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How to get a good night’s sleep

Five tips that don’t involve melatonin

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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to staying healthy. Not only does it allow your body to rest, it’s also the time for your body to perform some essential maintenance on your memory, hormones, immune system, and other critical functions. Sleep also helps the brain’s ability to learn, help the body fight infection, and even lower blood pressure.

If you are looking to improve your sleep habits, it might be counterintuitive to look to your smartphone for help. Keeping electronics away before bed is always a good place to start, but there are a lot of tools and features on the iPhone that can get you to sleep better.

Track your sleep

Built into the Apple Watch and the Health app on the iPhone, using the Sleep app is a good way to start tracking your sleep. Sleep tracking will make sleep a priority alongside exercise and eating healthier.

Tracking your sleep can give you an overview of your sleeping patterns so you can make adjustments where necessary. Going to sleep one hour earlier or later can sometimes make you feel more well-rested.

The Apple Watch uses signals from the accelerometer to determine when you’re awake and when you’re asleep, so you can track how long you’re asleep each night and view your sleep trends over time.

Other sleep tracking apps you can try are Sleep Cycle – Sleep Tracker, Autosleep, Sleeptown, Snorelab.

Create a bedtime routine

Using the Wind Down feature on the Sleep app, you can create a customized bedtime routine. You can create a shortcut that includes etting up a specific scene in the Home app, listening to a soothing soundscape on Apple Music, or using a favorite meditation app before you fall asleep.

You can also set a schedule for time away from your iPhone screen using Downtime. This can help put a stop to doom scrolling your social media feeds past your bed time.

Other apps like Fabulous – Daily Self Care, and Mindvalley: Learn and Evolve can help you build habits, create routines for self care that result in better sleep.

Winding down can also be done by anchoring offline activities to bedtime. Changing into comfy pyjamas, doing your nighttime skincare routine, dimming the lights, diffusing lavender oil, journaling, or reading a few pages of a book can help your body know it’s time for sleep.

READ: How you can use your smartwatch to be healthier

Listen to ambient sounds

It’s not just your body that needs to relax before bed; the mind needs to calm down, too.

Meditation and breathing mindfully can help prepare the mind for sleep. Apps like Headspace, Calm, Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds, and Breethe: Meditation & Sleep have guided exercises to help you drift off at night.

Sleep-associated content consumption on Apple Music has been up since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple Music has a dedicated space entirely devoted to helping people unwind, relax and fall asleep. On the app you can find curated mood and activity playlists, nature sounds and white noise, radio stations and more.

The top playlists on Apple Music for relaxation and sleep include: Sleep Sounds, Piano Chill, Bedtime Beats, In My Room, Today’s Easy Hits, Acoustic Hits, Today’s Chill, Pure Focus, Piano Chill.

READ: 8 mindfulness apps to help you cope in this time of uncertainty

Try LumiHealth

In Singapore, the LumiHealth app is also helping to look after your sleep. Users can earn rewards of up to SG$380 with challenges that remind users to stick to a sleep routine, wind down before bedtime, or meditate for a good night’s sleep.

SEE ALSO: Apple, Harvard release preliminary data to help destigmatize menstrual symptoms

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Next Android update is Android 12.1, not Android 13, rumor says

Just a minor update

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One of the highlights of the year is a new Android update. Like clockwork, Google updates the biggest mobile operating system in the world. It’s gotten so popular that the entire industry speculates on the codename each update is attached with even if the company stopped doing them years ago. The hype is there. However, Android users might have to taper their expectations next year. Instead of Android 13, Google might launch Android 12.1 next year.

Reported by XDA Developers, the rumor speculates that next year’s Android update will just be a minor one of the upcoming Android 12 this year. According to one of the publication’s recognized developers, Google attached an “sc-v2” tag for the next Android update, instead of “T” for “Tiramisu,” the internal codename for Android 13. For those who still follow the internal codenames for Android, “sc” refers to Snow Cone, the internal codename for Android 12. As such, it’s natural to assume that the next update is just Android 12.1, rather than Android 13.

It’s been a while since Google released minor updates in lieu of major updates. However, it’s no surprise. Android 12 is already a big update, relative to the past few updates. The update features a revamped design called Material You. Google can believably improve the new update more before launching a major one.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 is Snow Cone

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Google starts rolling out Material You apps

More coming this month

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There is no one more excited for Google’s upcoming products than Google itself. Though the company hasn’t officially launched its products yet, Google has persistently teased everything in the weeks and months leading to their debuts. Now, the company is slowly rolling out Material You apps ahead of the Android 12 launch.

Material You refers to Android’s design revamp for the upcoming Android 12 update. An evolution of Google’s smooth Material Design, the new design personalizes the user interface and the phone’s apps according to the user’s preferences. Android 12 is all about customization.

Of course, since the update also affects apps, Google is also rolling out apps that reflect the new design. Despite the lack of Android 12, the new apps are coming out ahead of time. Officially announced by Google’s Workspace blog, Google Drive will start the new push with its rollout starting today. After Drive, Google Meet will come out on September 19, and Google Calendar will launch on September 20. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets have already rolled out a week ago.

The new apps will feature new navigation bars, floating action buttons, and a new font called Google Sans. The new font will make readability easier for smaller font sizes.

Android 12 is set to launch soon. Additionally, Google is already launching teasers for the upcoming Pixel 6 series featuring the new, in-house Tensor chipset.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 will make Chrome more colorful

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Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance

Personalize per playlist

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Adding new songs to your Spotify playlist can be quite a monumental task. Trying to grab songs from a recommended playlist might not always mix and match well with a personal playlist’s mood. Spotify is improving recommendations with an all-new feature rolling out today: Spotify Enhance.

Launching in several countries all over the world, Enhance will automatically add songs which fits a playlist’s mood. Users who have the feature can toggle the feature on every playlist. The recommended song will then pop up in the playlist’s songs. Likewise, users can toggle the feature off to get rid of the recommended songs.

However, rather than dumping the recommendations at the start or at the end of a playlist, Spotify will sprinkle them after every two songs, providing a healthy balance between old and new songs. The feature will add only 30 songs at a time.

Additionally, these songs aren’t officially added to the playlist yet. If a user finds a song they like, they can link a plus icon beside the song. Added songs will be in the playlist permanently.

The feature will come only to Premium subscribers. Likewise, not every country will have the feature at first. Spotify hopes to roll out the feature for more countries in the coming weeks and months.

SEE ALSO: 3 eargasmic podcasts to listen to on Spotify’s Music+Talk

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