The pandemic has had a really turbulent impact on our lives; it’s affected everything from the way we work (remotely, in pyjamas until lunchtime, getting stuck on cat filters), to the way we socialise (currently non-existent or purely virtual), and it’s even crept into our bedrooms and has interfered with our quality of sleep.
Nearly two-thirds of the population have reported that their sleep has been worse since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020 according to a study by King’s College London. Whether that’s because of disturbed sleep, sleeping less or difficulty sleeping, or having worse quality sleep and feeling more tired.
Getting a good night’s sleep is the difference between waking up refreshed, energised and focused or tired, irritable and having difficulty concentrating. It doesn’t just affect your mood and productivity, poor sleep quality has been linked to putting you at risk of a number of serious medical conditions including, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Adopting a healthy diet and exercise can have a positive impact on healthy sleep habits and improving sleep quality. It also doesn’t hurt to turn to technology to help gain a little bit more insight into your wonderful world of sleep. Time to catch some decent zzz’s…
There are a lot of benefits to tracking your sleep cycle. Sleep Score collects data while you sleep, giving you everything you need to know about your sleep pattern, a great place to start understanding what you can do to improve your sleep. As it’s collated over time, it enables you to make informed decisions about your sleep routine and habits, helping you to identify factors that improve or aggravate your sleep.
One of the biggest contributors to poor quality sleep is stress and anxiety. Sleep tracking technology can help to put your mind at ease knowing that you are taking ositive steps to improving your sleep habits and quality of rest.
During sleep, you pass through five stages, ranging from light, to deep to REM (dream sleep). You will repeat this cycle 4-5 times during the course of the night. Using sound and vibration analysis, Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep through the 5 stages and analyses the data to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase, as this is when you are most likely to feel energised and well rested.
There’s an irony to sleep, that you can’t try to get to sleep. Trying to sleep engages your brain, which subsequently keeps you awake. The trick is to engage in a calming activity before bed – and that’s where Calm comes in. With a library of over a hundred stories and narrated by a plethora of famous actors, singers and artists, the stories are written to be interesting enough to indulge in, yet soothing enough for you to drift off to sleep. Use calm nightly as part of your bedtime routine to minimise phone distractions, and promote a restful state of mind before slipping into slumper. The app also have features for reducing stress and anxiety, which can also add to better sleep.
Since the first lockdown started, there’s also been a significant increase in the number of people reporting vivid or more frequent dreams. You dream in the REM stage of sleep, and your brain is in a similar active state to when you are awake. Dreams are thought to hold the secrets to your unconscious thoughts and feelings. So those of you fortune (or unfortunate as you see it) to remember your dreams can take a look into your subconscious, and with the help of Dreams app, may even be able to untangle those subconscious thoughts and give meaning to your dreams. The benefit to being able to decode your subconscious thoughts is to give way to anxieties, worries and fears that you were unaware you harboured, and can then address. Typically, images that appear in your dreams are unique to you, and the Dreams journal allows you to track repeated themes and common dreams for more accurate and personal interpretations.
Night night little one.