We’ve all heard—and ignored—that no phone before bed rule. But, um, excuse me, science, shouldn’t there be an exception for bedtime tech that helps you score high-quality sleep? These niche applications might actually do just that. Here’s the best one…
1. If you can’t shut off your brain:
$69.99/year on iTunes and Google Play
With more than 100 audio bedtime stories, like The Velveteen Rabbit and Rapunzel,Calm’s Sleep Stories will help you forget about your adulting responsibilities and snooze like a baby. But it’s not all childhood fairytales, the program also features the soothing voice of Matthew McConaughey narrating an original story. Yeah, you’ll wanna put that on repeat.
2. If you always wake up at 3am:
Free to download, $94.99/year on iTunes and Google Play
The meditation app co-created by a former Buddhist monk recently upgraded its content to aid insomniacs everywhere. Part of that includes a quick meditation called “falling back to sleep” for those occasions (see: every freaking night) when you’re jolted wide awake mid-slumber. During the exercise, Andy Puddicombe, a.k.a. the very sexy British voice of Headspace, slowly counts back from 1,000 until you pass out.
3. If you just finished Haunting of Hill House:
Night Light Lite Nightlight
Free to download, $4.99 for all sounds on iTunes
With this application, you can fight broken neck lady nightmares by turning your phone into a comforting nightlight in the color of your choice. (FWIW, red light might improve sleep quality). If you feel like throwing more money at your night terrors, you can pay to access sounds like driving in the rain or ocean waves via the app.
4. If you’re a snooze button addict:
Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker
Free, $4.99 to upgrade on iTunes
Resisting the temptation to snooze through your alarm requires rising at the lightest stage in your sleep cycle. But, um, it’s kind of hard to know when that is if you’re snoozing. This program estimates your cycles by sensing the restless (see: lightest) stages of slumber. Set your wake-up time in the app, place your phone on your mattress near your pill, and hit the sack. Come morning, your wake-up call will come at the best possible moment based on your analysis, or within 30 minutes of your actual alarm.
5. If you can only sleep with a fan:
Free on iTunes and Google Play
Whether you travel for work or enjoy an adult sleepover, this app that makes fan sounds (and only fan sounds) will help you saw logs like you’re in your own damn bed. Sleep Fan has noise-blocking options such as tunnel fan and oscillating fan, among others. Random? Yup. Genius? Also yup.
6. If you have a healthy addiction to your Apple Watch:
Sleep Watch by Body Matter
Free to download, $2.99 for Premium on iTunes
Sleep Watch enables you to get a feel for your sleep hygiene right from your wrist. Download the app, and you’ll be prompted to enter your height, weight, gender, and birthday into the system, to measure your snoring habits more accurately. After that, just live your life. The app knows to start tracking when you drift off (creepy but cool) and offers insight on your slumber patterns, total restful sleep time, average sleeping heart rate, and seven-day sleep rhythm.
7. If you’ve tried ALL of the sleep tricks:
Slumber: Fall Asleep, Insomnia
Free to download, $39.99 for premium on iTunes
Slumber’s jam-packed with features to get users to sleep, including progressive relaxation, in which you focus on loosening up different muscle groups one by one. You’ll also find a suggestive hypnosis program featuring sounds arranged in a specific way that could help encourage deep levels of relaxation. Hey, they’re worth a shot.