Sleep can be a tricky thing to hang on to. From email or work notifications buzzing on our phones to the relentless thoughts about a stressful day to little kids waking up in the middle of the night, anything and everything could be keeping you up. If you have ever felt like you needed a little extra help to catch some sleep and don’t want to turn to other sleeping aids, like supplements or prescriptions there is an easy answer. Since the app market is loaded with tech that can help you track your sleep, your phone might not only be a source of distration but of solution as well.
Whether you have a long term problem with sleep or are just finding some nights more restless than others (not to sound totally 2007) but there’s an app for that. Below is a list of some of the best sleep aid apps that were created to get you sleeping soundly. Sweet dreams!
Sleepio is an app that aims to do more than just putting you to sleep. The main premise of Sleepio is to help you change the underlying issue that is keeping you up at night. So how does this app plan to do that? The answer lies in the commonly used therapy technique of CBT, which does not come in gummy or pre-roll form, but rather stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a popular psychotherapy approach used to treat conditions like panic disorder and OCD. The therapy centers around helping the patient learn to recognize the negative thought patterns and habitual behaviors that are contributing to their problem, so they can then work to replace those thoughts and behaviors with more reasonable, healthy, and positive ones.
When you first open the Sleepio app you’ll fill out a questionnaire that gets to the source of your sleep issues. Are you waking up in the middle of the night? How long have you had trouble with sleep? What thoughts stop you from going to sleep? And so on, resulting in a sleep score and a program to follow to address your specific sleep issues.
There’s no question that CBT-I is extremely effective. A 2015 review of over 20 different CBT-I trials found that on average across the studies, insomniacs who used CBT-I fell asleep faster by 20 minutes and spent 30 fewer minutes awake overall than those who didn’t. What makes CBT-I so uniquely effective over sleeping pills is that it gets to the heart of the issues – the problematic attitudes and behaviors the patient has around sleep.
The Sleep Genius is an app built to lull you to sleep with the power of science. Packed with features that were created from some of the leading research done about the topic of sleep or more accurately, the lack thereof. The technology that the sleep app uses was originally developed to help NASA astronauts get some shut-eye while orbiting the earth. If you think you have a difficult sleep schedule, try having the sunrise and set 16 times per day.
The Sleep Genius app features help users calculate their perfect bedtime and keep it consistent. The main feature for the timing portion of the Sleep Genius app is that it calculates your optimum time to go to sleep and wake up based on the amount of REM cycles your body needs. Each stage of REM takes about 90 minutes to complete, and most people require four to five sleep cycles a night to awaken fully rested. The Sleep Genius app supports these cycles with 90-minute and 180-minute musical compositions. It’s signature Sleep program includes a variety of soothing atmospheric sounds and music.
Sleep Genius also has a Revive Cycle Alarm to gradually lift people out of sleep. The alarm starts five minutes before the set wake-up time with periodic sounds that slowly but surely increase in frequency and volume. Instead of jarring people out of sleep, the Revive Cycle Alarm gently nudges the unconscious mind back into wakefulness.
We’ve all heard about Headspace before. It is truly the darling of the meditation app world. Well, the smooth voice behind the award-winning Headspace app has ventured into the realm of sleep. The best part about it is that Sleep is built into the existing Headspace app and you covered if you already have a Headspace subscription. Sleep By Headspace features many similar elements that you can find in the original Headspace app. The amorphous blobby (yet somehow endearing) informational cartoons and a great library of soothing audio called “sleepcasts”.
The Sleepcasts available on the app are essentially audio atmospheres that are designed to drift you off to dreamland. However, these aren’t just your regular rain or ocean white noise, the team over at Headspace wanted to deliver a more specific blend of sounds. Sleepcast options range from the traditional, such as ‘desert campfire’, which sounds like crickets and the nostalgic crackling fire you may remember from summer camp to more unique soundscape options like ‘midnight launderette’, which features the gentle whirring of washing machines.
Soothing voices speak over the ambient sounds, narrating the specific experience and walking the user through calming exercises to help with sleep. Users can tailor the listening experience by toggling the voice-to-ambient-sound ratio, completely eliminating the voice or the background sounds to their preference. There’s also “Wind Downs,” guided exercises like deep breathing and visualization that help prep the body and mind for sleep.
If you deal with occasional sleep problems and don’t need a whole program to get a better night’s sleep than your solution may be a handy little app called Pzizz. It’s a one-stop-shop if you are looking for a straight forward app that offers soothing sounds and an integrated gentle alarm. However, the app isn’t just a glorified white noise machine. According to the Pzizz that app “combines the science of psycho-acoustics, clinical sleep hypnosis, and personalization through learning algorithms.”
Engineers at Pzizz develop mixes to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling rested. Simply set the amount of time you’d like to sleep, and the app will adjust a mix to your preference. With over 100 billion sound mixes to listen to, you can turn on a new tune each night.
The app also comes with some serious celeb endorsements, like J.K Rowling. But Pzizz is not just for sleep either. The app offers features that are designed specifically for naps and general focus as well. With its ultra-sleek design, the Pzizz app is an easy solution to getting a sound night of sleep.