I Was Barely Sleeping in College, Then I Found This App That Always Helps Me Drift Off

Transitioning from living at home to the newfound freedom of college life was full of exhilarating new experiences, fascinating new people, and an unwelcome, heavy dose of sleep deprivation. The perpetrators responsible for my sleepless nights varied. Whether it was my roommate's late-night snacking or a constant string of visitors, I often found myself burying my head under my pillow and hoping for the best.

The night I found my sleep savior was the night of our homecoming football game. I had an interview early the next morning and was scouring Google for any solution that could drown out the world and knock me unconscious. Then I found it: the Calm app. I was skeptical of anything related to mindfulness (I hadn't yet seen the light), but I was desperate. I downloaded the app, opened one of the free sleep stories, rolled my eyes, and plopped down on my pillow. That's the last thing I remember.

Calm is a meditation and relaxation app with hundreds of guided and unguided meditations. The app keeps track of your meditations and lets you unlock tons of content when you subscribe (a well-spent $13 a month), but the sleep stories were my bread and butter. The stories are engaging enough to rein in a racing mind, but calming enough to do the job. Each uses soothing narration, special effects, and a captivating tale to lull the listener into sweet, sweet slumber.

Pretty soon my nightly routine included snapping on a sleep mask, popping in some headphones, and allowing the stress of the day to melt away. The Calm app sleep stories banished my skepticism about meditation and quickly helped me regain my sanity.