While technology is often to blame for sleep deprivation, there are certainly examples where apps and gadgets can actively work to improve your life by aiding relaxation and promoting better sleep quality.
Using technology in this way can not only help you sleep better, it will also have the effect of giving you more energy during your working day and improving your productivity too.
So we’ve made a round up of some of the best smartphone and desktop apps that will help you relax more, spend less time in front of the monitor and enjoy better sleep.
How many times have you stayed up late night, engrossed in an interesting article or trying to absorb as many pictures of your favourite celebrity as you could? There is a solution to this problem. With Pocket, it is possible to save any articles, photos and videos in one place and get back to them whenever you want to. You can always easily find them later using the search option, so they will not steal your hours of sleep.
Do you know about the GTD method? This abbreviation stands for “getting things done” – a methodology used by millions which allows you to be more efficient.
Storing your to-do list on an external media can be complicated and OmniFocus is designed to help you with it. It allows you to organize your tasks from various categories (work, home, health, family, etc.) in one place, but separated. Once you unload your mind, you will feel relieved and more prepared for a good night of sleep.
Have you ever lacked willpower to get out from behind your computer and go to sleep? Sometimes it can be difficult to manage without external assistance. Mac Shutdown can turn off your Mac for you according to a schedule (for example, if you plan to go to bed no later than 10 p.m.) or a specific date and time you set up. Do not be afraid to loose important data, since you can use the “Soft Shutdown” option and the app will ask all the running processes to quit before shutting down your laptop.
If you use your Mac for work, there is a high probability that you store there tons of garbage, like unfinished documents you promise yourself to get back to one day, or old e-mails you are still going to delete, but never get around to it. They take up space not only on your hard drive, but also in your brain. As a result, you feel like you still have many things undone. Besides, all this dead weight makes your computer work slower. You waste more time and mental resources for work and do not get enough sleep. MacFly Pro allows you to perform a very quick clean up with a couple of clicks, so you can keep everything in order. It works in the background and determines the right time for cleaning itself, so you do not have to remember about it.
Sleep Pillow is a very simple app, but you do not need something over sophisticated to create a comfortable atmosphere for sleeping. It plays white noise sounds, a combination of all the different frequencies of sound you are able to hear. It can mask other sounds (e.g., snoring) and make them less annoying.
Moreover, these sounds are taken from nature (rain falling, birds singing, fire burning, etc.) and easily calm down an anxious mind. If you don’t want to disturb your partner you can even pair the app with a pair of sleeping headphones With Sleep Pillow, you can set up a sleep timer and easily fall asleep lulled by your favourite sounds.
If you want to experience even more sound colors, than White Noise is for you. Despite its name, it also generates brown, pink, violet and blue noises. While white noise seems to sound louder than it really does due to a higher frequency, color noises balance it out.
Besides natural sounds, with White Noise you can also listen to air conditioner, airplane travel, city streets, clock, clothes dryer, crowd, hair dryer, Tibetan singing bowl, train ride and even record your own sounds, mix them together and share with the community.
By the end of the day, our mind may get overloaded. We keep seeing different situations in our head, making up ex post facto solutions, and it takes a lot of our sleeping time. A good way to get rid of thoughts buzzing around in your head is writing them down. With Life, a well-designed digital diary for Macs, you can do it just before you go to bed. It lets you create posts called “moments”, group them into categories, add tags and emotions.
In addition, you can also use Life as a sleep diary, so you can figure out what causes your inability to have a good rest. Setting up a reminder will help you not to forget to make entries on a regular basis.
8.Zen: coloring book for adults
This is not surprising that arts and crafts hobbies influence our brain similarly to meditation. And coloring is the simplest thing for relaxing, even if you consider yourself a waste of two arms. With Zen: coloring book for adults you do not need to buy coloring books and pencils (which often get lost by the way). You can just leave all your worries behind and try yourself as an artist for some time. It can reduce the stress and prepare you for sleeping.
Probably, you have not thought about it, but computer screens emit light that resembles daylight. Your eyes get irritated when they see it at night, your brain gets confused, and you need more time to get asleep. Here comes f.lux, which provides a solution by adopting the color of a display to the time of day: warm after sundown and more bright during the day. It does it automatically based on where you live and what kind of lighting you have.
This app provides you with yoga poses used for treating insomnia. You do not have to be sporty to practice yoga and mindful breathing. If you find that the beginner session is not effective, you can change it for an advanced session, which lasts longer. This app is a good solution for those who cannot afford to attend yoga classes or have no time for that.
My name is Jeff Mann. I’m the editor and founder of a number of websites relating to health and sleep technology