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5 tricks to help you sleep better at night

Technology can make it better

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson

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Most of the time, I find myself struggling to fall asleep even when I’m exhausted. This proves to be problematic especially when it interferes with my work, by being late in meetings and important presentations. Lack of a good night’s rest could also make an impact on the quality of your output.

Since I’ve been doing my research and tested them for weeks now, I can finally say I found a different way to shift my lifestyle so I can sleep better at night. I’m not going to say it will be 100% effective for everyone, but it’s worth a try.

Use a wearable with advanced sleep features

Wearables have come a long way from being just an accessory to a reliable health companion. Apple Watch has saved lives, Fitbit helps predict a flu outbreak and help you sleep better.

Photo by MJ Jucutan

Fitbit’s latest wearable — the Versa 2 — has advanced sleep features to help you sleep better at night. There are Sleep Stages to track your different sleep stages — light sleep, deep sleep, and REM; Sleep Score which provides insights and analysis on your sleep quality; and Sleep Mode which disables your screen display and keeps your notifications on silent to give you uninterrupted sleep.

Adjust your smartphone’s exposure

If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, your smartphone might be the reason why. Smartphones emit blue light that made it difficult for our eyes to fall asleep. To combat this effect, we need to increase bright light exposure and reduce blue light exposure.

Photo by MJ Jucutan

This can be done through your smartphone’s display settings. Some smartphones let you adjust the white balance, color mode, and temperature. Others have specific modes to help you sleep by filtering out blue light.

Fix your bed and bedroom environment

Some people sleep better in hotels, mostly because of the comfortable experience when it comes to bed and the room’s temperature. Sleeping is difficult if it’s hot, adjust your temperatures accordingly. Additionally, improving your bed quality such as getting new bedding, a comfortable mattress, and fluffy pillows can enhance the quality of your sleep.

Photo by Christopher Jolly

On certain occasions, I’ve experienced lower-back pain due to my mattress and an extreme abundance of pillows. Of course, this is purely subjective, as everything will be based on your preference. But if you can upgrade your bed, then do it for the sake of a good night’s sleep.

Relax and clear your mind

Another thing that you can do is to try out a relaxation technique that works for you. Clear your mind by listening to relaxing music, reading a book (that’s not a thriller), meditating, or doing yoga.

Photo by Aaron Burden

If these don’t work for you at all, try taking a hot, relaxing bath or shower. I find it easier to fall asleep faster and deeper whenever I cleanse myself and my thoughts in the shower.

Use a sleeping app

I used to listen to music at night as I overthink my regrets, mistakes, wrong decisions and scenarios with my crushes until I fall asleep. However, that used to keep me up until 4 o’clock in the morning so I don’t recommend doing that. In my quest to sleeping better, I found an app that helps.

Photo by The Harmony Project

The Harmony Project is an app providing computer-generated music that you can rate if it helped you sleep better. Through artificial intelligence and user feedback, the app will determine which sound helped users sleep better, combining highly rated tracks to produce an even better track that will help us fall asleep faster.

The app recently launched last August after several beta testing and continues to be an evolving system. Take part in studying and developing the fastest way to better sleep. Download the app on the App Store and Play Store.

SEE MORE: SleepPhones lets you comfortably listen to music in bed

Apps

Google sued for tracking Chrome users in Incognito Mode

Incognito Mode is not really private browsing after all

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Over the years, Google has been increasingly scrutinized by the government and public sector for its tracking activities. The latest lawsuit filed in California sheds light on the company’s tracking reach. It alleges that the company misleads Chrome users and continues to track their activities even in Incognito Mode.

A law firm from California — Boies Schiller & Flexner — filed the lawsuit with an aim to seek a minimum of US$ 5 billion in damages. The lawsuit alleges that Google intentionally deceived its users who browse in Incognito Mode by continuing to track their activities even when it is supposed to be “private”.

However, there’s also a chance that the lawsuit may not succeed at all. A Google spokesperson has stated in reply that third parties can still gather any browsing data even when in Incognito Mode. As a matter of fact, there’s a disclaimer warning a user that Incognito Mode is not foolproof, and states that any browsing activity might still be visible to third parties, employers, or service providers.

Incognito Mode is not really private at all

By default, Chrome in Incognito Mode doesn’t store your browsing history, cookies, and form information. These browsing data tell a lot about the user and keeps them signed in on most sites too.

However, most websites by now also rely on other data to build a profile of its users. Ads and other tracking elements enable third parties to gather data on website visitors. Websites can even gather real-time device information like geolocation and IP addresses. As such, third parties can still infer your browsing activity even in Incognito Mode.

There are many ways to circumvent third-party tracking. One easy way is to use an ad-blocking browser extension that blocks ads and other tracking elements. Other ways include using a much secure browser like Brave, Firefox, and Tor.

As for Google Chrome users, they can only hope that Google changes its course and make the Incognito Mode more private. After all, the company earns a majority of its revenue through ads that track users. Making an Incognito Mode that really blocks ads and other tracking elements will somehow affect their revenue, considering that Chrome is the most popular browser in the world right now.

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‘Remove China Apps’ removed from Google Play [Update]

TikTok could be the most affected

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An Android app going by the name “Remove China Apps” trended on the Google Play Store in India. The app says it can identify apps that are made in China and help you uninstall them. It has already crossed five million downloads but has since been removed after gaining some media traction.

Not just India, but other countries like Australia were also actively downloading the app according to App Annie. The app is fairly easy to use. You just need to install it and it’ll show you all the China-made apps installed on your phone, for example, TikTok.

The app was launched on May 17 by an Indian developer going by the name OneTouch AppLabs. It had crossed one million downloads within 10 days of launch. It held a rating of 4.9 out of 5. Obviously, much of this has to do with the nationalistic notion attached to it.

India went into a complete lockdown when Coronavirus threatened to ravage the country. While the country prioritized life over the economy, a two-month lockdown has drastically hit the economy and experts suggest it could dip into a recession soon. To revive the economy, the Indian Prime Minister urged everyone to support locally sourced products and reduce dependence on imports.

While India is actively fighting the virus, China has escalated border skirmishes in the north. It’s no wonder that the many have developed anti-China sentiments radically and a few developers are taking advantage of the situation. Furthermore, TikTok clones like “Mitron TV” have popped-up as local alternatives of the Bytedance controlled social platform.

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Nickelodeon Pixel Town: Another game to play while on lockdown

They’ve got adorable pixel art!

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Nickelodeon is serving up a new mobile game for us: Nickelodeon Pixel Town. A mobile game we can all sink our teeth into as we try to cope with everything that 2020 has been throwing at us so far.
So, what is it exactly? Nickelodeon Pixel Town is a city building game. The name of the game is building your own Nickelodeon city where you can collect characters, costumes, iconic buildings, and items from different Nickelodeon series. The most charming bit? It’s all drawn in highly stylistic retro pixel art.

For your city inhabitants, you get to collect characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Invader Zim, CatDog, The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom, Rugrats, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold! and The Wild Thornberrys.

Honestly, if you don’t have a Switch and have been gritting your teeth through the lockdown while people have been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this is a decent mobile game to bring back some nostalgia. Because with all the hellish news lately, don’t we all just want to curl up into a ball and go back to a time when times seemed so much simpler? Not any better of a place and time perse, sure. But, just a time when we were too young to know any better.

Want to give this game a go?

Nickelodeon has an official launch celebration for the Pixel Town.  You can use the code PIXELTOWNHL to redeem 500 Gems for free! To redeem it, you can go to their website, click redemption, and fill up the necessary info.

If you want to build up a reason to disconnect and play like me, you can. The freebies are valid until 30 June 2020, 11:59PM (GMT+8). That’s a pretty good amount of time to be rally up enough pent up emotions to need some time away to hop back fiercer. Nickelodeon Pixel Town is available in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia on Google Play and Apple App Store.

SEE ALSO: 10 offline free-to-play mobile games

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