This is the third and final blog post in the sleep series.
Who might this blog post be useful for?: Anyone who struggles with sleep during certain periods or throughout the academic year, students with mental health problems or anyone who experiences stress which impacts on their sleep.
What study skills challenges can this app help you overcome?: Difficulty sleeping, relaxing or de-stressing.
What is the tool or study skills strategy?: Relaxation apps, boring podcasts and advice on sleep hygiene.
Other useful posts on this topic include the blog posts on mindfulness and relaxation apps, and my Think Pacifica, an app with mindfulness exercises, mood and health tracking and peer support.
Other helpful apps include Rainscapes on iOS, White noise on iOS and Android) and Rainy Mood in-browser, IOS, Android. Many people use rain sounds and white noise to relax, study or to help them sleep. Rainy Mood also has integrated soundtracks that take the procrastination out of finding music to listen to.
These apps can also play a part in a personalised ‘toolbox’ of grounding techniques, often used to help people with PTSD, which can be seen as a variant of mindfulness.
Another technique that one of my housemates swear by to help with their chronic insomnia is using boring podcasts. Drew Ackerman created the sleep with me podcast specifically for adult insomniacs, which generally last an hour or so and put simply, bores you to sleep. The narrator talks you through a number of bizarre tales until you fall asleep. One podcast involves telling the story of a grouchy butterfly performing a show-and-tell of his favourite band merch. I personally prefer non- human sounds (such as ambient forest sounds, rainfall etc. which you can find on White Noise and Rainscapes) but there are also a huge number of different free ASMR and story telling videos on youtube and soundcloud that are worth checking out if you enjoy people talking as you fall asleep. One example is Albinwhisperland’s ‘cat cuddle heaven‘.
Techniques like these may seem a little ridiculous at first (trust me- I know) but I promise you, you are far from the only one trying them, and if they help you sleep then it’s worth it. Its worth noting that generally sleep problems have no quick fix, but that with consistency, hard work at sleep hygiene (and where appropriate, professional support) you can often learn to manage them pretty well.
Thanks for reading,