There are many apps today that are aiding relaxation and sleep, helping people deal with stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation in these uncertain times
By Shriya Roy
With the coronavirus pandemic raging worldwide, people’s daily routine has undergone a major upheaval. Since there is no going out and everybody is majorly working from home, sleeping patterns have been disrupted majorly. People have been sleeping late, not getting enough sleep and, as a result, getting up late as well. This disruption can cause stress and other health issues. In times like these, however, the quality of sleep becomes extremely important to keep away panic and anxiety.
To help deal with this, there are multiple apps and platforms that are helping one relax and sleep well. Audible, for one, has launched a brand-new slate of content, perfect to listen to when hitting the bed. The originals have been created in collaboration with Arianna Huffington’s company Thrive Global and will be offered free of cost. The titles are narrated by world-renowned artists like Diddy and Nick Jonas, giving it a special twist. Titles such as Honor Yourself, narrated by Diddy, and You are Here, narrated by Gabby Bernstein, are part of the content list. Other titles include The Perfect Swing, an inspiring bedtime story narrated by Jonas, and 6 Sleep Myths Debunked, narrated by Huffington, which gives a quick fix on how to improve your sleep cycle.
Huffington, who is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, is also th e founder of The Huffington Post and is the author of 15 books, including, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. She has often talked about the importance of sleep and a proper sleep cycle. “I think people think they never have enough time to sleep. But I think what would be really helpful for them is to look at the data of how much less effective they are when they are sleep-deprived because, after all, how good we are at what we are doing is not just a function of time; it’s a function of energy,” she says.
Huffington has also spoken at length about sleep deprivation and its consequences. She has been an advocate of a proper night’s sleep to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle.
It’s here that sleep apps can come in handy, helping one get into the right headspace to sink into the pillows. Calm app, for instance, has a lot of different features, including music, designed to aid sleeping. It also has a ‘sleep stories’ section with celebrities like Matthew McConaughey. Another app Pzizz focuses on mindfulness and meditation, and offers various techniques such as music and nature sounds. With Pzizz, a user can set a timer for the length of a sleep session, so it plays a soothing dreamscape, which includes a combination of music, voice-overs and sound effects to help one relax.
Headspace is yet another mobile application that offers ‘sleep-based guided meditation’ with techniques to help relax the body and mind. The app includes ‘sleepcasts’, which are 45-minute-long audio clips that help the user visualise calming experiences like a slow-moving train or a walk through a garden.
Another interesting and simple app is Noisli, which lets a user choose from a bunch of different sounds like thunder, wind and even the buzz of a coffee shop to create an ideal sleep soundtrack. Then there is the Slumber app, which offers a combination of experiences like meditation, a bedtime story series and even the sound of a warm jacuzzi. One can also choose a background noise like rain or the ocean to play for up to 10 hours after the main track ends. New sleep-inducing stories are also added each week on the app.
If one suffers from insomnia, there’s help at hand too. Digipill app uses a formulated blend of language and sound to engage and activate the mind. Users can choose an audio pill based on their current needs, lie back and relax.
The Pillow app on the other hand uses sleep tracking to monitor and perfect the sleep pattern. It has an advanced sleep tracking feature and an analysis alarm clock that monitors slumber. Pillow’s algorithm uses motion and sound pattern detection to paint a picture of the user’s sleep session.
It also uses health metrics, including weight, blood pressure, heart rate, caffeine and alcohol consumption, to visualise how these measures affect sleep quality.
With uncertainty around the pandemic and its consequences, the least one can do is relax. Anxiety and panic can be common in situations such as these and the sleep cycle is the first to get affected. These apps, therefore, go a long way in helping maintain a stable sleep pattern in this unstable situation.