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Thoughtful Kids Apps and Mindful Sleep-Buds

by Ace Damon
Thoughtful Kids Apps and Mindful Sleep-Buds

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Many can attest to the positive effects of mindfulness, including reduced stress levels, improved concentration and organization, and a greater ability to control emotions.

These are all things we want for our kids, right? And it’s easier than ever, thanks to the range of digital tools at our fingertips. One of these apps could be the perfect way to introduce your child to a world of calm, mindfulness, and emotional maturity.

Available on iOS and Android, Breath, Think, Do with Sesame is a great introduction to mindfulness for younger grade-schoolers. With the help of a cute monster, kids learn calming breathing techniques to help them cope with potentially frustrating or distressing situations: putting on shoes, saying goodbye to parents, fixing a block tower, waiting in line, and going to sleep in the dark.

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Each scenario can be revisited, depending on your child’s particular struggles, and there’s a parents’ section packed with tips and strategies. The app also has a Spanish-language setting, and perhaps best of all, it’s free.

Available on iOS and Android, Calm, which was named Apple App of the Year 2017 and Google Play Editor’s Choice 2018, ranks as one of the top mindfulness and wellness apps for adults, but it also has a great section for children called Calm Kids.

It provides mindfulness exercises, relaxation activities, and Sleep Stories for kids of all ages, which are updated every week. The app or desktop version has a seven-day free trial. Available on iOS and Android, Headspace for Kids is structured around five themes: Calm, Focus, Kindness, Sleep and Wake Up.

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Each one has programs for three age groups: five and under, six to eight, and nine to 12, based on breathing exercises, visualizations, and focus-based meditation.

The quirky cartoons help to engage kids, with the soothing voice of Headspace co-founder and former monk, Andy Puddicombe, offering guidance throughout. Available on iOS, Calm Counter is a simple but effective app, designed as a visual and audio tool to help children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders to calm down when they’re anxious or angry.

The app’s opening screen reads I need a break and then switches to a red screen with an angry face and the number 10. With each tap of the screen, it changes color and the face becomes calmer, prompting the child to count backward from 10, followed by a deep breath.

With some help from these thoughtful apps, your children can learn to better control their emotions, giving you a little peace of mind too.

Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

Bose Noise-Masking Sleep-buds

We know Bose has built a brand on designing headphones for every kind of occasion. Whether it’s fitness, or noise canceling, or even aviation, one thing is for sure. They are great at designing earpieces.

Enter the noise masking sleep buds, Bose’s lifeline for those who often times have a hard time falling asleep.

They’re supposedly tailored over months of research about the important role that sleep has in our overall health. These miniature gadgets were crafted to make our slumber more pleasant and sound, all for the hefty price of $249.99.

So then, are these tiny earpieces the recipe for sweet dreams, and most importantly, are they worth 250 bucks? Well, I’ve slept on it and here’s the review.

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These buds are very far away from those foam earbuds that you would buy at the dollar store. The company gave these sleep aids a thoughtful and handsome design treatment from the buds themselves to the charging case. These buds are tiny, very tiny.

The reasoning behind their small design is that, as you know, sleep buds should be comfortable and able to stay in place despite the tossing and turning of the average person during sleep. They’re so small that I’m afraid that they’re gonna get lost inside my ear, but being so small also makes them really comfortable.

The Bose noise masking sleep buds weigh 1.3 grams. In comparison, the Apple air pods weigh four grams. These tiny things weigh a third of what the Apple air pods weigh. That’s just some perspective. And although they’re really small, if you squint your eyes you can see that a lot of thought went into the design.

They come with the stay here plus sleep tips. These are molded to fit the buds in your ear. In there, they work as noise isolators and block out external sounds. You can keep your buds safe in this aluminum case that also doubles as a charger. It has magnets to secure your buds into place.

The case has a matte silver finish. It looks very smooth in spite of the obligatory Bose logo and the micro USB port near the bottom. Inside, it has a plastic mold to fit your buds right in. At the front of the lower lip case, there are seven LED light indicators. The center five lets you know the charge left on the case while the ones on the sides are for the sleep buds

Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

. A fully charged case should be able to provide an extra charge for your buds. It all comes packaged with a wall charger, the micro USB cable, and three pairs of stay here plus sleep tips. Just in case, let me clarify. These are sleep buds. These are not headphones in any way. You can’t listen through your music through them.

For all intents and purposes, these are noise masking buds meaning they don’t have features like active noise cancellation. They work based on the idea that by producing sounds that overshadow the noises around you and helping your brain ignore them, they will help you sleep better.

The company says it has conducted research on noise masking, but they haven’t received the full support of the scientific community as a whole. Although soothing noises can help people sleep better, these are not a magical cure. The companion app for the buds is called Bose Sleep, and just like the buds, it’s well designed and easy to use. It lets you choose the sound you want, how loud you want the sound to be, decide how long you want the sleep buds to play, and set a wake-up alarm, among other things.

When you install the app, it’ll guide you through the navigation, the accessories, and even the proper placement of the sleep buds in your ear. There’s a total of 10 different sounds for you to choose from. They’re divided into relaxation and noise masking.

The sounds were developed to mask specific types of noise, but there’s no indication of what sound would work for you. You have to sort through all the sounds to see which one works for you. I, for one, settled with ocean sounds.

The app has a few shortcomings. It tries to indicate what sound will work for you, but there’s not really a way for you to input your individual circumstances. You get suggestions, that’s all. That was something that made the app seem a little bit clunky.

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It can really benefit from having more personalization options.

The buds’ battery should last for about 16 hours, which is enough to get you through one or two nights. They have a built-in memory, which means they will work even if they disconnect from the app. If they disconnect from the app, which they always do when you’re charging them, you can’t check their battery level.

The cherry on top is that the sleep buds have a wake-up alarm. It’s a nice feature and it adds value. You can replace your phone or you wake up clock alarm to slowly transition you from being asleep to being awake.

These sleep buds are beautifully designed and have a nice, high end feel. They definitely help mask the busy noise of the city and replace it with soothing sounds that help you relax. If you find a masking sound that works for you, it will definitely help you.

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