No one knows exactly why we sleep, but everyone knows that not enough sleep is bad for you. A sleep app can help you get the restful sleep you need.
Sleep apps tend to employ either ambient sound, ambient music or bedtime stories to lull the user into a mentally restful state that is conducive to sleep.
Below is our list of the 16 most important benefits of sleep and sleep apps.
16 Benefits Of A Sleep App
Why we sleep is still a mystery, but there are no mysteries surrounding the benefits of getting enough sleep. Here are the top 16 benefits of using a sleep app.
1: A sleep app helps you get the sleep you need.
According to the CDC, adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night to function properly. If you sleep less than that, you start to build up what is called a ‘sleep debt’ that will come back to haunt you in myriad ways (as we will see below) if it is not repaid (1). A sleep app is a reliable way to ensure you get the good night’s sleep you need every night.
2: A sleep app will work with virtually any smartphone.
While some sleep apps are only compatible with Android or iOS phones, many will work with almost every brand or model of smartphone. As such, you have an enormous variety of sleep apps available to you. So you are bound to find one that rubs you the right way.
3: A sleep app is affordable.
There are a number of developers that give away free versions of their sleep app. Many others allow you to try their app for free for a week or two so you can decide if you like it or not. If you do decide to pay for a sleep app, most are very affordable and wind up costing less than $1 per week.
4: A sleep app may help you learn better.
While you sleep, your brain engages in memory consolidation (2). During memory consolidation, your brain processes information taken in during the day, assigns it an emotional value, and determines which associations to assign it. If the brain does not have time to conduct this vital activity, a person suffers both intellectually and emotionally. A sleep app ensures your brain can conduct essential memory consolidation.
5: A sleep app can help an older person get the sleep they need.
Difficulty sleeping is all too common in older individuals. There are many reasons for that (3) including depression, medications, sleep apnea, and more. But whatever the reason, a lack of sleep increases the risk of debilitating falls (4) and can also accelerate cognitive decline (5). Sleep apps are an excellent way for seniors to ensure they get the restful sleep they need.
6: A sleep app can help you maintain a healthy weight.
There is a growing body of evidence that sleep deprivation plays a role in weight gain (6). The exact mechanisms in play are complex and not fully understood yet. But it seems to be at least partially related to the endocannabinoid system (7), which helps regulate appetite. When sleep-deprived this system becomes abnormally active and drives food cravings.
7: A sleep app can help night shift workers get the sleep they need.
People who work the night shift often complain about how difficult it is to get to sleep (8). It is not hard to understand why. After all, they are laying down as the sun is coming up. It goes against every instinct. Not only that, but it is also extremely stressful to live that kind of counterintuitive life (9). A sleep app can be an enormous help for shift workers.
8: A sleep app may make you a better driver.
The app itself will not stop you from running red lights. But it can help you get the sleep you need so that you are more aware of their presence. People falling asleep behind the wheel is a major cause of serious accidents (10). Getting enough sleep is essential to ensure your safety and the safety of other, innocent people. A sleep app can help ensure you get that sleep.
9: A sleep app can make you a more productive worker.
Whether you work for yourself or someone else, you need a good night’s sleep to be at your best. People who do not get enough sleep typically have trouble making decisions (11), solving problems, and getting along with others. A cheap sleep app can be just what you need to ensure that when you show up for work, you are at your best.
10: A sleep app may prevent overeating.
When they cannot sleep, a lot of people head for the refrigerator. But while a late-night snack may help you drift off, eating before bed can also cause a rash of other problems, many of them serious. They include weight gain, indigestion, acid reflux, and even type 2 diabetes (12). If you are having trouble getting to sleep, try a sleep app instead of eating.
11: A sleep app can make you a better athlete.
If there is one activity that requires plenty of sleep, it is sports. If you are an athlete, or even athletically inclined, you will not be able to perform anywhere near your peak if you do not get enough sleep. Not only that, but you will expose yourself to an increased risk of injury (13). A simple sleep app can help prevent injury and ensure you make the most of your abilities.
12: A sleep app can help you fend off type 2 diabetes.
Research indicates that during slow-wave sleep, blood glucose levels drop in both children and adults (14). Researchers believe that this represents a kind of daily reset of blood glucose levels. If you do not get enough sleep, this reset does not occur, and you increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
13: A sleep app can be good for your heart.
The heart is a muscle. It is without question your most important muscle. And like all your muscles your heart needs you to shut things down every night so that it can catch a breather. Research is clear that a lack of sleep is a contributing factor in heart disease (15) and can also lead to high blood pressure and other problems. A sleep app can help ensure your heart gets the rest it deserves.
14: A sleep app helps bolster your immune system.
The immune system is not immune to the negative effects of not enough sleep. Failing to get adequate amounts of sleep makes it less likely your immune system can respond effectively to the ever-present threat of free radicals and the oxidative stress they produce (16). Increased oxidative stress (17) then increases the risk of everything from heart disease to many forms of cancer.
15: A sleep app helps prevent microsleep.
Microsleep (18) by itself is not considered particularly dangerous. But it can lead to very dangerous situations if it occurs when a person is driving or operating heavy machinery. Microsleep is a very brief period of unconsciousness brought about by extreme fatigue. Almost everyone has experienced it from time to time. A sleep app will help you make microsleep episodes a thing of the past.
16: A sleep app can help you live longer.
That might seem like an outrageous claim, but it is true. There is copious evidence to suggest that people who get the sleep they need live longer than those who are chronically sleep-deprived (19). So if you want to have the best chance of living to a ripe old age, pick up a sleep app and catch some zzzs.
A sleep app can help you overcome occasional insomnia in order to get the regenerative sleep you need. The benefits of adequate sleep cannot be overstated and include better focus, more energy, a stronger immune system and longer life, just to name a few.