By Juliano Oliveira
Lack of sleep may be a frustrating aspect of modern life. Scientific publications alert to the fact that regularly getting less than 7 hours of sleep can lead to health consequences that affect the entire body.
In light of that, American and Swedish organisations have launched important tools to combat sleeplessness. “Shuti” is an online program developed by the University of Virginia and tested in several countries, including Australia. The developers claim that the platform was designed to help people with insomnia by using the Internet as a way of providing intervention.
“It begins with an overview, which reviews educational information on sleep problems, and helps users evaluate their own problem and treatment goals. There are five more units, or Cores, focused on specific methods for improving the quantity and quality of sleep”, they say.
Each of these units takes about 45 to 60 minutes to complete. After it is done, users spend a week practising what they have learned in their daily routines.
A mobile app to monitor sleep health was the solution brought forward by Sleep Cycle AB. The “Sleep Cycle” uses sound analysis to identify sleep states, and tracking the movements during sleep.
“Sleep Cycle uses a wake-up phase (30 minutes by default) that ends at your desired alarm time. During this phase, Sleep Cycle will monitor signals from your body to wake you softly when you are in the lightest possible sleep stage”, as per the device description.
The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play. There are two different versions for it, a free and a paid one.
Deprivation of sleep
Gilberto Roque, 32, cannot sleep more than 6 hours a day. His insomnia stems from the stress of having to deal with a new university master’s and a job in a cafeteria.
“My nights have been suffocating. Sometimes I go to bed at 9 pm and after hours I’m still awake. I simply cannot turn off my head. I have tried different techniques without success”, he says.
His days, Mr Gilberto says, are endless, as if all energy from his body has been drained out. “I’m always tired and extremely anxious. I also do not have the appetite that I’m supposed to have. I can easily go through an entire day without eating”.
Around one-third of Australians experience insomnia at some point in their lives, according to the Sleep Health Foundation. The Australian Health Department has considerable tips that must be read by anyone who deserves a better night of sleep.