7 Apps to Combat Trouble Sleeping and Help You Score More Shut-Eye


If you have trouble sleeping, welcome to the club. Let’s have t-shirts made.

Plenty of things get in the way of a proper night’s sleep – caffeine, sugar, noisy neighbors, construction – but the primary blame has become technology. Smartphones. iPads. Laptops. Televisions. E-Readers. We spend so much time in front of a screen that many of us have turned into caffeine-riddled, blink-deprived ladies. (In fact, there are days when I feel like that guy in “The Shining”.)

That being said, we don’t have to let technology become our mortal enemy. While we’re advised to keep screens away from our bedroom, most of us now use our cell phones as both our home phone and alarm clock – so why not instead use it to our REM cycle’s advantage?

If you’re having trouble sleeping, here are 7 fabulous sleep apps to give you a hand:

1. Sleep Cycle
When an abrasive alarm wakes you up during a deep sleep cycle, you wake up feeling completely wrecked and stumble through the day. Sleep Cycle is an alarm that uses the accelerometer feature in your iPhone to monitor your movement and track which sleep phase you’re in. It then uses this information to wake you up when you’re in the lightest sleep phase. Your body tells your alarm when to wake you up, instead of the other way around.

2. Noisil
One of the biggest reasons why I have trouble sleeping is my inability to shut my mind off. For as long as I can remember (seriously, Internet was barely a thing yet), the only way I could fall asleep was with the television on. Enter Noisli: An ambient noise app that lets you choose the sounds you want to fall asleep to and how long you want to listen to them.

3. Recharge
This is the sleep app I’m most excited to try: It’s perfect for those of us whose schedules are an absolute mess almost as soon as we wake up in the morning. Recharge isn’t just a sleep app: It’s a 6-week program that aims to get you back into a healthy sleep and exercise schedule (because let’s face it: When we’re stressed, these are the two areas of our lives that suffer most).

4. Sleep Genius
The Sleep Genius app has many uber-cool features: Instead of an abrasive alarm, it gradually wakes you up with a gentle five-minute Revive Cycle that helps you wake up from any sleep stage in a stress-free way (for example, if you set your alarm for 7am, the progressive alarm will start at 6:55am). It also has a Relaxation Program that helps you calm your body and mind before bed, a Power Nap feature, and specialized sleep reports to help you constantly improve the quality of your rest.

5. Sleepbot
Similar to Sleep Cycle, Sleepbot tracks how you sleep and wakes you up during your lightest sleep stage. It will also make suggestions for how to score higher-quality sleep, such as what to eat (and what not to) before bed and exercises that promote sleep.

6. Power Nap
No matter how much I’ve had trouble sleeping, naps just make things worse. I either take too long to fall asleep, or my nap accidentally turns into a coma. That’s where Power Nap comes in: This super-handy, super-reasonable app makes sure you get the most from your naps without messing up your sleep that night.

7. iHome Sleep
iHome Sleep is basically the smartest alarm clock ever. On top of your regular alarm, there’s also a nap alarm, bedtime and wake up reminders, and stress-free wake options so you can start your day the way you want to. It also allows you to track the amount of sleep you’re getting with statistics and a sleep log, which will help you hone in on what’s making you have trouble sleeping.

Do you use sleep apps when you’re having trouble sleeping?

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Image: dave elf

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).