These Apps Can Help You Get Better Sleep
Many people struggle to get enough good-quality sleep to feel energized and focused. It's especially tough for people with sleep apnea to get consistent, restful sleep. Not only is a good night's sleep key to being rested and productive, it also affects our overall health. That means getting the right sleep is important for everyone, even if it can be a challenge.
The good news is that there's a variety of smartphone apps you can use to understand your sleep patterns better and see what you can do to adjust your sleep schedule for a better night's rest.
About Sleep Stages & How to Interpret Your Results
Before we talk about some of our favorite sleep apps, it's important to understand how sleep works.
Sleep Stage One
Very quickly after falling asleep, the brain enters this initial stage of sleep and starts producing "alpha" and "theta" waves. Also, your eye movements are slowed down, and you can be awakened easily. If you ever take quick "cat-naps", this is the stage of sleep you'll reach.
Sleep Stage Two
Stage two is the next "light" stage of sleep, when the brain starts making more spikes in activity, also called sleep spindles. After this period, brain function slows down again as you enter the next stages of sleep. If you need a "power nap", it's best to reach this stage and then wake up before you get any deeper.
Sleep Stages Three & Four
As your brain starts making slower "delta" waves, you start getting into deep sleep. At this point, all muscle activity and eye movement stops, and it's harder to be awakened. In Stage 4, you're producing more delta waves, you're hardest to wake up, and your body begins to repair tissues and muscles, trigger growth, stimulate the immune system, and store energy for the coming day.
Rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep is the final stage of sleep. It happens roughly 90 minutes after you first fall asleep and can last up to an hour. Most people have five or six cycles of REM sleep per night. With REM sleep, your brain activity picks up, and your eyes move rapidly back and forward. This is also the stage of sleep when you dream the most.
How to Get Better Sleep
Because REM sleep is critical to memory, learning, and overall brain health, it's important for everyone to get the right amount. It's also helpful to wake up when you're in a lighter stage of sleep to help make sure you don't feel too groggy.
That means you need to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning at just the right times. By analyzing your sleep patterns and stages, smartphone apps can help you do just that!
Some of Our Favorite Sleep Apps
Here are a few of our go-to smartphone apps designed to help you understand your sleep patterns and make improvements for potential better sleep. Below, you'll find apps for people with and without sleep apnea.
Sleep Cycle is a free smartphone app anyone can use to analyze their sleep and understand how they could get better rest each night. It tracks your sleep patterns, and it even tells you when you snore! Not only will it show you when you should go to bed for the best night's sleep, it will also wake you up in the morning when you're in the lightest phase of sleep, making you feel more rested and energized for the day ahead.
Sleep Better is another free app anyone can use. This app tracks many things about your daily life, combining your sleep patterns with your habits during the day, including caffeine and alcohol consumption, which can affect your sleep quality and duration. This will give you tons of information that can help you adjust your routines for better sleep.
myAir™ - a Sleep Apnea App
myAir is a smartphone app designed specifically to help people with sleep apnea understand their sleep patterns and CPAP therapy effectiveness. With this information, you can learn how to adjust your CPAP equipment and routines for possible sleep improvement. myAir also includes great educational tools to help you understand how to get the most from your sleep.
DreamMapper by Philips Respironics
DreamMapper was created by Philips Respironics to connect with compatible CPAP therapy equipment. This app gives you daily feedback on your CPAP therapy's progress and lets you set personalized goals you can track. It also gives you advice, coaching, and reminders to help you stay motivated and on-target toward better CPAP performance and sleep quality.
Choose RemZzzs® for CPAP Comfort
Another great thing to do to help improve your sleep during CPAP therapy is to use soft, breathable cotton CPAP mask liners from RemZzzs®. Check out our selection of CPAP mask liners today to see how we make almost any mask more comfortable with a quieter seal that could help you sleep better.