Following PhDfashionista's blog post on sleeping like a champion, I wanted to recommend Relax Melodies.
Difficulty sleeping due to technology or anxiety. Feeling tired when you wake up.
You must have an open mind and believe that this will work when trying this out. Importantly, the first time you use this app, you need to pay attention to when you actually get tired, and go to bed (earlier than usual). Ensure that your phone/tablet's screen is as dim, and orange (see yesterday's blog post), as possible at least 30 minutes before bed. The free version of the app has four functions which I would like to highlight:
1. Isochronic tones and binaural beats. The latter require headphones, the former don't. They are low pitch sounds which stimulate your brain for a desired effect, like relaxation. I want to write a longer post specifically about these because I love neuroscience, but for now, I will direct you to this article.
2. Guided meditation. These last for ten minutes. If you have an open mind, try them out! I used to think this kind of thing was silly and gimmicky but this app has completely changed my opinion - I use this function every night now.
3. Relaxing sounds. These can be overlaid with the guided meditation track, which is perfect! The sounds include, of course, nature sounds like waves, waterfalls, rain and birds chirping. It doesn't end there though, this huge collection includes the sounds of an oscillating fan, a lullaby, a crowd, a distant train, a monk chanting, a cat purring and even a grandfather clock ticking!
4. A timer. You don't want the app running all night and draining your battery. I usually set this to 20 minutes, 10 of which overlap with the guided meditation.
It used to take me up to two hours to fall asleep, now it takes just fifteen minutes. This change did not happen gradually, it happened overnight. Note that I am strong believer in mind-over-body and the placebo effect - you must tell yourself it will work magic, and it will!
Free and premium versions (£10). Android and iOS.