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Best apps to help you sleep in 2021

Best apps to help you sleep in 2021

Written by Maisie Bygraves on Aug 04, 2021.
Scientifically fact checked by Nick Witton, Sleep Scientist.

Many of us have difficulty falling asleep. Whether it’s every night, a couple of times a week or randomly throughout the month or year. Falling asleep and remaining asleep can be challenging, draining and frustrating to say the least.

However, whatever troubles you have when it comes to sleeping may be solved by the power of sleep app technology. With so many sleep apps on the market nowadays for both iOS and Android devices, we’ve taken the liberty (and hopefully saved some of your time) of selecting the very best apps to help you sleep, night after night.

So sit back, relax and head to your App Store or Play store.

Best sleep apps to help you sleep

MyKokoon

The MyKokoon app offers an array of sleep audio and ambient sounds, designed to help the listener relax and drift off to sleep. Choose from binaural beats and exclusive storyscapes, to visualisations and meditations, all designed to create the ultimate wind down.

The app is designed to work with Kokoon’s science-backed Nightbuds (tiny in-ear earbuds) and Relax Headphones, which monitor your sleep and work on creating your perfect wind down and sleep environment.

Features and benefits

  • MyKokoon has a wide variety of audio for sleep and relaxation.
  • Audio categories include: Going To Sleep, Feeling Anxious, Disrupted Sleep and Brighter Mornings.
  • The Data tab works with Kokoon’s Nightbuds to monitor your sleep efficiency score, sleep duration and time it took to get to sleep. All useful when improving your sleep routine.
  • You can choose your own wind down time, set your bed time and wake up times.
  • The app and the headphones work together to fade your audio when they detect you’ve fallen asleep using your sleep data. Plus, you can choose coloured noise to play to mask disturbances once you’ve drifted off.
  • At the moment, you don’t need Kokoon’s headphones or earbuds to use the app.

Price

The MyKokoon app is currently free and accessible to all. Although it’s designed to work at its best with Kokoon’s earbuds, it still has some epic audio that’s worth tuning into to help you sleep and chill.

Is MyKokoon right for you?

The MyKokoon app is the way forward if you want to find unique sleep audio and wind down content that’ll help you sleep. It’s so simple to use and looks aesthetically pleasing.

Download MyKokoon on App Store

Download MyKokoon on Play Store

Headspace

The Headspace app is great for anyone who wants to try meditation or take their meditation practice to the next level. Using this app before bed and as part of your wind down time can help you fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep.

Features and benefits

  • Choose from categories including: Meditation Essentials, Stress & Anxiety, Falling Asleep and Waking up and Personal Growth.
  • The meditations on offer vary in length from just a few minutes to hours. This is great if you are limited on time or have an excess amount of time.
  • Choose from guided or unguided meditations to help you de-stress and reduce anxiety for mindfulness and better sleep.
  • Discover sleep sounds and “dreamy music”.

Price

Headspace offers the first 7 days for free and after that it costs £9.99 a month. Occasionally they do deals on annual prices.

Is Headspace right for you?

If you’re looking for a bit of calm, relaxation and a better wind down before bedtime, then this app could be for you. Their aim is for long-term mindfulness rather than quick fixes, which could benefit many if willing to invest the time.

Pzizz

With more than 1,000,000 downloads, the science-backed Pzizz app claims to be the world’s most advanced sleep system. Pzizz uses "dreamscapes" which mix soothing voices, sound effects and music to improve your sleep and nail daytime power naps.

Features and benefits

  • The app is science-backed, so most of their content is based on recent clinical research and findings.
  • It helps the user to calm their mind, fall asleep quickly, stay asleep and also awake feeling revitalised.
  • It also shows you how to nap well during the day.
  • Many of the reviews mention the benefits of kids using the app to fall asleep.

Price

Pzizz is $9.99 a month or you can pay annually.

Is Pzizz right for you?

This app is right for you if you’re looking for a sleep app that’s backed by science, helps you sleep and nap, plus has big celeb advocates.

Noisli

Noisli focuses on creating calm and relaxation at work, at home and winding down to help you sleep, using the power of audio.

Features and benefits

  • The app provides background audio to mask external disturbances to help you focus and concentrate.
  • Their background noises can boost your productivity at work.
  • They have playlists for relaxation, sleep and productivity.
  • You can mix and match the sound effects to create your own bespoke audio track, such as mixing the soothing sounds of rain with thunder and a crackling fire.

Price

Noisli offers the option of free limited access to the app or $10 a month for much more, including unlimited streaming.

Is Noisli right for you?

The Noisli app is right for you if you want to drown out the drone at work or create your own wind down sounds before bedtime.

Calm

Calm is a super app for improving sleep quality, reducing stress and improving focus by listening to a variety of audio and soothing sounds.

Features and benefits

  • You can choose from bedtime stories, nature sounds, sleep soundscapes, relaxing music and sleep meditations.
  • Calm gives you hundreds of hours of different guided meditations for sleep, stress and worry.
  • It offers exclusive music tracks for sleep.
  • You can access more than 100 sleep stories.
  • Plus, there are videos of different stretches and movements to help you wind down and relax.

Price

Calm offers a 7-day free trial or pay £28.99 a year. They also have a one-off ‘get it forever’ price of £299.99.

Is Calm right for you?

Calm might be for you if you’re looking for an app that has plenty of audio content for relaxation and sleep. If you like listening to sleep stories to create a sense of calm, then there are plenty to choose from.

Slumber

The Slumber app claims to send you to sleep with recommended sleep meditations, soothing stories and music, plus soundscapes.

Features and benefits

  • It has over 350 sleep stories to choose from.
  • They work with well-known meditation teachers from around the world to help you fall asleep.
  • Their Soothing Stories use guided imagery which help you to immerse yourself within the story and consequently escape.
  • The app has stories by therapeutic hypnotist Dan Jones which use hypnosis techniques that can help you sleep better.

Price

Slumber costs $3.99 a month.

Is Slumber right for you?

The Slumber app could work for you if you want to try hypnosis methods, meditations or tune into immersive mindfulness stories to fall asleep. If you’re open to different techniques, then this app could be your perfect partner.

Sleep Cycle

The Sleep Cycle app tracks and analyses your sleep cycles and patterns using machine learning and listens to you whilst you sleep. It helps you figure out the cause of why you’re not sleeping very well and what you can do to change it for the better. They also have a vast audio library to help you to relax and wind down. Choose from meditations, music and stories.

Features and benefits

  • The app listens to how you sleep to help improve it.
  • It has a choice of sleep audios, from meditations to bedtime stories.
  • It has an intelligent alarm clock that wakes you up in your lightest sleep phase.

Price

Sleep Cycle costs £29.49 a year.

Is Sleep Cycle right for you?

The Sleep Cycle app could work for you if you want to track your sleep cycles to figure out how you can sleep better. If you enjoy listening to sleep stories and other sleep audio, then there are plenty to choose from.

Do sleep apps really work?

Many sleep apps use proven methods and techniques to help their users sleep better.

The MyKokoon app audio and headphones work together to help people sleep well. And data has shown that after one month of usage:

  • 90% of wearers fall asleep easier.
  • 89% improve their sleep quality.
  • 84% have less disturbed sleep.

Science-backed apps like Pzizz, which are backed by the NHS, use the latest clinical research on sound for sleep. Other apps like Calm, MyKokoon and Headspace use well-known calming and sleep-inducing methods such as meditation and hypnosis.

Which sleep app should you choose?

Ask the following questions:

1. Is the app specifically designed for sleep?

Make sure the app has been developed with sleep in mind. If the app has techniques for relaxation and winding down, then these apps should help you to sleep. Avoid apps which don’t mention sleep or relaxation, as they’re probably not what you’re looking for. Start with our best apps’ list and go from there.

2. Has the app got accredited reviews?

Ensure the app is trusted and well-known by other users. Reading reviews can help you to decide whether the app is for you. Many quality start-up apps are new so don’t have many reviews, so therefore you may have to investigate these more thoroughly and do your own review/research.

3. Do you want a free app or are you willing to pay for access?

You might not want to fork out any money for an app, so if that’s the case you’ll need to find an app that’s free and worth the time you’ll be investing into it. Bear in mind that a free app doesn’t mean the app won’t be good, it can just mean that you’ll receive limited access or if it’s a start-up, your free access may suddenly stop once the business develops or changes tack.

What is the best free sleep app?

MyKokoon’s audio varies from meditations and storyscapes to coloured noise and hypnosis. At the moment access is free and you can tune into all of the sleep audio on offer, whether you own a pair of Kokoon headphones or not. So grab the chance while you can!

Download MyKokoon on App Store

Download MyKokoon on Play Store

What is the best app to help you fall asleep?

MyKokoon’s selection of sleep audio will help to nudge you into the land of nod. A 10-minute relieving tension audio or an 18-minute Mindful Moments audio is often all it takes to help you fall asleep.

The only way you can truly find out which app works best for you when it comes to helping you sleep, is to try them out. It’s worth trialling your chosen apps for at least a week (unless you really aren’t getting on well with it). This will allow you to get used to how it works, which features suit you and what audio helps you to switch off and nod off.

Why not start with MyKokoon this week? And begin your journey to a better night’s sleep.

Download MyKokoon on App Store

Download MyKokoon on Play Store

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