The best sleep apps to help you get a good night's rest

Mashable 28 Mar 2020 02:00
Let your phone help you sleep.
Let your phone help you sleep.
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Having trouble sleeping? Hit Snooze is Mashable's deep dive into the many ways to achieve a more peaceful slumber.

It's easy to spend every conscious moment you can staring at a smartphone, but did you know you can use it while you sleep, too? 

In recent years, there's been a rise in sleep-focused  apps, but they varying widely in quality and trustworthiness. It might be difficult to imagine that an app could do anything to help as you stare at the ceiling waiting for that melatonin to kick in, but maybe you're out of other options. If you've tried everything else, it's probably worth a shot.

I spent a few nights testing three of the most prominent sleep assistant apps. You'll find no promises that they'll help you because everyone has different sleep problems. There are also legitimate privacy concerns at play here, and I wouldn't blame you if you stayed away on that basis alone.

That money doesn't come without perks, obviously. Calm's audio selection features exclusive ambient noise tracks and hour-long musical selections to listen to at night. Its biggest and proudest selling point is "Sleep Stories," which are recordings of famous people reading short stories with the intent of lulling you to sleep.

The world of sleep apps, as far as I can tell, focuses pretty heavily on audio. Maybe some light piano, nature sounds, or a bedtime story will release you from the clutches of your anxious thoughts long enough to get to sleep. Sleep Cycle, another highlighted selection on the App Store, takes a more unique (and possibly concerning) approach.

That's...objectively weird, right? You may or may not find comfort in Sleep Cycle's privacy policy, but the fact that it's listening to you while you sleep is just bizarre on its face. Weirdness aside, there's a method to the madness. 

You also get to occasionally choose between generic male and female voices, if one is more comforting to you than the other. It's a little less heavy on the celebrity content than Calm, though there is an NBA-branded wellness program in there right now. A couple of other fun points for sleep assistance include eight-hour radio mixes and an "I'm too tired, just play something random" button.

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