Sleep apps can be helpful for people who don’t sleep easily at night, but how often should we be using them and what should we be using them for?
Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, says ‘a sleep app can be a brilliant piece of technology for certain groups of people, as long as they listen to their bodies’.
Dr Nerina believes while sleep apps can play an important role in gauging time and phases of sleep, and helping users discover how much their sleep has improved when cutting down on caffeine or alcohol or taking up more exercise, they should be used with caution.
Sleep apps can make sensitive sleepers anxious and can be no good to ‘Martini’ sleepers who enjoy deep sleep any time, any place, anywhere.
“Those I call Martini sleepers don’t really need an app, as they get lots of quality sleep and that’s brilliant,” says Dr Nerina. “The exception in this group is among those people who may be oversleeping; they are known as hypersomniacs and too much sleep can make them feel sluggish and tired. It would be good for them to monitor their sleep and make a concerted effort to have less if necessary”.
Nevertheless, this technology is not great for sensitive sleepers either. The truth is that apps can only ever provide a guideline. Sensitive sleepers usually worry more if they take too long to drop off or feel they’re not getting enough sleep.
Sensitive sleepers are also more hyper-aware of gadgets at the end of their beds, under their pillows or strapped to their wrists and this can disrupt their sleep further, which makes it difficult for them to use sleep apps within the bedroom.
Dr Nerina suggests, the people who will benefit most from sleep apps, are those using them to see if positive lifestyle changes are impacting their sleep.
She adds, the most useful sleep apps will measure heart rate, which should lower during the night as a direct response to relaxing daytime activities such as walking, yoga or meditation.
Using sleep apps can improve quality of sleep. By monitoring daily habits, all the way from waking up to falling back asleep, you can see what is impacting your sleep and therefore make the changes necessary to improve your sleeping patterns.
For more information and sleep tips visit https://www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters/