iPhone Apps to Help You Sleep
As both a longtime-insomnia sufferer and an iPhone addict, I know that sometimes your phone is the absolute worst thing for the well-being of your sleep. Sleep experts always recommend cutting out "screen time" close to your bedtime because the artificial light confuses your brain into staying awake. But when you're lying in bed, counting out the minutes, it can be all too tempting to open up your phone for one ore game of Candy Crush, one more refresh in your email, one more check of your Hubpages score, one more minute staring at the clock and watching your sleep tick away...
Instead, use your phone for good. Here are some apps that will actually help you with your sleep.
The app store has no shortage of white noise apps, but Rain, Rain is my favorite because it's a. free b. like ten white noise apps in one. There are a ton of sounds to choose from, and not all of them rain-based. "Summer rain" is my favorite. I stick my phone next to my pillow when I'm by myself, or, when I'm in bed with someone who's still awake, I put in earbuds and drown out all the noise. Knocks me right out every time.
There's also a ticking clock option, if you're a psychopath. (Seriously, who finds that comforting?)
Probably the most comprehensive yoga app available, the aptly (get it?) named "Yoga" guides you through hundreds of poses with video instruction and tons of pictures. You can set it to play relaxing music or nature noises in the background for maximum tranquility. Do some yoga before bed to stretch out some of your stress, or do it in the morning to help you gently wake up. Good for your body, good for your mind.
Downside? It's pricey.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
If you're a data-junkie like me, this one's pretty fun. You set your phone down next to you, and it uses your movements to track what sleep stage you're in. Foolproof? Probably not, but it does give you some interesting feedback. Its best feature, though, is how it wakes you up. It uses its analysis of your sleep patterns to make you up when you're in the lightest stage of sleep (within your pre-selected window, of course) to make waking up as easy as possible. You'll feel more rested as soon as you wake up. Pretty cool.
Price: 99 cents.
If you're new to guided meditation and interested in giving it a shot, Simply Being is a good place to start. A soothing voice guides you through breathing and mind-clearing exercises for however long you tell it to. I like that at the end of the session you can choose to have it segue into music or nature sounds--perfect for easing you into sleep after it's over.
Price: 99 cents.
Another one for data heads. Empty your brain before you go to sleep by journaling what you're worried about. Update it as situations change, and you'll be able to look back and see how often things really do end up okay. The graphs in cool colors are very soothing. Write it down, get it out, sleep easy.