Have you been struggling to get snoozing lately? It can be hard to fall asleep — and since sleep is so pivotal to your health (there are scary side effects of not sleeping enough!), you've gotta take the extra steps to ensure a sound, restorative slumber. Here are four well-reviewed apps that'll give you a boost beyond counting sheep.
- Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock: If you're into data and analyzing your sleep, you'll probably love this app. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock tracks your depth of sleep throughout the night, allowing you to view hour by hour data and assess your quality of sleep. It gives percentages, logs data over time to look at trends, and allows for certain inputs like "drank coffee" or "worked out" to help you see if certain things are affecting your snooze hours. Since you move differently in bed during the different phases, Sleep Cycle can use the microphone or accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movements and determine which sleep phase you are in. Additionally, because the app knows exactly how deep you are in your sleep, it wakes you up as your body is naturally more awake. You give the app a 20-minute window in which to wake you up, and it chooses the right time.
- mySleepButton: The mySleepButton app is based on cognitive science; at certain intervals of time as you fall asleep, the app will "say" random words, allowing the brain to focus on word association versus racing thoughts that could possibly keep you from slipping into a restful slumber. Choose the amount of time you want the app to run, and tap "put me to sleep" to get the program going. Close your eyes, and let this program guide you into your zzz's.
- Sleep Genius: "Four neuroscientific elements" and "clinically proven results" combine in the Sleep Genius app, which has sleep-aiding music, a power nap function, and a revive cycle alarm that helps you gently wake. The four elements? "Pink noise" — which apparently blocks out noise and lowers your heart rate — neurosensory algorithms (to trigger a motion sensation, like a baby being rocked to sleep), psychoacoustic music ("scientifically composed audio"), and multiband binaural beats to keep you asleep longer. Created by "authorities in neuroscience, sleep, and music," this app has been recognized by NASA.
- Relax Melodies: If you love soothing sounds and falling asleep to noises of nature, then get excited: you can customize your sound machine with Relax Melodies. Adjust the intensity of the rain (from gentle to storm) or the sound of the birds, crashing ocean waves, a babbling brook . . . or a little bit of everything! Create your own personal blend, or choose from precurated mixes that'll help you snooze away. It's also got an alarm to make sure you get up on time, too!
Product Credit: Stella McCartney PJ Set