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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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Google is working on a snoring, coughing detector

Might show up for the Pixel first

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Snoring can be a curse for you and the people you sleep with. Unfortunately, outside of anecdotal evidence, it’s hard to pinpoint how bad snoring can get. Some devices have developed features to detect and measure snoring. Google, joining other companies with the feature, is reportedly developing snore and cough detection for the Pixel.

First reported by 9to5Google, Google Health Studies added a new study exclusive for Google employees. The study specifically revolves around collecting audio during sleep. Google also explains that the study will eventually help Android build features that can help users fix their sleep quality.

According to the source, the upcoming detector will be a “bedside feature” that will measure nocturnal snoring and coughing. However, despite recording audio, it still promises to have the user’s privacy in mind. It’s expected that the feature will drop for the Pixel first before moving on to other Android devices.

Snoring detection isn’t new, of course. In fact, Google is already familiar with the feature, since Fitbit, a company that Google owns, offers the feature for some of its smartwatches. In Fitbit’s case, the feature contributes to the wearable’s entire suite of wellness tracking.

However, it’s a double-edged sword. While the feature can be helpful, it’s also a massive battery drain, since it requires the device’s power the entire night. Hopefully, battery efficiency is a focus in Google’s eventual take on the feature.

SEE ALSO: Google’s AI created these photos, and they look so real

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Waze now supports Apple Music

Link those accounts

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Music always goes well with driving. However, because driving demands both hands on the wheel, controlling music playback isn’t always the most seamless experiences. Thankfully, a lot of navigation apps are expanding their support towards the most popular music streaming platforms right now. Today, Waze has announced that the app now supports dual functionality with Apple Music.

Of course, Apple Music isn’t the most popular platform today. Still, expanding support is always a win. With the new update, Waze users can now control their Apple Music content straight from the navigation app.

It does need a bit of setup, of course. Users will have to link their Waze account to their Apple Music account through the Audio Player setting on the app. Besides Apple Music, Waze also supports Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Though the streaming platform is already a staple especially for Apple users, Apple Music is doing more to create a viable plan against other streaming giants today, including a cheaper Siri-only plan that rids the need for an app interface. The service also increased the price of its student plan in several countries recently.

Both Apple Music and Waze are available for download on the App Store and on the Play Store.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music increases subscription price for students

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Apple Music increases subscription price for students

In the Philippines and Singapore

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In the Philippines, Spotify is still king. However, the platform’s dominance isn’t enough to deter other music streaming services from setting up shop in the country. Much like Spotify, these other platforms are ever-changing and prone to price changes. If, for example, you use Apple Music as a student, you’re likely affected by a recent increase in the country.

In South Africa, Twitter user @LVDNoff took to the platform to reveal an email from Apple detailing a price increase for Apple Music’s student plan. “Apple is raising the price of this subscription from US$ 1.49 per month to US$ 1.99 per month,” the email read. Though it’s not a huge increase, a few extra cents can put a larger dent in a student’s allowance. Unfortunately, the email didn’t reveal why an increase was tacked on. It also doesn’t reveal if regular subscriptions might see similar increases.

MacRumors, who first reported about the tweet, uncovered something else about the price hike, too. South Africa isn’t the only country getting an increase. According to the publication’s findings, the following countries are also seeing higher student prices: Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa.

The report doesn’t indicate specific increases for each country. However, Apple Music’s website currently shows a subscription worth PhP 75 per month. When the service first launched in 2018, students paid only PhP 69 per month.

SEE ALSO: Apple launches the Apple Music Voice Plan

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