March 19 marks the 14th year of World Sleep Day - a global event organized by the World Sleep Society to spread awareness around the importance of sleeping well and the many ways how it can affect our day-to-day functioning and overall health.
The event also raises awareness on sleep-related issues and how to prevent and manage sleep disorders.
Why is sleep so important?
An article from NDTV highlights how important sleep is in our daily lives.
Being unable to sleep properly affects hormones that regulate appetite, which causes weight gain. Lack of sleep increases the production of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin while reducing the production of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin.
Poor sleep is also associated with a lack of concentration and productivity and poor exercise performance.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting an average of seven to eight hours of sleep per day, although they acknowledged that sufficient sleep duration requirements vary from person to person.
Improving Sleep Quality with Technology
Health experts recommend a myriad of ways to improve sleep quality, including proper sleep hygiene and minimizing potential sleep disruptions.
People can also turn to today's technology to help get that good night's sleep they have been wanting.
Here are 5 apps that can help you get the right amount of shut-eye.
Officially launched in 2010, Headspace is all about meditation and using meditation techniques to calm your mind.
The app features multiple courses based on topics around living mindfully and some neat tricks, such as manipulating the speaker's voice to be louder or softer than the background ambient sounds.
Sleep Cycle helps someone monitor their sleep time and pattern and analyze the sounds they make via their phone.
Tracking the user's sleep pattern lets the app wake them up - when the body is in its lightest phase of sleep - which can help them wake up feeling fresher.
Noisli features relaxing sounds and the ability to customize sounds depending on the user's taste and preferred ambiance.
The app can be used to drown out annoying sounds while working or setting the perfect sleep-inducing stage for you at night.
A meditation app that can be used right before going to bed, Calm offers users to sleep faster with sleep stories, soothing music, and guided lessons on gentle movements that relax the body.
According to the app's official site, their team works with a group of distinguished academic researchers and clinicians who guide them and review their efforts to ensure that they offer scientifically sound and effective methods to get that good night's sleep.
Dubbed by Business Insider as one of the "Most Positively Reviewed App" in the Apple store, Relax Melodies lets users play various sounds to help them go to sleep and maintain a good sleep.
The app can be programmed to play music all night or to shut down after a period of time.
Related Article: This Is How Your Tablets, Smartphones Can Affect Your Sleep
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Written by Lee Mercado