That the Spanish do not sleep what we should is a proven fact. According to CIS barometer data from last March , almost 85% of the population does not sleep the 8 hours recommended by experts in order to be in perfect condition during the day. And it is that many times we underestimate the importance of sleeping well even knowing that a good rest is essential and that the physical effects of not doing enough are undeniable: lack of reflexes, tiredness, decrease in mental and physical speed …
According to studies by the Spanish Sleep Society, 30% of Spaniards have ever suffered from a sleep disorder such as insomnia, hypersomnia, snoring or sleep apnea. These disorders can appear at any time of the year, although they are usually accused during the summer months due to the change of habits and high temperatures , so at this time it is, if possible, more important to rest properly.
I have slept well? How many hours? Which in REM phase? More and more apps and devices related to sleep can help us answer all these questions and control and improve the quality of our rest.
4 apps for better sleep
This is probably the most famous mobile app when it comes to sleep measurement. It is available for both Android and iOS and its operation is simple: once downloaded, we just have to register with our personal data and answer some initial questions and we can start using the app.
Sleep Cycle uses the accelerometers of our mobile phone to detect the movements of our body while we sleep , so, for its correct operation, we must place the mobile at one end of our bed. Before going to sleep all we have to do is choose a time interval, which is usually about 30 minutes, in which we want the alarm to sound in the morning and the application will take care of waking us up in the lightest sleep phase within that range .
During the night, whenever the application detects movement, an almost imperceptible beep will sound and a note will be saved. In addition, the app is also capable of distinguishing the different phases of sleep we go through (NREM and REM) through our breathing. All this will be saved in the graphics and statistics that the application has incorporated and that we can later consult. After a few days of use, Sleep Cycle will show us our sleep habits as well as the regularity of each phase.
SleepBot is also available for Android and iOS systems and its operation is very similar to that of SleepCycle: it also has an intelligent alarm system that wakes us up at the right time and offers a series of graphics to know our sleep habits.
As a novelty, the app has an interesting function that consists of recording sound at night , which, afterwards, allows us to check if there is any type of sound that coincides with a moment in which we have not slept correctly and that affects , therefore, in our rest.
Finally, the tool has a sleep diary in which we can record our mood and symptoms and even determine what type of food we have eaten during the day or if we are taking any medication. The application will subsequently take care of making the connections between our rest and these variables and will give us a series of tips such as what we should have on the nightstand or what foods we should eat to sleep better.
Runtastic , the popular physical activity monitoring application, developed Sleep Better a few years ago , its own tool for improving the quality of our sleep, available for both Android and iOS.
This application is one of the most intuitive in this area and can display a large amount of information by introducing basic data on factors that can intervene in our sleep: if we have exercised, if we have drunk alcohol or coffee, what and how much we have eaten and if We have had a stressful day.
Like the previous two applications, Sleep Better will monitor our sleep through the movement of our body during the night and wake us up in the morning at the right time thanks to its smart alarm system .
The novelty of this application compared to the previous ones is that in the results of our habits the platform takes into account the data offered by the user and also others such as the weather, the state of the moon and the hours of use . Afterwards, it is possible, for example, to know how well you have rested depending on the moon phase or the days that you have taken alcohol or exercised … In addition, it is possible to know the percentage of nightmares and good dreams that the user has had , depending on the movement detected by the app.
Sleep as Android
This is probably the most comprehensive sleep monitoring app of the four . However, it has an important disadvantage and that is that it is only available for Android and it is also paid (€ 3.99) .
In spite of everything, the great advantages available to it outweigh these disadvantages. For starters, the platform has a much more sophisticated alarm system than that of previous applications. Thus, an alarm can be set for a specific time, for an interval or for an X minute nap. In the latter case we can establish, for example, a minimum sleep time before the moment when the system has to wake us up.
In addition, Sleep as Android n you can set alarms individually or set default values that apply to all alarms we want . In the settings of these you can also choose the tone of the warning and even establish a gradual increase in volume to avoid scares.
As an outstanding novelty, for those days when the sheets stick to us, the platform also has the possibility of establishing a variety of tests that you have to pass before you can stop the alarm , thus ensuring that you do not fall asleep again.
But the app does not stop there, but incorporates additional functions such as a sound detector in which we can also determine that, for example, the phone wakes us up with a vibration if we snore and even sing lullabies or allow us to count sheep when not Let’s get to sleep.
Devices to measure your sleep habits
The applications are a great ally to control our sleep habits and have a great advantage, and that is that most of them are free. However, we must bear in mind that all of them force us to sleep with our mobile in bed, something that not everyone is willing to do. For these people there is an alternative: the devices that also monitor our sleep, which, although they are paid, have many advantages.
Monitoring our sleep is not the main function of the Apple smart watch , however, it has all the necessary features to be able to do it: it can control our movement and pulsations and show us graphics of this function .
There are applications for the device, such as Sleep Pulse 2 or Sleep + , that have practically identical functionalities to those of mobile applications. One of the main advantages of this device is that by using the accelerometer directly from the wrist, the precision in the analysis is greater. In addition, there is the possibility of synchronizing the data with other Apple devices such as iPhone.
The only drawback we could run into is the watch’s battery life , although it shouldn’t be a problem if we charge it before going to sleep.
Fitbit is the largest manufacturer of sports tracking devices in the world and has now decided to enter the smart watch market with the Fitbit Blaze. This device is capable of intensively monitoring our daily activity, which includes sleep analysis .
Unlike the Apple Watch, Fitbit Blaze does not require downloading any application, but rather it has an automatic system that detects when we go to bed and begins monitoring without user intervention. It also has an intelligent alarm system that wakes us up at the right time.
This is the most specialized device of those presented in sleep monitoring, since it has been specifically developed to deal with this task. It is an intelligent lamp that measures temperature, air quality and the amount of light and plays with it and with colors to help us both sleep and wake up in the best way.
Withings Aura is accompanied by a mat that is placed under the bed and is in charge of monitoring our sleep through our movement, breathing and heart rate.
Regarding monitoring, the tool can connect with our mobile phone , which will show us the results of the monitoring.
Technology offers us a multitude of tools that can help us improve our sleeping habits. But, ultimately, it is we who must become aware , just as we do in other areas such as sports or food, of the importance of a good rest .