While your cell phone is probably by your side at all times, it can cause you some trouble when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. The blue light your phone emits can make it tough for you to fall asleep.
You can turn things around and make your phone a tool that actually helps you fall asleep. Check out the apps we found that offer you options to track your sleep habits or the ones that play white noise to lull you into a deep slumber. If you need even more help getting your eight hours of slumber, why not check out some of the best sleep gadgets?
There’s nothing worse than being unable to fall asleep when you know you’ve got a busy day ahead, but Noisli is here to help. You might already be a fan of the browser-based white noise generator, and now the mobile version is here to help you drift off. This white noise app lets you access a whitenoise soundboard — with no internet connection needed — and allows you to create your own mixes for a great night’s sleep. Choose from a range of soothing sounds, like thunderstorm, seaside, leaves, rumbling trains, and more, and set the sleep or fade-out timer to automatically switch off once you’re asleep. If you’re an existing user of the browser-based version, the app also syncs with your account. We love using Noisli for productivity too, so it’s more than just a sleep app.
Take a scientific approach to sleep and become a sleep guru with the Sleep Time app, which will help you better understand your habits and track your sleeping patterns. The app works by detecting your movement to track sleep, with a range of white noise sounds available to lull you to sleep, like waves or heavy rain. The Smart Alarm wakes you automatically at the lightest stage of your sleep cycle, so you won’t feel groggy. With detailed analysis of REM and sleep cycles as well as the duration of your sleep, there’s also the option to include personal notes about your sleep habits — like that coffee you had before bed — which can help you see what’s affecting the quality of your shut-eye.
If you’re using an iPhone with iOS 13, then you’ve already got a functional sleep tracker installed. Apple Health has built-in sleep tracking that records the time between when you go to bed at night and when you get up again in the morning. There’s little else here, unfortunately, and if you want more stats, you’ll need another app. But there are still reasons to come back after you install something else. Apple Health admirably serves as a repository for data, so it can import data from other sleep apps like Sleep Cycle. Having all your health data in one app makes it easier to see trends and see how a lack of sleep may affect your day. So it’s still worth keeping an eye on, even if you download another app.
If you want to improve your sleep and not just track it, then check out Sleep Cycle. Sleep Cycle aims to wake you up at the right time in your sleep phases, using your phone’s sensors to keep track of your movement, noises, and position while you sleep. It will wake you up slowly at the optimal time in a specified window, ensuring you wake feeling refreshed and ready for the day. There’s plenty here for stat-lovers, including deep analysis of your sleep patterns, and daily sleep graphs. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for the Premium mode to get the best features, like the sleep aid feature that helps ease you into rest. The premium version costs $30 a year.
Rain Rain Sleep Sounds
Remember when you were a kid, and the sound of the rain in the car would gently lull you to sleep? If that’s a memory you share and you’re having trouble sleeping, then Rain Rain Sleep Sounds might help you relax. Rain Rain Sleep Sounds has a catalog of more than 100 natural noises to help you get to sleep, including rain on a tent, distant thunderstorms, and crashing ocean waves. Fancy hearing a thunderstorm over the ocean from your tent? You can mix each track together to get the perfect sound that’ll help you. There’s no need to worry about it being on all night either — a custom timer will slowly fade the sounds out, giving you a peaceful night’s rest after you nod off.
On Android and want even more sound options? Sleepa comes with 32 carefully selected sounds, sorted into four different categories: Rain, city, nature, and meditation sounds. Like other apps, you can mix these different sounds together to create your own personal spin, or simply use each one with the built-in timer to fade away when you fall asleep. If you’re something of a sound purist, Sleepa also contains tracks for white, pink, and brown noise. Thanks to the wide range of noises available, you’re sure to find a selection that helps you to drift off.
Sleep As Android
What sort of sleep app list would this be without mention of Sleep as Android? One of Android’s most successful sleep apps, Urbandroid really took advantage of Android’s open platform, and Sleep as Android is one of the most interconnected sleep apps that you can get on an Android device. Capable of talking to a variety of smartwatches, Sleep as Android is also integrated with fitness apps like Google Fit and Samsung Health, so you can be sure you’re getting enough sleep to match your activity levels. It comes with sleep, movement, and snore tracking, can play sounds to help you sleep, and can even control Philips HUE smart bulbs. It’s one of the finest examples of a connected Android app, and well worth your time to set up.
Samsung’s own health app comes installed on Samsung’s devices, but is also available for other Android phones. Samsung Health is primarily a fitness tracker, but it does have some sleep tracking capabilities. While we’d normally avoid fitness trackers that otherwise have sleep trackers built-in, Samsung Health has a few features that make it stand out from the crowd of sleep tracking apps. Samsung Health will attempt to automatically record your sleep times, based on your activity with your phone. So if you put down your phone just before bed, and pick it up again shortly after waking, Samsung Health can help to keep track of your sleep records with little interaction from yourself. In addition, the app will record your sleep and wake times and rate them accordingly so you can always chase a higher rating for better sleep.
Pillow is a sleep tracker for iOS devices that works with your Apple Watch to supply more detailed information than a normal sleep tracker. Thanks to integration with the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor, Pillow helps to keep an even closer eye on you while you sleep, keeping note of your resting heart rate and the movements you make during the night. Thanks to Pillow’s integration with iOS devices, you can also use the same account across all your iOS devices. Pillow also comes with a power-nap mode, smart alarms, and iCloud support for free, and it supports a whole raft of premium features, like personalized sleep reports and integration with Apple’s Health app, for a one-time payment of $5.
Sometimes you just need to calm down a little before bed, and that’s where apps like Calm: Meditation come in. While not purely focused on aiding sleep, Calm does contain several guided meditation courses and sleep stories that help to promote stress relief before bed, and aim to put the user in a deeper and more relaxed sleep. For those who don’t enjoy hearing a voice, Calm also has soothing sounds of nature to help you drift off. The other courses help with stress relief and could aid your sleep by helping you to live a calmer and more relaxed life. Some courses require a subscription fee for access.
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