6 Apps That Could Help Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

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5 September 2023

6 Apps That Could Help Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is critical to good health, and yet, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that almost 35% of Americans do not get the required seven hours of sleep they need each night. And for many others, the rest they do get is interrupted or fitful. Sleep disorders are common. Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and almost one-third of adults have insomnia.

This sleep deprivation epidemic is especially dangerous in workplaces where fatigue can lead to critical errors and accidents and decreased worker productivity. Although a variety of drugs and other treatments are available, people are increasingly turning to their smartphones for help instead.

The repertoire of offerings on both iOS and Android has expanded in response to this common issue. From apps to help you fall asleep to those that help you stay asleep, these modern sleep-related apps are increasingly intuitive and sophisticated. Here are six that could help you improve your sleep hygiene.

Apps to Help You Fall Asleep


While a little pricier than other meditation and sleep apps, Calm offers some exciting benefits with its subscription package. In addition to a wealth of meditation recordings, there are also music and nature sounds designed to help you relax and fall asleep. There is even a collection of bedtime stories for those who want to channel the ease that old childhood routines played in inducing sleep. Finally, the app has recently added master classes in meditation led by qualified instructors. It links with Apple Health and will keep track of how long you meditate each day so you can monitor your progress.

Available for iOS and Android.


Pzizz is a multi-use app that promises to fit into your schedule and your habits while helping you focus, nap and sleep. The idea is that a sleep app shouldn’t force you to alter your lifestyle. It should help you fall asleep regardless of your lifestyle. Pzizz leverages guided imagery, delivered via a patented collection of music, voiceover and sound effects known as “dreamscapes” that change each time you use the app. These sounds help you shut down and put you quickly to sleep, whether it is for the night or a quick power nap. You’ll stay asleep and wake up feeling more refreshed. Focus sounds are designed to help boost your productivity, and the Nap modules promise to improve your mood and energy.

Available for iOS and Android.

Apps to Help You Stay Asleep

Relax Melodies

If you struggle to both fall asleep and stay asleep, Relax Melodies offers over 100 soothing sounds and melodies that promise to help you relax. The ambient noises the app offers, including rain, waterfalls and ocean waves, can be combined to create your own sleep-inducing and sleep-preserving mix. While many apps offer relaxation noises, Relax Melodies allows you to adjust the volume for each individual sound. You can also access a rated playlist from of the 35 million other or add music from your personal library.

Relax Melodies includes stories, guided meditation and Sleep Moves, a series of exercises and relaxation techniques from sleep professionals that serve to guide you into a deeper sleep. Finally, the app boasts isochronic tones, which are essentially soundwaves that affect the brain in different ways depending on frequency. With explanations embedded in the app, you can blend these isochronic tones with other sounds. The resulting sound combinations will help you avoid frustrating periods of wakefulness and keep you sleeping soundly.

Available for iOS and Android.

Relax and Sleep Well

This app is several years old, but it remains one of the most popular sleep aid apps worldwide. It delivers hypnosis and meditation assistance from best-selling self-help audio author Glenn Harrold to help you stay asleep. Four free hypnosis and mediation recordings are offered within the app, but you can access an additional 80 of Harrold’s offerings via in-app purchases. New recordings are added frequently.

Hypnotherapy works for sleep disorders such as insomnia by allowing you to relax and avoid the anxiety that not falling asleep can sometimes create. However, hypnosis is generally successful on only 75% of the population, so the app also includes meditation recordings that may work for everyone else.

Available for iOS and Android.

Apps to Help You Track Your Sleep


Pillow offers a substantial package of sleep tracking options in its free version, but the downside is that it is only available for iOS devices. It will work with a smartphone but is even better with an Apple Watch. In addition to tracking your sleep patterns, including waking, REM, light and deep sleep, it can record audio and heart rate data while you sleep. It can also record if you talk in your sleep which can make for some interesting listening the next day!

Data is presented graphically in easily read colourful charts and will sync with iCloud and Apple Health. The premium version is very affordable as well and offers more integration, detailed statistics, and a feature called Snooze Labs, which gives you personalized sleep tips. When you wake up, you are offered the option of recording your mood and notes.

Available for iOS only.

Sleep Cycle

This alarm clock app has some very cool additional features. It tracks your sleep and provides a detailed analysis of your sleep patterns throughout the night. However, the most significant thing about this app is that it continuously monitors your sleep and only wakes you up when you are in a light sleep cycle. This makes for a much gentler and more natural wakening, the kind we get when we wake up without an alarm. Waking during a deep sleep or REM cycle can result in what sleep researchers call sleep inertia – general grogginess that is difficult to shake. Instead, you’ll wake up feeling well-rested and calm.

Unlike some sleep tracking apps, Sleep Cycle is highly sensitive and does not have to be near your head to work. It can function just as well from your bedside table.

Available for iOS and Android.