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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

Apps

Top iOS 15 Features to look out for

FaceTime for Android, anyone?

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The next version of iOS rolls out this fall. There are new features such as FaceTime for Android, new Memojis, rebranded Safari and Messages app, personal identification card compatibility for Wallet, and more.

But in this video, we rounded up our Top 10 iOS 15 Features you should look out for.

Watch the whole video by clicking here.

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Voilà AI Artist turns your selfies into 3D cartoons, caricatures

And many more artistic renditions!

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Voilà AI Artist

From FaceApp to Zepeto, plenty of avatars from these apps proliferated social media platforms. Most recently, the Internet went crazy with cute avatars once more. You probably noticed how people have been posting a 3D cartoon version of themselves, akin to a Disney character. It’s all thanks to Voilà AI Artist — a photo-editing app using artificial intelligence to turn your photos into artistic renditions.

Get yourself painted as a Renaissance painting.

Voilà AI Artist

Have your selfies transformed into a 3D cartoon from an animated movie.

Turn your photos into a 2D cartoon…

Voilà AI Artist

… or even have your face drawn as a caricature.

Voilà AI Artist

Voilà AI Artist is developed by WeImagine.AI., a Canada-based team of creators and developers. The app is free to download on the App Store and Google Play Store. If you’re concerned about the app’s privacy policy, read it here.

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The US revokes Trump’s executive order that banned TikTok

A level-playing field for everyone

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries. It’s specifically meant for apps like TikTok and WeChat, which President Trump banned.

It should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, said Biden. If apps are found violating fundamental laws, a ban can be imposed. The task of identifying threats has been given to the US Commerce Department.

Trump’s executive order particularly targeted TikTok and WeChat. Instead, Biden is opting for a level-playing field for everyone. Biden shares the same concerns as Trump, but their approach is vastly different.

Under the previous administration, TikTok remained in a precarious position as Trump sought to ban the app unless it sold to an American company. A proposal was produced that would have seen Oracle and Walmart owning a US entity of the service and taking responsibility for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation.

But there were numerous legal challenges, and before they could be ironed out, Trump lost the election. The Biden administration’s new executive order does not affect those negotiations, which are a separate process. The order also calls upon federal agencies to develop recommendations – for future executive actions or legislation — on how to protect the data of US citizens.

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