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Five Phenomenal Sleep Apps

January 25, 2017


Five Apps for your smartphone to cure your sleeplessness

There are few things quite so horrible as pulling an all-nighter. (Unless it is followed by a really tedious Monday morning meeting.) It brings home to us what a treasure sleep truly is. Our sleep might be the most valuable thing any of us own. It is the only currency accepted at the ‘go away gummy eyes’ store. Even people who delude themselves into thinking that sleep is a waste of their precious time can’t help but admit that the quality of their waking hours devalue unless underwritten by plenty of Z’s. It is no wonder then that the acquisition and management of sleep has attracted its own fluffy flock of Apps. We thought we’d point out some favourites.

Pzizz

Probably named for some form of onomatopoeia (and hopefully not after the designer), this weird-sounding App “delivers sleep at the push of a button!” says the developer. And it certainly seems as though their users agree. The equivalent of an Austin Powers’ style judo chop, Pzizz generates a set programme of sounds (including a narrated-guide, music and effects) proven to (literally) put your mind at ease through psychoacoustics. The programme is generated afresh with every use to counteract desensitisation. Simply plug in your earbuds and select the programme you need. Anything from a 10 minute power nap to 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep and Pzizz will not only abduct you from Insomnia Ville but will also drive you back from La-la Land and deliver you to your door. Think of his one as your personal sleep concierge.

Sleep Sounds

As the name implies, this one is a little more down to earth. If you’re not sure about all this tampering with la-dee-da psychoacoustics and space-aged brain-rays, this one is for you. Sleep Sounds is an eclectic collection of high definition, restful soundtracks meant to lull you gently into relaxation. As you’d expect, ‘refreshing rain’ is a top contender in this gallery. What you probably didn’t expect is the amazing customization options. Not only can you set it to a timer but you can also control the level of precipitation, the bird population and wind speed in the ‘rain forest’ and exactly how merrily the fire is crackling in your ‘winter cottage’. If you sometimes wish you could just up and away to a ‘quiet cave’ somewhere where no one will bother you, Sleep Sounds can make it happen.

Twilight

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with vampires. Although its most notable feature happens to be a light filter. We’ve often spoken about the adverse effect of the blue light present in all modern display devices (laptops, tablets, cellphones, etc.) and how exposure shortly before bed can prohibit your brain from going into sleep-mode. With Twilight, you can now put your device in sleep mode, i.e. activate a blue light filter, which will allow you to fall into your natural circadian rhythm despite use. Twilight can also dim your display well below zero percent brightness, which makes it excellent for night-time reading. Exhaustive testing (who wouldn’t be exhausted after two and a half years?) on modern AMOLED displays suggests that this technology might actually prolong the life of your display device.

Sleep as Android

At first it seems as if clever branding and SEO manipulation might have played a part in this specimen’s place atop the podium. Certainly there are other (free) Apps out there, offering the same service but - darnit! - this one is just so convenient! Sleep as Android is a smart (nay, genius) alarm clock that monitors you as you sleep, using your device’s built in sensors (and those of your peripherals, like your smartwatch) to track where you are in your circadian rhythm. As we’ve previously discovered, where you are in your circadian rhythm when you wake up greatly influence your level of wakefulness, your feeling of having rested and the sensation of having woken up naturally. Sleep as Android pinpoints this sweet spot and then pricks you to wakefulness with  your customized alarm. And you can even view your recorded sleep cycle.

Baby Sleep Instant

An advertising coup if ever there was one. For a lot of us, getting ourselves to sleep is a secondary concern, to be tackled only once the baby is down for the night. Baby Sleep Instant is similar to Sleep Sounds in function but caters especially to infants, with low frequency and high repetition soundtracks. These include lullabies as well as assorted white noise sounds, such as a running shower or washing machine. You can even record your own lullabies, no auditions required. Simply run the App and leave your device within hearing distance of your baby. (And remember to mute the sound and switch to flight mode, otherwise your phone might be the next thing that goes flying out the window.)


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