Sleep is one of the biggest factors to your health and, luckily, there are apps to help you sleep better. Having struggled with insomnia most of my life and, like many Americans, I rely on medication to help me get a good night's rest. So I'd much rather download an affective app than swallow some pills at night. Wouldn't you?
According to The Atlantic, not only are people using sleep meds more than ever, people are misusing sleeping pills, and ending up in the emergency room. The United States Library of Medicine reported that physicians are prescribing zolpidem, the generic form of Ambien, which is a nonbenzodiazepine medication often prescribed for sleep. at record rates. In fact, the number of zolpidem prescriptions has grown 30 times over from 1994 to 2007. From experience, zolipdem is not only habit-forming, but for me at least, it stops working as effectively the more you use it. My physician warned me against taking more than the recommended dosage, and I've been pretty good about following his instructions, but on those nights when all I want is to fall asleep, it's tempting to pop another pill.
Because I don't want to rely on meds for a natural bodily function, or end up in the emergency room, I've been practicing guided meditations to help sleep, and I have to say, they work, at least for me. If meditation isn't your thing, here are a ton of apps that can help you sleep.
1. Deep Sleep With Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson is known for his guided meditation programs, so it's no wonder he has an app called Deep Sleep With Andrew Johnson ($2.99) that employs similar principles. Namaste.
2. Relax & Rest Guided Meditations
Meditation Oasis created Relax & Rest Guided Meditations ($1.99) for people who suffer not only from insomnia, but also anxiety around sleeping. This app was among the "Best Sleep Apps of 2014" and "Best Anxiety Apps of 2014" as named by Healthline.
3. iSleep Easy
USA Today recommended iSleep Easy ($4.99) for guided meditations to help you fall asleep get into a deep sleep. Meditations come with several choices of music or nature sounds.
4. Sleep Pillow
If you're a fan of white noise, Sleep Pillow ($2.99) is the app for you. This app features over 70 different kinds of white noise, and you can even mix n' match to create a custom white noise that will help you get your Zs.
4. Relax Melodies Premium
Featured in Amazon’s Top Best Apps, as well as People, Relax Melodies Premium ($2.99) is a collection of soothing lullabies for adults and babies alike. Zen out to these tunes and you'll be sleeping in minutes.
5. Sleepmaker Rain
Soothing raindrops will lull you to sleep, or so is the thinking behind the app Sleepmaker Rain (Free). Timer functions allow you to choose how long you want the app to run. If only real rainstorms worked that way.
6. Sleep Genius
As the name of this app implies, Sleep Genius ($4.99)was developed by a team of neuroscientists and gained praised from The Today Show, CBS-News, ESPN, Huffington Post and more. Using neurosensory algorithms this app claims to ready your brain for sleep, as well as to guide your brain through each stage in the sleep cycle, and wake you with a soothing alarm.
Recognized by the United States National Institute of Health and the National Academy of Engineering, SleepBot (Free) is an app that claims to track your sleep cycle and create a customized alarm based on motions in your bedroom as well as sounds throughout the night.
8. Sleep Well Hypnosis
Surf City Apps created Sleep Well Hypnosis (Free) using principles of hypnosis and guided meditation, using unconscious thoughts to help rather than hinder sleep.
Soothing sounds and a timer function make Dormio (Free) a snazzy sleep app for nature lovers. Yep, there will be crickets.
f.LUX (Free) is a headline-making app that automatically changes the color of your computer's display screen to go "warm" at night, so you get a more restful sleep. Scientific American noted that exposure to white or blue light inhibits sleep. With this app, your computer adapts to nighttime, ridding your room of white or blue light from your laptop.
12. To bed
Remember when your mom would ready you for bed? To bed can't take mom's place, but this app will remind you (based on your schedule) when to call it a night. A must for nocturnal procrastinators. (Free)
The app phizz (Free) claims to solve your sleep problems using a patented algorithm of soothing sounds to get you drowsy and fall asleep.
14. Sleepytime Sleep Scheduler
If you lack discipline when it comes to setting your bedtime routine, Sleepytime (Free) is a choice sleep app. Based on the 90 minute sleep cycles, this app will "choose" your bedtime and when you should wake, well-rested.
15. Power Nap App
For those of you who love an afternoon nap, but don't want to sleep too long during your siesta, Power Nap App (Free) is ideal. The Sleep Foundation recommends power naps last from 10 to 30 minutes. Any longer will leave you groggy when you wake, and might interrupt your nightly sleep patterns. No snooze button on this app makes sure you get up when you're supposed to.
16. Yoga For Insomnia
If you're a spiritual gangster then you will adore this Yoga For Insomnia ($2.99) app, guiding you through a series of poses that will induce a sleepy state of mind and body.
17. Sleep Cycle
CNN, Wired, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, and The New York Times raved about Sleep Cycle (Free), an app that calls itself an "intelligent alarm clock." It works by analyzing your sleep cycles and wakes you when you're in the lightest sleep phase, which according to WebMD, is the ideal time to wake up and feel rested and refreshed.