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Taskworld’s Top Sleep Aid and Data Tracking Apps

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Ever hit two or three o’clock in the afternoon and suddenly struggle to keep your eyes open? You’ve been cruising all day and now you can’t focus, your mind’s rereading the same document over and over again, you’re trying to solve problems to no avail—in the worst of times you’ll actually nod off for brief moments. I think it’s safe to say nothing is worse than being caught snoozing at your desk. The discovery by your coworkers or boss can sink the perception of your professionalism, or even worse, cause them to lose faith in you as a member of the team.  Fortunately app stores are telling us it doesn’t have to be this way! Take a gander through the iTunes App Store or Google Play and you’ll quickly find sleep apps—both trackers and aids, litter the market.

It’s neither a surprise nor mystery why sleep apps have become so popular, but do they really work? Below I’ve compiled some of the supposed game-changers in the sleep app market, highlighting their features and what sets them apart.

General Sleep Aids

White Noise (iOS only—Paid)
Background noise isn’t for everyone, but it’s quite common for people to need some kind of faint sound to fall asleep at night—whether it’s the fan running at a low speed; a light-yet-peaceful downpour outside; or having the air conditioner going. White Noise offers over 40 looped choices of ambiance with additional free sounds on their website. You can also mix multiple soundscapes together for your perfect sleep-inducing concoction.

 Sleep Genius (Free, iOS and Android, In-App Purchases)
Developed by experts in neuroscience, music, sound and sleep, Sleep Genius’ algorithms prep the user for sleep, steer them through each rest cycle and calmly wake you at your body’s optimum moment. Sleep Genius proclaims it’s “better” than White Noise. Sleep Genius is free to download, but users will quickly realize the buzz is around the in-app sleeping mode purchases, such as ‘Tranquility’, ‘Dreamscapes’ and the ultra-popular ‘Power Nap’ feature.

 Dormio (Free with In-App Options, iOS)
Dormio, for starters, boasts one of the more creative names among sleep apps, standing apart from virtually every other app which incorporates ‘sleep’ into the name. However, Dormio is not a gimmick, rather, another soothing sleep aid through natural soundscapes. There are also a bevy of in-app purchases offering everything from ‘Lucid Dreaming Hypnosis’ to ‘See the Universe’. There is also a 90-minute timer so your phone battery isn’t drained in the morning.

Twilight (Free, Android Only)
Similar to F.lux for desktops, Twilight fights back against the blue screen horridness that has ruined society’s ability to go to sleep at an appropriate hour. It’s quite common for people to read on their phone or tablet before going to sleep at night, even more common in bed. Twilight adapts your screen to the time of day, filtering out the blue tint after sunset and keeping melatonin production in balance.

Sleepytime Bedtime Calculator (Free, Android Only—Paid, Android & iOS)
For those of us who are fortunate enough to not need sleep aids, enter Sleepytime. It’s a wonderful calculator that gives you several options of waking up—all you need to do is input the time you’re going to bed (it accounts 14 minutes for the user to fall asleep). You can also do the reverse and select when you want to wake up and a list of times to go to bed (again accounting for that 14 minutes) will pop up. The same idea is at work here as with the other sleep alarm clocks; waking up in-between sleep cycles will make the user feel rested whereas waking up during one, even with an adequate amount of sleep, will cause the user to feel drowsy and sluggish.

Sleep Trackers

Sleep Cycle alarm clock (Paid, iOS)
The Sleep Cycle alarm clock collects nightly data on your sleep patterns and puts them into graph form. Like any reputable alarm clock app, Sleep Cycle claims to wake its user up in a lighter sleep phase while also incorporating an intelligent snooze option if the user decides they’d still like to sleep more. Place the phone face-down under your sheets for ideal performance. Probably the coolest feature of the Sleep Cycle alarm clock is the sleep notes, where users can see how their sleep quality fared after eating fast food, or drinking coffee, or getting yelled at all day by a tyrant of a boss.

Sleep Talk (Paid, iOS—Free with In-App Purchases, Android)
Sleep talkers rejoice! Sleep Talk can be a bit creepy in that it records everything that goes on throughout your night of rest. You may hear ghosts whispering faintly, bodily movements, your own haunting sleep conversations or…you may find out you have horrible sleep apnea. If you’ve always slept alone, how would you know about that? Now, you can find out exactly what is plaguing your sleep cycle. And don’t worry; there won’t be an eight-hour recording to listen to after each night of sleep. Sleep Talk filters any sound and records them instantly. There’s also a fun little feature which allows users to post their middle-of-the-night-rants or disturbing snoring to Facebook and Twitter.

SleepBot (Free, iOS and Android)
Perhaps the jack-of-all-trades app in that it offers sleep tracking, a smart alarm as well as records movements and sounds occurring through the night. SleepBot may not stand out in terms of quirky features, but it perhaps touches on all areas like no other app, while still offering 10 customized alarm soundtracks, graphed sleep data, movement tracking, effortless sound recording playback and a simple interface—SleepBot may very well be the most complete sleep app available, and it’s free!

For Insomniacs

Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson (Paid, iOS and Android)
Championed for its ability to help long-time sufferers of insomnia, Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson brings the soothing sounds of self-hypnosis to its users. The voice of Andrew Johnson has been described by some as an adult lullaby while empowering the deprived to control their feelings on rest.

pzizz sleep (Paid, iOS only)
Another possible solution for pleading insomniacs—pzizz sleep is unique in that it doesn’t have the same list of tracks to choose from nightly. Instead, every time a user hits start a new set of sounds is generated (well there is a limit to new sounds, but 100 billion may as well be unlimited). This feature alone makes pzizz able to be tolerated for much longer than apps offering an increasingly stale list of audio choices. More so, pzizz allows the user to choose how long the sounds continue for—starting at 10 minutes and lasting up to 10 hours, 45 minutes. Pzizz is a bit costlier than most sleep apps out there, but promises to be a long-term solution and not just something to experiment with over a month-long periods.

Yoga for Insomnia (Paid, iOS & Android—also PC and Mac)
Yoga for Insomnia will turn away a lot of users with its $4.99 price tag; however ones willing to give it a go anyway are likelier to stick with the app versus an easily-downloadable free option. Yoga for Insomnia provides rich images of various yoga poses with the purpose of creating better breathing patterns and thus, better sleep. Settings range from beginner to more advanced levels for longer sessions. Each picture instructs the user on proper breathing methods. This app is part of a larger suite of apps called useful health tools, which can be purchased at a ‘pay-what-you-want’ price.

Well, that’s great, but do these really work?

Great question, and to be honest, who really knows? Most of the sleep apps on the market today have little backing from stringent scientific support. But, I’ll argue, so what? If these apps have a strong Placebo Effect, then so be it, a lot of people still feel more rested and ready to tackle their day. More importantly, the littering of sleep apps has cleaned the window for which we analyze our own sleeping patterns. This shift toward caring about our sleep cycles and amount of sleep we get is extremely important for a world that produces sluggishly each day. With constant stress, pressure, deadlines—plus family and friend obligations, sleep is often the necessary priority getting shoved to the bottom of the list.

If we can slowly start a world-wide (technological world, at least) movement to care more about what time we lay our head and what time we rise, we can open our bodies and minds up to a wealth of health benefits, probably more than we even realize.

This article first appeared on Taskworld

Entrepreneurship

Women on Top in Tech – Espree Devora, Creator, Podcast Producer, and Host at WeAreLATech.com

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Espree Devora is known as “the Girl who Gets it Done”. She created WeAreLATech.com, a hub for entrepreneurs to connect to resources in the Silicon Beach community, which hosts the 1st podcast focused on LA Startups. She is also a podcast Producer and Host of the show, Women in Tech Podcast. The purpose of the show is for every listener to walk away feeling ‘If She Can Do It So Can I’. She calls it “actionable empowerment”. In 2017, Espree was listed by Inc Magazine as top 30 Women in Tech to follow.

What makes you do what you do?
Being an entrepreneur is in my blood. Some days are epic highs. Others are incredibly uncomfortably low. It’s not an easy day to day life, but living with a sense of purpose is an extraordinary gift.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
Being myself. Pushing through my fears to be positively vulnerable. To live as though I am always mentoring even though I may not know who’s paying attention.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
I’ve always loved media production. It’s a creative art form that can have long lasting positive effects on the audience who absorbs the content I create.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work? How did you make a match if you and how did you end up being mentored by him/her?
I do now have a mentor I look up to to be my most powerful self. We met at a conference and we speak regularly to work past my self-limiting beliefs and to build an abundant life, both spiritually and professionally. My mentor’s name is Debra Hockemeyer.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
I seek out integrity and a moral compass code. I want empowering solution mind teammates who value our company culture.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
Yes, because we’re human.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
Lead with vulnerability, let your audience share in the progression of your journey.

Advice for others?
Your “intuition is your oracle”. Walk your own path, don’t try to be someone else. They had their journey so it’s time for you to create your own journey now.

People crave connectivity, not celebrity. So rather than trying to look big, instead focus on creating immense positive impact in each person’s life (be it customer or partner or friend)

My Mom always says every “No” is one step closer to a “Yes”.

We want to continue to build connective technology, produce meaningful media and create unique offline experiences in the startup space to move people from online digital relationships to high quality offline relationships.


If you’d like to get in touch with Espree Devora, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/espree/

To learn more about WeAreLATech.com , please click here.

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Callum Connects

Darvin Kurniawan, Founder & CEO of REIDAO

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Darvin Kurniawan is impressed by blockchain technology. He believes it will change the way we live in the not so distant future. His business, Crowdvilla.io is using blockchain technology to change how society owns assets.

What’s your story?
I was trained in computer science and I went on to appreciate the many facets of business. I delved into multiple industries, which equipped me with the many skills to become a ‘jack of all trades.’ This allowed me to see things from various points of view and to identify opportunities and potential risks.
I heard about bitcoin for the first time in 2011. It was very difficult for me to understand back then. I revived my interest in blockchain technology near the launch of the second most popular blockchain, ethereum and I have been involved ever since.

What excites you most about your industry?
Blockchain has a real chance to change how we live as a society. This is not just as a business or start-up, but a way of life.

What’s your connection to Asia?
My grandfather came from China to Indonesia. I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. I moved to Singapore for university and have stayed here since then.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, for its efficiency, and very clear rules and regulations. Not to mention the relatively competitive tax rate.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Just try it out.” So simple, yet many fail to appreciate the fact that surveys and questionnaires sometimes just don’t work.

Who inspires you?
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a writer. He inspires me because of his ability to see things the way they are. He articulates points that I knew existed, but I couldn’t explain. That’s what makes me drawn to his writing.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok), a politician. He is able to say what’s right, no matter what!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
A blockchain AI project by SingularityNET. It’s going to change how we live if it goes mainstream.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have been more persistent in my endeavours. I learnt the hard way. In many cases, what was needed was time.

How do you unwind?
I frequently take a long stroll.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Lombok, Indonesia. It’s not as crowded as Bali, with similar, if not better beaches. It’s perfect for a quiet time and a short getaway.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Shameless plug for your business:
It’s more than just a business. It’s a movement. Crowdvilla.io is changing how society owns assets. Through blockchain technology and the ability to create digital assets, we can create digital assets that mimic and govern a real estate utilization model.
Imagine if there was a hotel chain where the buildings or assets were owned indirectly by the community, and the hotel’s mandate was to make itself available for the community to use. Removing all the middlemen, we can immediately give better value to the community.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

Twitter handle?
@darvink

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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