According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 American adults do not get enough sleep. Between work, family responsibilities, and everyday chores, sleep may take a back seat. Lucky for us, there are ways you can be proactive without making huge life changes.
Sleep apps are a growing trend in today’s society and they all work to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and monitor your sleep patterns. Some of the sleep apps use methods like colors and images, calming music, and nature sounds to soothe you. Others use white noise, hypnotic techniques, and guided meditation imagery. Check out our 7 favorite sleep apps currently on the market.
Sleep apps can do everything from track your sleep patterns to help you relax and fall asleep. Remember, even the best app cannot replace good sleep hygiene habits. If you practice healthy sleep habits and still need a little extra help getting quality sleep, consider the following sleep apps.
App for Android
Cost: Free with In-App Purchases
If you’re like most people, you’re not aware when you’re dreaming and don’t remember what most of your dreams were about. However, there is a sleep phenomena called lucid dreaming that allows the dreamer to be aware during their dream cycle. Awoken is a sleep app which combines a journal and practice exercises to help you achieve lucid dreaming and dream awareness.
Cost: Free or Premium version $29.99 per year
Normally, your alarm clock is set for a specific time. You may be jolted awake at any point during your sleep cycle which can make it hard to fully wake up. The Sleep Cycle Alarm app performs sleep tracking to record your sleep habits. Using the Sleep Cycle Theory, the alarm wakes you during light sleep. To achieve this, you set a window of time to wake up. The sleep app senses your sleep movements and rings to wake you at the optimal time in your sleep cycle. This allows you to wake up feeling refreshed.
It can be hard to relax before hitting the sack. Relax Melodies sleep app allows you to combine sounds and melodies with guided meditation and brainwave beats to help you unwind and ease into sleep. You’ll never get bored with the same sounds because there are so many combinations you can create.
App for iPhone
Sometimes a nap can do a world of good. The Sleep Cycle Power Nap app allows you to set the time for a short 20-minute power nap or a full nap of 90 minutes. Your phone’s accelerometer senses when you fall asleep then sets the alarm to wake you up. This sleep app also has various sounds to help you fall asleep.
Cost: Free Trial, $9.99 per month or $69.99 per year
For some people, it’s difficult to turn off all of the activity of the day and unwind. Pzizz is a sleep app that combines music, sound effects, and binaural beats to ease you into relaxation. Pzizz uses an algorithm to generate a slightly different soundtrack each time you use it, but the sounds are similar enough that your mind associates them with sleep. This helps you relax and get your zzz’s.
If you want to fall into a deep, blissful sleep while listening to the sounds of ocean waves and soothing sounds, White Noise Lite may be the best sleep app for you. The app comes loaded with several looped sounds, such as a burning campfire, swaying boat, and thunder. You can also set a gentle alarm (guitar strum, chime, violin, and more) to wake you up.
Cost: Free with In-App Purchases
Although it may not work for everyone, hypnosis has been used to treat a variety of issues, such as pain, alcoholism, and smoking. Some people also use self-hypnosis to treat insomnia or other sleeping problems. If the idea of hypnosis sounds strange, don’t worry. Hypnosis won’t put you in a trance. Instead, hypnosis is used to help you get into a deep state of relaxation. Relax & Sleep Well is a sleep app that can guide you through the process. The app combines voice-led hypnosis and relaxing sounds to lull you to sleep.
Whether you are simply curious about sleep tracking or you need help improving your sleep, these 7 sleep apps are a convenient and low-cost method to try. Keep in mind, however, that apps may be limited in how much sleep support they offer.
One study at the University of Illinois analyzed 35 of the most popular sleep apps. They found that, while they all help people make sleep goals and manage their sleep habits, they would not likely help with chronic sleep deprivation. What’s more, few apps provide users with information about the risks of sleep deprivation, such as diabetes, obesity, depression, and high blood pressure. But advancements in sleep apps are being made every day.
The latest entrepreneurial scientists are working on sleep apnea apps to screen and diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. These digital tools will use sound and other channels to assess sleep disordered breathing while in the user’s bedroom. Some of these experimental technologies can differentiate simple, non-pathological snoring from snoring associated with sleep apnea. Until these apps become mainstream, speak with your doctor about sleep deprivation and sleep apnea.
© 2020 American Sleep Association.