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Technology has eased its way into almost every aspect of our lives, even our sleep. While too much exposure to the blue light from our devices is proven to cause sleep disturbances, we can also use our devices to help improve sleep, figure out why we aren’t getting enough sleep, and change our habits. Sleep apps are helpful tools if you’ve been struggling with developing good sleep habits, if you want to change your sleep hygiene, or if you’re just curious about your sleep.
Find the best sleep apps for building healthy habits, winding down at night, tracking your z's, and waking up feeling refreshed on the list below.
For more tips, skip to the infographic below.
While sleeping, we cycle through light, deep, and REM phases. When you wake up in REM or deep sleep, your body doesn’t get to finish out the sleep cycle, so you wake up in the middle of deep sleep. This leaves you feeling groggy. Sleep Cycle tracks your movements and wakes you up at the optimal time-the lightest period of sleep. Using this app will make sure you wake up refreshed and rested.
Set the alarm and place your phone under your pillow or next to you in your bed. The app analyzes your sleep cycles and overall sleep time to make sure you wake up at the best time. This app also records any sounds at night like snoring.
Best For: waking up without feeling groggy.
If you have trouble turning your brain off at night, this app is for you. Tide is a multi-functional app that works for sleep, focus, and meditation. Falling asleep and focusing on a task are both ruined if your mind wanders too much. Tide incorporates these by incorporating timers, breathing exercises, pre-recorded sounds, and meditation techniques to help you calm your body and mind.
Best For: easing a wandering mind, combining sleep and focus
If you struggle to get to sleep or are unsure about how much sleep you need, Sleepytime can help. This app is perfect for those who struggle with getting enough sleep. Sleepytime is asleep scheduler that suggests the best times for you to go to sleep and when to wake up, based on your wake-up time. The app uses the 90-minute sleep cycle to determine your optimal wake-up time and calculates backward. Sleepytime uses technology similar to SleepCycle to wake you during the lightest stage of sleep.
Best For: those struggling with getting enough sleep.
This app is an all-in-one sleep tracker, smart alarm, and ambient sound system so you can streamline your sleep applications on your phone. SleepBot lets you listen to calming ambient noises as you fall asleep and throughout the night. The snooze button won't stand a chance against the app's multi-alarm feature. Additionally, SleepBot tracks movement and sound to see what's waking you up in the middle of the night.
Best For: breaking your snooze button habit
Exposure to blue light from electronics is proven to be detrimental to sleep by suppressing the body’s natural circadian rhythms and inhibiting melatonin production-the hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep. While it is almost impossible to completely get away from your devices, reducing exposure to blue light is key to improving your sleep. Twilight dims the blues on your phone and replaces them with a red tone that is easier on the eyes and better for sleeping.
Best For: Reducing blue light from your phone.
Not available for IPhone. However, IPhone users can turn on the Night Shift setting on their device to adjust your phone display settings automatically at a specific time.
Snoring and grinding your teeth both have significant effects on your sleep, but many people are unaware they do either one of these. Do I Snore or Grind, made by the same developers as SleepScore, is programmed with recording software to help you find out how and when you snore or grind your teeth. The app provides information on the various triggers and treatments that might help like adjusting sleep position or reducing stress, one of the most common causes of nighttime teeth grinding.
Best For: tracking snoring and teeth grinding and recording sleep sounds
The favorite childhood activity has gotten a grownup makeover in the past year. The soothing activity is perfect for zoning out and relaxing before bed. Psychologists and meditation experts agree that coloring helps achieve the same mental effects as mediation and mindfulness that help you get to sleep. While not strictly an app specifically for sleep, Recolor is a coloring app designed for adults that includes thousands of digital coloring pages to help you relax, rest your mind, and enter a Zen-like meditative state before bed.
Best For: relaxing before bed and zoning out
Another sleep and meditation app from mindfulness coach Andrew Johnson, Power Nap with AJ combines mindfulness, meditation, and power naps for days when you are sleep deprived and feeling sluggish. This app includes short meditations and breathing exercises to help you relax when you’re feeling tired and anxious. The short meditations in Power Nap help you get in some quick shut eye and gently wake you at the end of the cycle.
Best For: power naps and short meditations
Digipill can help you beat insomnia and break bad sleep habits with their unique digital pill app. One of the most innovative sleep apps, Digipill uses psychoacoustics similar to Pzizz Sleep and unlocks your subconscious to slowly change your behavior. Each “pill” is an audio meditation that lasts around 30 minutes designed to help you with different health issues, including sleep. The app is designed with different “pills” including varieties for helping you fall asleep, getting in a quick nap, and addressing other health issues.
Best For: targeting specific sleep issues and adapting your behavior
Similar to Calm, Headspace is a meditation app with hundreds of meditations for different situations. Popular among users and meditation experts alike, Headspace has developed "sleepcasts," which are 45- to 50-minute stories that will help your mind relax at bedtime. You can even customize your sleepcasts by adjusting the volume of the speaker’s voice.
Don’t want a story? Instead, listen to sleep music or a wind down that helps fall asleep with deep breathing. The guided meditations can help you when you're lying awake at night with nervous thoughts and energy.
Best For: mediation at bed or all day
Price: free with limited access to sessions, or $70/year for full access to unlimited meditation sessions
Pillow can answer the age old question, what’s keeping you up at night? This iOS sleep tracker detects when you fall asleep and records your movements in order to determine whether you snore or sleep chat, as well as track your sleep phases. You can use the app to compare your most recent night's sleep to others to find out what's keeping you up at night.
Best For: figuring out why you can’t sleep
Price: free version with limited features, $4.99
Not available on Android. There are similar apps available on the Android marketplace.
With the Relax Melodies app, you can let your anxious thoughts float away while you lie back, listen, and enjoy falling asleep. Choose your favorite sounds and blend them together to make your own special relaxation playlist. You can program sounds and meditations to play all night or for a certain period.
Best For: sleep sounds
Price: $10/month or $60/year. Free version available with limited features
If you’re looking for a sleep app with multiple options for sounds and stories, Slumber is your best bet. From soundscapes, guided meditations, ASMR, over 150 stories, and hypnosis written by therapeutic hypnotist Dan Jones, Slumber offers more choices than any other app when it comes to trying out more techniques to help you sleep. You can combine both soundscapes and stories for a relaxing combo.
Best For: ASMR, hypnosis, and meditation
Price: free with ten slumber episodes, or $50/year for full version.
Noisli is not strictly a sleep app and can be used to block out noisy sounds and create the optimal atmosphere for relaxing or sleeping. The sounds on the app are customizable, and you can mix and match them to create the atmosphere you like. If you like to listen to ambient sounds at work, Noisli also has a focus timer to combine sound scapes with time management strategies.
Best For: custom sound scapes and using focus timers with sounds
Price: $2 one time for limited access to sounds and 15 hours of play per day, or $10/month for premium with unlimited play time
The best way to change your bad habits is to hold yourself accountable. SleepScore aims to do that by helping you accomplish your sleep goals, whether you want to get to bed earlier, sleep more, stop waking up at night, or streamline your sleep to improve mental clarity.
The app monitors your sleep by tracking breathing rate and activity during the night. Your data is then presented in graphs that allow you to compare your data to see what helps you sleep, what doesn’t, and how your sleep habits are impacting your health.
Best For: Changing habits and accountability
Price: free version with limited features. Paid version of SleepScore is $6/month or $50/year and includes full features and access to sleep expert advice.
SleepTown makes a game out of building good sleep habits and meeting your sleep goals. Set sleep goals (such as waking up at a certain time). As you achieve them, you create buildings and grow a mini town inside the app. However, if you fail to achieve your target, your structures will be demolished. The game keeps track of your sleep data to make sure you are achieving your goals.
Best For: Motivation
Ambient sounds like white noise is one of the best ways to get to sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, using white noise can help you fall asleep up to 40% faster.
This app allows you to choose from over 40 ambient sounds that encourage the brain to emit soothing alpha waves to help you relax and get to sleep. Choose from sounds like Tibetan Singing Bowl, Cat Purring, Washing Machine, or old standbys like classic White Noise and Rain.
Best For: variety of ambient sounds.
Price: $0.99 for ad-free version
Rise analyzes your sleep patterns using data from your phone, Apple Watch, or Fitbit. The app makes suggestions to improve your routine for better sleep, like when to start winding down based on your bed/wake up time, optimal meal times, and when to stop blue light exposure. These suggestions help you get ready for a good night's sleep. Along with those features, Rise keeps track of sleep debt or lost sleep that your body tries to make up for. Rise is excellent for athletes and those who are active to track how their sleep impacts their workouts.
Best For: tracking sleep debt, learning the best time to go to sleep, and those with fitness tracking devices.
Price: free for 7 days, $7/month to continue subscription
One of the most popular apps today, Calm is the ultimate meditation app to help you de-stress before bed so that you can sleep through the night. Keep your worries for the waking hours with sleep stories read by some of your favorite actors or listen to guided meditations to calm both the body and mind. A limited range of sound scapes, timed meditations, and some sleep stories are included in the free edition of this app.
Best For: relaxing stories, timed meditations, and sound scapes
Price: free or $70/year for a premium version with extra features
Tired of hearing the same sounds and music from your sleep app over and over again? With Pzizz Sleep, you can change up your ambient sound options. Pzizz's structured algorithm will generate a unique soundtrack designed to put you to sleep. The app uses psychoacoustics, the psychological effects of sound to heal insomnia. The app also has a feature to help you stay focused and alert during the day, as well as a power nap feature to help you sleep during the day.
Best For: power naps, focus, psychoacoustics.
Price: Free, paid version offers more sounds and personalized recommendations.
No matter what you're struggling with when it comes to your sleep, these apps (and more) are designed to help you overcome your sleep struggles so you can finally get the sleep you need. Not only will proper sleep improve your overall health, it will also improve your mood and cognitive functioning.
If you’re looking for even more sleep advice, check out our blogs and sleep guides. Looking for a new mattress? We can help! Visit our website to see our top mattress picks and use our mattress comparison tool to compare the top online mattresses. Also, view our showroom locations and book an appointment to try out the top-selling online mattresses in person.