What is the one thing that we all need and the most successful people are deprived of the most? If you read the headline, then you probably guessed it…sleep. Getting enough has it’s obvious benefits–ranging from bolstered immune system to weight loss. But could we really be super versions of ourselves if we got, say, two more hours in each night? Perhaps not, but a new sleep study released by the Journal of Neuroscience states that NOT getting enough sleep can cause irreversible brain damage. Yikes. (Bonus damage for those that have a tendency to stay up late watching the Kardashians).
I have been waking at 5:15 recently, finding not enough daylight hours to complete my writing, e-mails, meal prep, and workout before/after my 9-to-5 fashion job…(I don’t know how those with kids are doing it). Chatting with my sister-in-law one evening, I mentioned I needed to get going as my bedtime alarm was gonna go off.
“You set an alarm to go to sleep?” She sounded incredulous.
Strange as it may seem, I honestly did not realize the irony in it when I started Brought up the fact that my nighttime alarm if you have been shying away from getting more shut-eye and need some technical assistance, I have compiled a list of tricks and apps to help you power down.
First– Two Tips…
When You’re Up Get out of the Bed–Your bed should be for two things: sleeping and sex according to Huffington Post. Eating, Watching TV, working, messing with your phone (or anything that emits a glowing blue light) revs brain waves and makes it harder to slow body functions enough for sleep to catch hold. Being in bed for slumber and sexy-time only conditions your brain and becomes more capable of shutting off those parts of the mind that distract from disengaging.
Cut back on caffeine–This seriously works. And if you’re addicted to the stuff, even more a reason to give your body a break. This is recommended for anything you have developed a less than healthy affinity for. And bonus when you do dip back into your latte, it will be the sweetest fricken thing your tongue has ever touched.
1. Sleep Cycle – iPhones – $0.99
Place your iPhone next to your body (placing it under the fitted sheet will anchor it down so your slumbering body doesn’t fling it across the room) and this app will monitor your sleeping patterns and will wake you in your lightest state so you wake up refreshed. Great for those with a great interest in understanding their detailed dreaming habits and those with flexible work schedules. My digital marketing professor at General Assembly swore by it (to the annoyance of her hubby).
2. Airsleep – iPhones, iPads – $0.99
Great for travelers, as you can listen to ambient nature sounds for up to 15 hours in airplane mode. Claims to use “dreamwave brainwave” technology which alters brain patterns to help lull you into slumber.
3. White Noise – iPhones, Android – $1.99
If you find traditional “sleep” noises to be detracting from your dream state, White Noise offers 40 sounds that range from ‘color frequencies’ to ‘hairdryer’. Their lite version has 10 free sounds and they offer an app especially for your little one too. ‘Cause we all know if the baby ain’t sleeping, neither are you.
4. FitBit One – $100
this clip-on device Is the ultimate body monitor app. It tracks not only movements during the day, but also your sleep habits and gives you a detailed report of your daytime activity levels and your nighttime movements too–where you were tossing & turning, etc. Sync it up with its coordinating (free) apps and get your full reports. Claims to get you fit and more well-rested. Win/win.
I was going to include a fifth, but my “Get Ready For Bed” alarm is going off…(super cool, I know). So I will leave you with a sleep antidote: the Vimeo web series High Maintenance. Author’s Note: Don’t even click on it unless you have already surrendered yourself to watching all 12 webisodes in a row.