Not getting your forty winks? We've rounded up the best iPhone apps that promise to banish sleepless nights for good.
Pzizz touts itself as the world’s best sleep and power-nap system, so it’s perfect whether you’re yearning for a solid night’s kip or just a rejuvenating afternoon on the sofa. Pzizz eases you to sleep with soothing sound effects, speech, and binaural beats. When you press the start button in the app, its structured random algorithm generates a slightly different sound track every time. According to Pzizz’s makers, each soundtrack is similar enough to convince your subconscious to associate it with sleep and relaxation, but different enough that your brain won’t get used to it. You can adjust all of the individual elements of your sleep soundtrack once you learn what floats your boat, and there’s a built-in alarm to rouse you gently from slumber come morning.
SleepCycleIf you’re sick of waking up bleary-eyed to a shrill alarm tone, Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is going to be your new best Friend. It uses your iPhone’s microphone and accelerometer to determine which sleep phase you’re in, and only wakes you up when you’re in the lightest phase; in other words, when you’re most alert and ready for the day. There are some extra little touches to help you improve your overall sleep health too, like Sleep Notes for tracking how stuff like coffee intake and the weather affects your kip. You can also view your sleep data in simplified graphs and charts, which is a quick and easy way to identify trends in your sleeping patterns. Plus, there are some lovely, calming alarm sounds to ease you into the day gently.
White NoiseThe crackling sound of white noise isn’t something you would think is help you drift off, but it’s actually one of the most powerful tools to help you catch precious ZZZs. Even when you’re asleep, your brain is constantly scanning for sounds, and if it’s too quiet in your bedroom, the slightest noise, such as a dripping tap, noisy neighbours, or a creaky house could wake you up. White noise essentially masks those distractions to help your brain relax. It’s as simple as that. As well as the familiar crackle of white noise, this app also has a library of other sufficiently distracting sounds, from the whirring of an air conditioner, to the sounds of the Amazon jungle, rain on a car roof, a vacuum cleaner, and even Tibetan singing.
SleepBotRecognised by the United States National Institute of Health and the National Academy of Engineering, SleepBot claims to use the most accurate sleep tracking algorithm you’ll find in the app store. It uses motion and sound tracking combined with detailed sleep logging to help determine the noises that keep you awake. Through detailed graphs and statistics that let you play back noises at certain times with a tap, Sleepbot lets you see which things that go bump in the night affect your sleep. In the morning, it wakes you during your lightest sleep cycle using one of its 10 custom alarm soundtracks. You can set multiple alarms and alerts if you’re worried about over-sleeping.
Sleep MachineSleep Machine is another app that uses ambient sounds to send you nodding off. There’s a whole library of the usual soundtracks to tap into, like seagulls on a beach, whale song, the crackling of a summer campfire, and binaural beats. It also throws in a sleep cycle alarm, which gives you the option of waking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during your lightest sleep phase. One great thing about Sleep Machine is that you can incorporate your own music from iTunes into your custom sleep soundtracks, with a fader function so your music will never start or stop abruptly. There’s also a line of lovely custom clock faces to wake up to.