According to the CDC, insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. Not getting enough can lead to trouble concentrating, remembering and even operating a vehicle. Adults need 8 hours of sleep each night, but most Americans report an average of 6 hours. Luckily, technology can help. Check out this collection of apps from sleep trackers, sleep therapy apps and lucid dreaming tools to help you get a restful night's sleep and ready for the next day.
If you've got an iPhone running iOS 10, you already have a pretty good sleep aid built into your phone. The iOS 10 update introduced Bedtime as one of the features in the Clock app, alongside existing tools like the stopwatch, world clock and timer. From the Bedtime screen of the Clock app, you can set what time you want to go to bed and when you want to wake up. Your iPhone will send you a notification prior to your scheduled bedtime, and, come the morning, it will wake you up with gentle music. Your sleep data also gets stored automatically in iOS 10's Health app.
Sleep Cycle takes the scientific approach to waking you up after a good night's rest. Using the iPhone's accelerometer to record your sleeping habits, the app uses sleep cycle theory and aims to wake you at just the right time to ensure optimal rest. Users set a window of time (say a 30 minute stretch) instead of a traditional pinpoint alarm time, and when the app judges that your sleep movement is just right, it will ring the alarm to wake you. In addition to the smart alarm, Sleep Cycle records your sleeping habits for tracking sleep quality over time.
SleepBot is a free sleep tracking app for Android and iOS that tracks your sleep activity in order to help you get a good night's rest and wake you up at just the right time. SleepBot uses your device's accelerometer and can even be set to record sounds. The app's smart alarm lets you set a range of time to be woken up, with the app deciding to trigger the alarm based on your sleep activity. Besides the smart alarm, SleepBot includes an array of sleep tracking metrics (such as a sleep debt log) and a detailed knowledge base to help you learn about smart sleeping habits.
Sleep As Android is another excellent sleep cycle tracker and alarm that uses your on-board sensors to track your sleep and help you wake up at just the right time. In addition to the usual smart alarm and sleep logging features, Sleep As Android offers such extras as a library of natural sound wake up noises and CAPTCHA style wake-up tests that make sure you've properly woken up, instead of clumsily fumbling for the alarm button.
Sleep Time+ (Android, iOS) by Azumio is another solid combination of sleep tracking and smart alarm clock, using your phone's sensors to measure the quality of your sleep and wake you up at the optimal time. In addition to the detailed metrics and smart alarm features, Sleep Time+ comes with soundscapes to help you sleep and HealthKit integration.
Even if you can't get as much sleep as you'd want, you might still be able to supplement that with a good power nap. Sleep Cycle Power Nap is a spinoff app that focuses on helping users get short, comfortable naps. Users can set the app for a Power Nap (~20 minutes), Recovery Nap (~45 minutes), or a full sleep cycle (90 minutes), settle down somewhere comfortable, and the app then uses your phone accelerometer to determine when you've fallen asleep, setting your alarm automatically to wake you. The app comes with 17 different alarm melodies and a soothing sound generator to help lull you to sleep.
One of the simplest ways to get more sleep is to just to get to bed earlier. Go To Bed is an iOS sleep aid that reminds users when it's time to sleep. Simply lock in your ideal bedtime, and Go To Bed reminds you 30 minutes in advance that your bedtime is coming, giving you time to finish up work and other tasks so that you don't just rush in all tense when you hit the sack. In addition to its bedtime reminders, you can also track your sleep with the app and sync your records to the Health app.