing sounds has become one of the most popular ways of preparing your body for a good night’s sleep in recent times. Slumber features an extensive audio library -- including stories, meditations, soundscapes, and music -- that is specifically designed to quiet the mind, and guide you gently to sleep. It’s one of the most popular sleep apps so far on the App Store. According to the app’s official website, the techniques used in Slumber -- such as guided imagery, visualizations and ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) -- are recommended by leading sleep organizations like the National Sleep Foundation.
Available on iOS and Android
A handy app for Apple devices, Pillow works with the Apple Watch, iPhone or iPad. The app uses audio recordings and heart-rate analysis to track your sleeping patterns and wake you up when you are in the lightest sleep stage possible. Apart from an interesting ‘power nap’ option, Pillow also features relaxing sounds of meditation and music to get you ready for a night of good sleep. The app’s data analysis system also lets you compare sleep quality and other sleep metrics with your steps, weight and caffeine consumption, for example.
Available on iOS