It's commonly known that good-quality sleep is extremely important, since it supports our mental and physical wellbeing, stress levels, alertness, ability to think clearly and safety (for example, driving a car whilst tired is dangerous*)
During our sleep, our brain goes through sleep 'cycles', periods of alternating deep sleep then light sleep. When we wake up during a period of light sleep, we generally feel well-rested and energised. If we are woken during a period of deep sleep, we generally feel badly-rested, tired, possibly grumpy, exhausted and irritable.
If you have a smart mobile phone, there is a cheap and easy way you can improve your chances of having good-quality sleep using technology: there are various mobile apps which can monitor your movements, sounds, or both whilst you sleep and determine which sleep cycle you are in at any time whilst you are asleep. The app then gently wakes you up when you are in a 'light' sleep, at a time approaching the latest time you want to wake up by. In case you remain in a deep sleep or the app cannot detect it correctly, it will act like a standard alarm clock and play a sound to wake you at the time you chose before going to sleep.
The other advantage of these apps are to get a better idea of your quality of sleep over time: they typically show graphs and statistics about your sleep (longest sleep, shortest sleep, average sleep time, etc.), which may help you identify any issues which cause you to sleep poorly.
The app I personally have used for this and highly recommend (it has worked great for me) is called 'Sleep Cycle'. It is available on iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and Android devices – I have used it and it worked consistently well.
Note: if you are concerned about the radio-waves emitted by your smart phone and having these near your head at night, switch your phone to 'airplane' mode (which disables transmitting/receiving of radio-waves) before you sleep, and switch 'airplane' mode back off when you wake.
Thank you for reading.
I wish you a life of fulfillment, and good sleep.
* Article “Prolonged nocturnal driving can be as dangerous as severe alcohol-impaired driving” by Joris C. Verster, Jacques Taillard, Patricia Sagaspe, Berend Olivier and Pierre Philip
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