This app can help you stop losing sleep amid quarantine

Amid the uncertainty of an indefinite global quarantine, it might seem harder than ever to get a good night’s sleep. According to Columbia University’s Department of Neurology, sleep deprivation can be the result of an existing illness or any given life circumstance. The lack of sleep can, in turn, lead to drowsiness, an inability to concentrate, reduced physical strength and even an increased risk for depression.

In 2012, one San Francisco-based startup rolled out Calm, a meditation and relaxation app that aims to lower anxiety and stress and help users sleep better. The app has gotten so popular over the years that it is now reportedly valued at $1 billion and has more than 1 million paying subscribers. In 2017, it was even named Apple’s iPhone App of the Year.

Here’s how it works: Upon downloading the app, the user is asked to choose several goals from a list of options, which include building self-esteem, reducing anxiety, sleeping better and increasing happiness. The user is then asked to personalize the homepage’s background scene. Once a background is selected, they can then hit the “Meditate” button, which, in turn, introduces a library of soothing podcasts. Tabs at the top of the screen allow the user to select different meditations designed to help them reach their goal.

Calm also has a meditation player (akin to Spotify) that can play ambient sounds as the user meditates. In addition, it provides customizable animations that are meant to guide the user through breathing exercises. It even has a “Masterclass” section, which essentially offers informative podcasts for those who want a better understanding of how to pursue mindfulness and sleep better.

While the app itself seems to have an endless amount of features, Calm has gone one step further and curated a list of publicly available resources for those struggling to deal with sleep deprivation, especially amid quarantine. The company’s blog currently provides a number of free, helpful aids, from soothing meditations to sleep stories meant to help users “drift off to sleep with ease.” It’s also giving out a downloadable calendar that has a “bite-sized mindfulness activity that you can do each day.”

So, if you need peace of mind, take a second to download Calm and take advantage of the blog’s current offerings — the way you sleep could be dramatically different weeks from now.

If you enjoyed this story, you might want to learn more about how meditating can calm your mind.

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