In this hectic world, it's no surprise there's a range of sleep apps to help you catch some zzzs when sleepless nights hit—but which one is right for you? Our pick of the 11 best sleep apps will help you nod off and stay asleep all night.
The amount of sleep you have and the quality of that sleep can have a huge impact on your health and general wellbeing. But sometimes, it doesn't come easy and we all struggle with how to fall asleep. Even with the perfect sleep environment and best pillow, we've often found ourselves lying in bed wondering 'why can't I sleep?'.
Ditching your smartphone in the evening in a bid to stop the blue light emitted by your devices from wreaking havoc with your sleep hormone production is a great idea. But, there could be an exception to this rule in the form of sleep apps.
The best sleep apps will help you track and monitor your sleep, allowing you to better understand your sleep cycle. Some also allow you to keep notes of how you're feeling the next day or record any common nightmares or dreams you have. While others have features that make dozing off easier than ever, from white noise features for sleep to sleep-guided meditations.
1. Sleep Cycle
Cost: From $2.99 (From £2.29) Available on: App Store, Google Play and AppGallery
Sleep Cycle (opens in new tab) tracks and monitors your sleep, with the aim of determining your ideal wake-up time. By tracking your sleep cycle using sound analysis to identify sleep states, it starts to wake you up during the lightest sleep stage (within a 30-minute window of your alarm clock) so you wake up feeling well-rested. This sleep app offers in-app subscription services to access extra features for those who want to know more about their particular sleep habits.
- Try Sleep Cycle (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
- Try Sleep Cycle (opens in new tab) on Google Play
- Try Sleep Cycle (opens in new tab) on AppGallery
Cost: $1.99 (£1.99) Available on: App Store and Google Play
SleepTown (opens in new tab) takes a unique approach to help you sleep better by turning tracking into a game. Sleep goals, such as waking up at a certain time, are tied to building a town in one of the most inventive sleep apps around. As you hit your goals, your town expands. When you miss goals, buildings are taken away. The idea is if you've got a completive streak and are a big gamer, you'll be more likely to improve your sleeping habits to keep up with your SleepTown.
3. Sleep School
Cost: From $40.84 (From £29.99 per year) Available on: App Store and Google Play
Developed by sleep doctors at the renowned Sleep School, this app was created to help you switch off easier at night, fall asleep quicker, stay asleep for longer and wake up feeling refreshed. Following a science-based sleep program recommended for your personal goals, you'll learn tools through tips, facts and audio content to help you transform your sleep. Could this be the natural cure for insomnia (opens in new tab) you've been looking for? There's only one way to find out...
- Try Sleep School (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
- Try Sleep School (opens in new tab) on Google Play
Cost: From $24.99 (From £24.49) Available on: App Store and Google Play
Rise (opens in new tab) promises to help with common sleep problems (opens in new tab) such as getting to bed on time, difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, or waking up and feeling even more exhausted the next day. It tracks your sleep and optimizes your day, with recommendations such as when to eat a meal or when to start your bedtime routine (opens in new tab). What's more, you can connect it to trackers like the Apple Watch, Fitbit, Oura, and Garmin.
Cost: From $7.99 (From £8.99) Available on: App Store and Google Play
SleepScore (opens in new tab) uses your smartphone's microphone to track your sleep cycles. It rates your sleep scored based on your breathing and movement during the cycles. Based on this data, you'll then receive personalized recommendations for better sleep, for example, when to have your last cup of coffee for the day.
- Try SleepScore (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
- Try SleepScore (opens in new tab) on Google Play
Cost: $3.99 (£3.99) Available on: App Store
Available for Apple Watch users, AutoSleep (opens in new tab) focuses on completing Sleep Rings based on your sleep goals, similar to the Activity Rings on Apple Watches. The traffic light system helps you keep track of your goals and analyze your quality of sleep, with suggestions of the best bedtime (opens in new tab) for you.
- Try AutoSleep (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
Cost: From $3.99 (From £3.49) Available on: App Store
Sleepzy (opens in new tab) is an advanced alarm clock that monitors your sleeping rhythms to give you a better understanding of your sleep cycles. It wakes you at the optimal time and informs you of any sleep debt you may be incurring. Currently, the app is only available to download on the Apple App Store.
- Try Sleepzy (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
8. Sleep as Android
Cost: $9.99 (£9.99) Available on: Google Play
Sleep as Android (opens in new tab) is a smart alarm for Android users that tracks their sleep cycles and gives them a choice of sounds to wake up to. The app integrates with Spotify so you can choose your favorite music. You get a two-week free trial after which you need to make a one-time purchase to keep using it.
- Try Sleep as Android (opens in new tab) on Google Play
9. Sleep Time
Cost: $1.99 plus in-app purchases (From £3.99) Available on: App Store and Google Play
The algorithm used on Sleep Time (opens in new tab) was designed by sleep experts at Stanford University. The app tracks your movement overnight, creates graphs of your sleep cycles, and wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase. It also features soundscapes that could help ease sleep anxiety (opens in new tab). Premium subscriptions are on offer too and have additional features such as fitness programs.
- Try Sleep Time (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
- Try Sleep Time (opens in new tab) on Google Play
Cost: From $4.99 (From £4.99) Available on: App Store
Pillow (opens in new tab) is a free app for Apple users offering a selection of features, including ambient sounds to put you to sleep, a heart rate monitor, and a sleep tracker. The app also tracks your movement while you're asleep and provides reports to help you improve your sleep patterns. It features a helpful mood tracker to determine the quality of your sleep, too.
- Try Pillow (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
11. Sleep Diary
Cost: From $0.99 (From £0.99) Available on: App Store
Sleep Diary (opens in new tab) tracks your sleep cycles and heart rate to help identify your sleep patterns and any potential health issues. It even measures how long it takes you to fall asleep, based on your movements. The app is currently only compatible with Apple products and can be downloaded from the App Store
- Try Sleep Diary (opens in new tab) on Apple App Store
Armed with one of the best sleep apps, we hope you sleep soundly tonight and wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed!
Ciara was the former digital health editor at womanandhome.com, covering all things health & wellbeing from fitness to sleep to relationships. She's always on the lookout for new health trends, innovative fitness gadgets and must-read wellness books.
Originally from Ireland, Ciara moved to London to study journalism. After graduation, Ciara started her career at Goodhousekeeping.com. Ciara qualified as a meditation teacher with the British School of Meditation in 2020, and outside of her day-to-day now runs her own meditation school called Finding Quiet. She is all about bettering that mind-body connection but believes wellness looks different to everyone.
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