The technology assisting people in sleeping better at night

She has trouble falling asleep

Have you ever laid in bed at night trying to fall asleep but finding it tantalizingly out of your reach?

If so, Lisa Holland's plight from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, might be of interest.

She says, "I just stopped sleeping.". She was now only getting a few hours of sleep per night due to her worsening insomnia.

In the early hours of a particularly bad night back in 2016, things came to a head.

The sleepless hours passed as Ms. Holland's morning 90-minute drive to her senior position in the live events industry loomed — a potentially hazardous trip for someone who was sleep deprived.

Lisa explains, "I was just pacing around in my bedroom.". "I saw myself in the mirror, and all I saw was myself walking around like a zombie. And I considered. This is ridiculous, what the hell are you doing. ".

Lisa's experience is turning out to be more typical.

A study conducted by the insurance company Direct Line last year found that 71% of people in the UK don't get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. One in seven people, it was discovered, received less than five hours.

Many of us seem to believe that the answer lies in the increased use of apps and other sleep-related technology.

The market for sleep technology was $15 billion (£12 point 4 billion) overall in 2017. By 2030, according to the same report, it will increase to $67 billion.

Stress, working night shifts, caffeine or alcohol use are just a few of the many causes of sleep problems. If you belong to the so-called "insomniac army," it's possible that you're reading this through a fog of sleepiness, mental fog, or - hopefully not - grumpiness.

Long-term sleep deprivation, however, can have much worse effects.

According to the UK Health Security Agency (previously known as Public Health England), sleep deprivation contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even mental health issues.

A woman struggling to sleep
Numerous health issues can arise from not getting enough sleep.

And the economy suffers as a result. According to one study, the UK loses up to £40 billion a year in productivity as a result of inadequate sleep.

Of course, it's not just a British issue. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of Americans don't get enough sleep, endangering the health of the country.

Of course, Lisa was not thinking about any of this when she was forced to face her issue. She was only aware of her need for assistance.

Her doctor initially recommended a brief course of sleeping pills, which would only put her to sleep for a few hours at a time while offering no assurance of a restful night's sleep.

She eventually learned about the phenomenon known as sleep stories, which are lullabies offered through podcasts and apps. She decided on those from the Calm app and website for meditation.

She claims, "I sleep so much better now. She continues, "Even if I have a lot going on at work and I'm thinking about different things, like what I've got to do tomorrow. "I believe it to be a comforter. ".

She therefore selects a bedtime story from the app on her phone, opens it, and plays it through the speaker on most nights.

She explains, "I think it's the tone of the voices, how they slow down and leave longer gaps between sentences. "I believe it has an effect on your listening and thinking brain. ".

More and more of us who have trouble falling asleep are turning to technology for assistance, and it's not just for calming bedtime tales.

The market for sleep technology is expanding, and it now offers services to manage sleep disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy as well as devices to monitor our sleeping patterns and apps that promote restful meditation.

Health organizations are now recommending such technology. Last year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a division of NHS England, advised people with insomnia to try the Sleepio app.

The Prof is a Sleepio's virtual sleep assistant. He aims to make it easier for users to fall asleep and is powered by AI software.

The Calm website
Many tools are available on the Calm website to try and aid users in falling asleep.

The downside of using your device in the middle of a restless night, however, may outweigh the benefits of all this technology, according to Lisa.

If you forget to lower the brightness, it's like Blackpool illuminations when you pick up your phone and open the app, she says.

Of course, you scroll after that. You can acclimate yourself a little. In order to switch between stories as quickly as possible and put the phone down again right away, I've set my favorites. " .

Alison Francis, a sleep expert, is also concerned about the potential stimulation effect of technology. The concept of turning technology off and giving the mind a break from it, according to her, is completely lost.

She advises people to make an effort to learn from technology so they can eventually fall asleep without it. You'll be able to be more independent and won't need to talk on the phone as frequently, she explains.

She also adds that some people will require a more medically based strategy, requiring on-site monitoring and a personalized therapy plan.

With the aid of meditation, the Headspace app seeks to improve users' mental wellbeing. Leslie Witt, chief product and design officer, claims that it heavily emphasizes helping people get better sleep.

We came to the conclusion that fostering mental wellbeing required improving sleep in addition to other areas, she says. "More than a third of our users are what we refer to as sleep-first users, who primarily interact with the app through our sleep stories, sleep courses, and sleep music. ".

For those who access Headspace through a program offered by their place of employment, it is claimed that percentage jumps to 40–50%.

The series "New Tech Economy" examines how technological advancement is expected to influence the new, emerging economic landscape.

"Workplaces are realizing the importance of sleep," Ms. Witt continues. But more work needs to be done to persuade managers that the demands of a global workforce can contribute to stress levels that interfere with sleep. ".

Meanwhile, Lisa Holland believes it's time we turned away from the "always on" culture and recognized the value of sleep to our general health.

With all due respect, she claims that getting up at four in the morning to work out, start the day, and be the first one at work and the last one to leave simply wouldn't work for her.

"I believe more people are becoming aware that you do not need to work 17 to 18 hours per day. I need to balance my life and work, and a big part of that is getting lots of sleep.

. "

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