BlogWellbeingTop 5 Apps for Improving Your Sleep Routine

Top 5 Apps for Improving Your Sleep Routine

It is the most universal struggle of a 21st century kid, the thing that unites us all in experience; getting your eight hours. Jokes aside, having a good sleep routine and consistent sleep is a difficult task — but what if there were sleep apps to help?

We know that the HSC presents a huge challenge to students, who often struggle with sleeping amidst rising demands and stress levels, so we’ve decided to bring you the five best apps for improving your sleep routine.

Jump in to find a variety of apps that will play different roles in making your night routine a success!

#1. Sleep Cycle 

Sleep Apps - Sleep Cycle

Image sourced from iMore

Purpose

This app prides itself on being an all-in-one for sleep and wellness. 

Each night, your body goes through several sleep/wake cycles. First, you experience light sleep where you drift in and out — you would wake up very easily in this stage.

In the second stage, your body prepares for deep sleep. The final stage is where you may begin to dream. Your eyes are closed but move rapidly as you undergo intense brain activity — this stage is also called REM, and is what ensures you wake up feeling like you slept well. 

So, what’s the point of all this vaguely scientific info?

Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis to track your sleep stages, waking you up when you are in the lightest sleep possible. 

Pros and Cons

On the Sleep Cycle website, it outlines how your phone needs to be placed while you sleep. One of the downsides of this app is how close the phone must remain to your body. The American Physiological society has completed in-depth research proving that blue light is highly disruptive to your sleep. 

However, if you place your phone on aeroplane mode to avoid notifications (and are disciplined enough not to touch your phone in bed), this app can reap rewards. Users have reported feeling much more awake and alert the following day after waking up during a light stage of sleep. 

Price 

Sleep Cycle is free to download and use on both Apple and Android. A premium feature is also available as an in-app purchase, which gives you access to further tracking and metrics. 

#2. Tide

Sleep Apps - Tide

Image sourced from Google Play Store

Purpose 

Tide recognises that falling asleep can take a lot of practice. This app combines the notion of sleep with meditation and breath, assuring you feel calm throughout your day. 

You can select sounds from nature to help you fall asleep and take your mind off wandering thoughts. UNSW students have recently proven the effectiveness of calming music to help you sleep. 

The app’s wake-up alarm is designed to be gentle, giving you a slow start to the morning. 

In addition, the app provides meditations of different lengths and purposes which can help you fall asleep, feel calm or reset your thoughts. 

Pros and Cons 

Users are disappointed that your sleep hours can’t be logged manually with Tide. As such, this app is not designed to track your overall sleep hygiene, but rather to give you simple sleepscapes to ease your night.

However, Tide never claimed to be a sleep tracking app. It is designed to be a soundscape app for all restful and focused parts of your day. We think it does a great job at this, combining aesthetics with practicality!

Price 

Tide is free on Apple and Android. Optional in-app purchases give you access to wallpapers, different soundscapes and more accurate tracking of your meditation. 

A monthly subscription for this premium service currently costs $20.99 on Android. 

#3. Headspace

Sleep Apps - Headspace

Image sourced from App Store

Purpose 

A good night’s sleep really begins at the start of your day. While this next app is not specifically designed for sleep, we believe its great meditations will set you well on your way to improving your bedtime schedule. 

In a similar vein to Tide, the Headspace app offers guided meditation and mindfulness. It is also connected to a great site that explains the science of mindfulness, ensuring that you are educated about what you’re consuming. 

Pros and Cons 

As mentioned, this is not a sleep app, so it’s not actually going to do anything for you once you fall asleep each night. However, we think this element is greatly overshadowed by the proven benefits of meditation to your night routine. 

Further, the app does offer a specific meditation for sleep section, which is a great feature to get you over the line just before you drift off! It’s a very versatile app in this sense. 

We also like how Headspace offers a 10-day starter course, so you will understand exactly how to meditate, amplifying the effectiveness. Within this course, you will be talked through each meditation, whether you are using it for sleep or stress, so you feel more confident to create good sleep habits. 

Price 

Headspace offers a free seven day trial, with subscriptions of $69.99 a year or $12.99 a month available. 

#4. SleepTown

Sleep Apps - SleepTown

Image sourced from App Store

Purpose 

If gaming is your thing, this may be the perfect app for you! SleepTown gamifies your development of healthy sleep habits

Each day, you can set sleep-related goals, including getting up at a consistent time or sleeping a minimum number of hours. If you achieve these goals, you get to add to your own digital town! However, if your goals aren’t achieved, your town will be destroyed.

This dynamic app, launched by the creators of Forest, is designed to give you a tangible sense of achievement each time you smash those sleep goals!

Pros and Cons 

One issue with this app is the pressure it may put on users to fall asleep. When we are trying really hard to get a good night’s rest, our ambitions sometimes work with the opposite effect, making it far harder for us to sleep well. If you have an app telling you whether you succeeded or failed, this may be stressful and problematic. 

However, most users have reported great benefits! One GooglePlay review suggested that “I really enjoy waking up to see what new building is in my SleepTown, and the excitement is enough to prevent me from switching out of this app when I wake up in the middle of the night.” 

Price 

SleepTown is free to use on both Android and Apple, with some optional in-app purchases. 

#5. Twilight 

Twilight - Sleep Apps

Image sourced from Google Play Store

Purpose

Of all our well-rated apps, Twilight takes the most pragmatic approach to adjusting your sleep habits. 

As we’ve already chatted about, blue light can distort your circadian rhythm, making it very difficult to fall asleep. Twilight aims to get around this whilst recognising that in a busy life, you may be on your phone past an ideal time. 

This app adapts your device’s screen before and after sunset to eliminate as much blue light from reaching your eyes as possible. As the day dawns (or ends), the level of blue light you can access is seamlessly turned back up. 

Pros and Cons 

Many phones, particularly iPhones currently have a setting to filter out blue light, meaning that you may not need this app. Some users have also reported that the app has been unreliable, though bugs seemed to be fixed very quickly. 

However, Twilight slowly changes the redness of the screen to offer you a more seamless transition, which is a great benefit over your run-of-the-mill phone inbuilt. 

The app also has options to pause or manually choose when blue light filters come on, giving you increased control over your schedule. 

Price 

This app is free for Android.

And that’s it!

Senior high school is a busy time, and we know you won’t always get a perfect night’s sleep. We hope these apps will help you to achieve the basics; a consistent bedtime, a full night’s sleep, and the right atmosphere. 

You can let us know if this article has helped you by getting in touch on the site or on our socials. 


Lucinda Garbutt-Young hopes to one day be writing for a big-shot newspaper… or maybe just for a friendly magazine in the arts sector. Right now, she is enjoying studying a Bachelor of Public Communication (Public Relations and Journalism) at UTS while she writes on the side. She also loves making coffees for people in her job as a barista, and loves nothing more than a sun shower.

 

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