If you’ve often woken up feeling like you haven’t gotten a wink of sleep, despite the fact that you’ve apparently been out cold for eight hours, then you might be curious about just what’s causing your inexplicable fatigue. Clearly there’s something disrupting your REM cycle, but since you’re asleep at the time it may be difficult to figure out the problem. And short of pumping your insurance provider to pay for a sleep study (in some cases they’re not covered) or spending some major money on a new mattress, you might be out of luck. That is, of course, unless you have a smart phone. There are now a number of apps on the market geared towards tracking your sleep habits in order to help you understand where you’re losing zees. But the latest and greatest comes from a company that has plenty of research and data to back up their suggestions for a better night of sleep.
Sleep101 was created by a company called Zeo, which makes sleep-tracking software and devices. Their sleep management system operates by way of a wireless headband featuring a device that monitors your sleep activity and sends it to either a bedside monitor or more recently, to your smartphone. This data is tracked over time to give you an overview of your sleep habits. The program (in conjunction with online tools and email coaching) then offers suggestions that may help you to improve your sleep pattern and ensure fewer disruptions to your REM cycle (so that you’re enjoying a more fulfilling night of rest). And thanks to their handy new app for Apple devices you can now benefit from many of these features for free.
Of course, it’s probably not going to be as comprehensive as their paid systems, but they’ve developed software that uses the accelerometer in your iPhone (or other Apple device) to measure bed movements while you slumber (you simply place the device somewhere on the bed throughout the night). In this way it can track your relative state of waking and rest to let you know how many hours of sleep you’re getting each night and how many times you’re waking in order to create a sleep score (although accuracy may vary if you share a bed). Based on this information, you can participate in the free sleep-better challenge, wherein you’ll receive suggestions about ways in which you might change your diet or other habits in order to sleep more deeply with less interruption and ultimately wake up more refreshed. There are even alarms set to wake you up precisely when it will benefit you most.
You might think that a good night’s sleep can be determined by who makes the best mattress or how tired you are at the end of the day. But your sleep patterns can actually be indicative of issues with your overall health, and disruptions can be caused by all kinds of things like stress, a poor diet, a lack of exercise, or any number of other factors. With this free system you can take advantage of all the research that Zeo has compiled in their bid to become the top in-home sleep monitoring company. So there’s really no reason to blow your dough on paid apps or pricy devices that may not deliver the same prestigious background.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.