You might find it tough to get a good night’s sleep these days. There's no question it’s been a stressful few months. But having a regular sleep routine can make the difference between waking up refreshed and waking up feeling zapped of energy. So it makes sense that falling asleep quickly can help you get the full amount of shuteye you'll need to take on the day.
There are numerous ways to organize your evening and prepare your bedroom for winding down, and there are many free apps to help you hit the hay quicker. Much has been made of avoiding the blue light of devices before bed. But even so, these apps can get you ready for a restful night.
Meditation: Forget the problems of the day with guided meditation. Apps like Simply Being lead you away from stress and calm you for deep sleep. Coming soon, MYX members can use an exclusive MYXfitness meditation app to set them up for sweet dreams.
Bedtime Stories: How about a bedtime story? As most parents know, the ritual of a bedtime story helps kids fall asleep by grounding and calming their bodies and minds. We know you’re never too old to lose yourself in a tale like the ones you’ll find on apps such as Calm and Slumber.
Calming Sounds: Music and sound are powerful tools for preparing your body for sleep by acting on your parasympathetic nervous system, slowing your heart rate, and lowering your blood pressure. Lull yourself into a cozy mood with the Relax Melodies app. It offers sounds from nature that you can mix-and-match: a light breeze, rustling leaves, or a crackling fire, for example.
White Noise: Many find a soothing wave of soft noise can block out external interruptions. Others swear by a white noise machine. There are a host of free apps that provide many of the same benefits. White Noise Lite creates a gentle buffer of sound. Options like the breaking waves of the ocean, the rolling rush of a stream, or a steady rainstorm provide a fitting backdrop for staying asleep. Also, check out the free myNoise app. It lets you customize white noise tones to blend your perfect frequency.
Alarm Clock: Start your morning feeling fully refreshed with the free version of Sleep Cycle—Smart Alarm Clock. By tracking your bedtime habits, the app wakes you at just the right moment during a light sleep cycle (Stage 2 non-REM sleep). Research shows you need non-interrupted Stage 3 non-REM sleep to wake refreshed in the morning.
While these apps are helpful tools for decompressing for bed and staying asleep, it’s important to know if you’re tired or if you’re suffering from fatigue, a drained feeling and consistent lack of energy not solved by a good night’s sleep. Telltale symptoms of fatigue such as difficulty concentrating and feeling anxious are best checked out by your doctor.