3 Apps that Actually Help You Fall Asleep
If you’re anything like me, falling asleep can be a nearly unsurmountable nightly skirmish against meandering thoughts about work and relationships, plus an endless parade of nonsensical Facebook posts and Instagram Stories. A common misperception is that we need to cut out all technology to fall asleep and achieve that highly coveted deep sleep, but there are plenty of sleep tech and apps that actually help you fall asleep.
After trying dozens of apps, here are the three made it into my nightly routine.
According to Harvard Health, blue light – which is the artificial light used to illuminate phones and computers – “can affect your sleep and potentially cause disease.” F.lux solves this by slowly replacing the blue light of your devices with a soft sepia tone that’s gentle on your eyes. It happens so subtly that I don’t even notice the change. The best part? It’s free for macOS.
Well-deserving of its iTunes 2017 App of The Year award, Calm guides you through mindfulness meditation. It’s perfect for people new to meditation, as it has a 7 day introduction to mindfulness series, and great for people already practicing mindfulness. The two features I use are the guided deep sleep meditation and bedtime stories. Yes, bedtime stories. Sounds a little childish, but just imagine the soothing voice of Stephen Fry reading you lullabies. Plus, it’s your bedroom and no one needs to know. The deep sleep meditation slowly relaxes all of your muscles and eliminates those pesky thoughts about work and relationships.
I swear by these lights. Hue Lights are smart lights. I use the Hue Lights app to slowly dim my bedroom lights from 100% at 7PM to 30% by the time I’m ready for bed. Just like f.lux, you won’t even notice the light change until you find yourself sleepy and yearning for your pillow.
These apps work beautifully for me, but aren’t the only sleep solution you need. If you drink a cup of coffee right before bed, then none of these apps will work at all. Think of technology as the final supplement you need to your behavioral sleep remedies like consistent exercise, cutting sugars, and eliminating late night caffeine. With those simple changes, I feel healthier, well-rested, and enjoyably productive.