The Best Apps For Anxiety, Sleep And Mindfulness

Mental Health Awareness Apps For 2019

Mental Health Awareness is a 365 day a year event. Every day we face different challenges, some huge and life-changing, some small and day, week or month-changing.

When we think about how many people in the UK experience a mental illness the figures are above and beyond 16 million. And only around 8% of all UK health research is spent on mental health.

With stats like this, it’s exciting to know that many start-up tech firms and more established tech brands are creating apps to help people with anxiety, sleep and mindfulness. These mental health apps are coming in thick and fast, which makes finding and accessing support for your mind that much easier. So we’ve grabbed our best 3 apps of the moment for anxiety, sleep and mindfulness:

Rise – Sleep Better

This app is one of ours and we love it. What does this mindfulness sleep app do? Well it does more than train you to get the best night’s sleep of your life, that’s for sure. Here are a few app highlights:

Why is mindfulness and sleep so vital? A 2015 study: The Neurobiological Mechanisms and Treatments of REM Sleep Disturbances in Depression describes how “most depressed patients suffer from sleep abnormalities, which are one of the critical symptoms of depression” and how lack of sleep increases “risk factors for the initiation and development of depression.” When you’re not getting quality sleep, there’s far more going on behind the scenes than just feeling tired and groggy: your entire brain and body fails to function normally and ultimately will suffer and grind to a halt. Why can’t you sleep? It’s usually due to the following factors: a busy mind, stress, anxiety and a bad diet.

This app allows you to start working on your own mental health which leads to better sleep via meditation, mindfulness practice and different types of healing therapies. Getting an excellent night’s sleep comes from calming your thoughts and focusing on the inner you, which has lead to 85% of app respondents reporting better sleep after using the Rise – Sleep Better app.

Ready to get your ZZZ on?

Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer

This app is the best go-to app for quick and powerful workouts!

Working out, training and getting a sweat-on has been proven time and time again to boost your mood, to be beneficial to cognition and healthy for your brain. A 2017 study: The Exercise-Glucocorticoid Paradox: How Exercise Is Beneficial To Cognition, Mood, And The Brain shows the impact exercise has on cognition, memory, mood and stress levels.

The results show how exercise activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and increases levels of the “stress hormone” called CORT. You’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute, that’s bad isn’t it?!” However, CORT levels elevated by exercise in fact are “beneficial to your cognition/memory, mood/stress coping, and brain plasticity,” In other words, exercise is a “good stress” on the body, elevating your dopamine levels in the medial prefrontal. More dopamine = more feelings of happiness. So certain types of physical stress can be good!

We’ve waffled on about science too much, so let’s get back to the second best app for sleep, anxiety and depression. The Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer is a simple, free fitness app which shows you short (5 to 30 minute) videos of exercise blasts you can do in the gym or at home. From squats and deadlifts to balancing your body, this workout app makes it easy for you to boost your good CORT levels and elevate your mood. There’s no annoying narrator either, so you can just watch and do.  

Carb Manager – Keto Diet Tracker

What is the Keto diet? In short it’s a carb-free, high-fat, macro-counting, sugar-free way of living. Macros mean macronutrients – the fat, protein and carbohydrates which make up the food we eat. It’s a tricky thing to count, so the Carb Manager app is a great way to track what you’re eating and their macros. What has a nutrition app got to do with mental health, anxiety and depression? Studies show that cutting out sugar, certain processed carbs and controlling your diet all help with managing your mental health.

A 2019 study: Ketogenic Dietary Therapies For Epilepsy and Beyond describes how the Ketogenic diet is helping people with epilepsy and their seizures via an “exciting new potential mechanism for how the Ketogenic diet exerts its antiseizure effects (by) changing the composition of the gut microbiome.” Similarly Ketogenic diets “are being applied to a range of neurological conditions from autism to Alzheimer’s disease.” Proving that the benefits of the Ketogenic diet on the gut and therefore on the brain are striking and studies within this area are increasing rapidly due to these new findings. A key takeaway from these studies are to fix your gut before or alongside tackling your mental health – this is paramount. Forget the phrase “mind over matter” and think “mind meets matter.”

This nutrition tracking app makes digesting the ketogenic diet and counting macros a whole lot easier, with its meal planners, Keto recipes, diet plans, reports, daily logs and Keto analysis options. Plus, did we mention that it’s a free nutrition app?! Get involved as soon as you can.

Mental Health Awareness in the UK is growing each year. And with these best apps for sleep, anxiety and depression, plus 1000s more on the market, accessing different types of cognitive, physical and mental support couldn’t be easier. By focusing on your nutrition, fitness, sleep and past experiences and realising how they all directly affect your thoughts, feelings and mood, you’ll soon be heading towards living a better, more fulfilling life.

Download all 3 health and wellness apps below:

Download Rise – Sleep Better

Download Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer

Download Carb Manager – Keto Diet Tracker

Sources Cited:

https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20180328130852tf_/http://content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21748/apms-2014-full-rpt.pdf/
https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/Blog/the-nhs-mandate-and-mental-health
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31033577
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26412074

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Maisie Bygraves

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