Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gadgetwise: Found use for the iPhone: sleep aid

Jenna Wortham's Digital Diary

A couple of nights ago, I found myself tossing and turning in bed for hours, not yet my mind and settle down for the night. I discussed reading a book, watch TV or flipping open my laptop to find a soothing music to help inaugurate the relief sweet sleep.

Instead, I reached for my iPhone.

After a quick search through the App Store, I found a bevy of applications that has promised to help lull me to sleep.

The first is that I chose was the free version of white noise. Offers an extensive catalog of sound solution, including crashing waves Beach, drumming of rain, the dull hum of a ceiling fan, chirping crickets and also the clanking of a moving train. The app has a convenient timer and an alarm so that users can schedule when their night sounds should disappear and when they should be awake the next morning.

That worked for a couple of nights; so I was back to square one.

Besides nonstop yawns at dinner, my friend Kelly suggested that I try a bunch of applications from Pzizz, a software company that has been making audio tracks for insomniacs for years.

That night, nestled under my covers, download the full version of Pzizz sleep for $ 4.99 and turned it on.

Immediately, a disembodied voice continuing across the room, gently urging me to relax and clear my mind. The background environment sounds like sweet strings chimed and sounds windlike whistled through the phone. Like white noise, lets you control how long Pzizz sleep to leave the sound, play and set an alert for the next day. In addition, the application allows you to raise and lower the volume of atmospheric music and voice tracks, depending on what is most reassuring. I was out before 20 minutes had passed and haven't looked back since.

My smartphone has supplanted already my alarm clock, the GPS unit and the digital camera. I thought that was the extent of it, but it seems like it is taking on another role: sleep machine.

Readers, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Is your smartphone the Swiss army knife of digital age? Slowly replaces the standalone appliances and devices? If Yes, which ones? You're still finding new uses for your phone? If so, what are they?

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