Nothing is worse than putting in a hard day's work, hitting the hay... and laying awake for hours. If you're one of these poor unfortunate souls who just can't get enough sleep no matter how much melatonin you pop, it might be time to call for some backup. Thankfully, for every high-tech gadget and app that occupies your waking hours, there's one designed to help you catch more Zzzs.
Here are seven of the best apps and products to help you beat your bedtime blues.
You don't have to be a "morning person," but if you're regularly struggling to wake up, there's a very high chance that your circadian rhythm is out of sync. That's where Sleep Cycle comes in handy. It uses your phone's accelerometer to track your sleep patterns, and an in-suite alarm clock to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase, helping you start the day energized and establishing your body's ideal bedtime.
Relax Melodies gives you a catalog of ambient noises to help you relax and block out the sound of your roommate's Netflix binge in the next room. Plus it has a host of customizable features, like the ability to add tunes from your own music library for a more personalized sleep playlist, and "Discover" and "Tips" sections to let you share playlists and helpful tips with other users.
What it does: A two-part tracking system that monitors your sleeping environment
The Sense system is composed of two components: a "sleeping pill" that clips to your pillow, and a tabletop device that sits on your bedside table. Sense monitors your internal clock and acts as a natural alarm. But what really separates it from similar devices are its sensors that monitor the exact conditions of your bedroom (temperature, humidity, light, sounds, air quality, etc.) so you can make needed adjustments and achieve perfect sleep.
What it does: NASA-developed program that guides you through all the stages of your sleep cycle
This app has NASA research behind it, so you know it's good. Whether you opt to buy a full package with add-ons or just the app for your phone, you can rest easy knowing that this audio-based program is what helps astronauts hit the hay. Personalized sleep reporting, power nap mode, and a gradual "revive" wake-up system help you get the best rest possible.
NightWave Sleep Assistant
What it does: Emits soothing ambient blue light to encourage the secretion of melatonin
This bedside table device has made the rounds on the daytime talk show circuit, so you may not have heard of it -- but odds are, your grandma has. The NightWave projects an ambient blue light, the luminance of which rises and falls. If you synchronize your breathing to the rhythm of the light's waxing and waning, you should fall into a deep, relaxing sleep.
What it does: Tracks your overall health, fitness, and sleep patterns
Sure, the Jawbone UP series is known for being a fitness tracker -- but it also has an entire set of functions optimized to help you track and improve your sleep. It uses its sensors to track your sleep cycles, then, considering all of the other health information it collects during your waking hours, its Smart Coach feature offers suggestions on how best to improve your sleep and general health.
What it does: An all-in-one system for ambient light, sound, and sleep cycle tracking
The Aura is basically your personal sleep assistant. The touch-controlled bedside device projects ambient sound and light, the mattress pad sensor tracks your movements, and the app keeps track of all of your personalized info to keep you on the perfect cycle. You can even connect it to a Nest thermostat (if you're fancy like that) to determine the ideal temperature for your nighttime rest.
Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor. Thankfully, he sleeps just fine on his own.
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