There’s nothing quite like the feeling of dread and anxiety that comes with lying in bed knowing you can’t fall asleep, especially if you know you have an early day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-quarter of the U.S. population reports not getting enough sleep at night, and almost 10 percent suffers from chronic insomnia.
Insomnia can be caused by both mental and physical health conditions, and the condition itself can also contribute to other health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, and diabetes.
The good news is that treatments can help you get to sleep more easily. Today, there are many smartphone apps that can help you relax and develop healthier sleep habits. Check out Healthline’s picks for this year’s best insomnia apps.
Interface: Are dreams waking you up at night? Awoken will help you understand your dreams and eventually learn about lucid dreaming, or dream awareness.
Usability: The app is pretty self-explanatory. It walks you through exercises in dream awareness and allows you to keep track of your dreams in a journal. However, it does take time to learn lucid dreaming.
Favorite thing: Being able to earn achievements and track your progress.
Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson
Interface: Clean design helps you focus on the task at hand, which is meditating and relaxing. The soft blue background sets the mood.
Usability: Step-by-step instructions make it easy to guide yourself into meditation.
Favorite thing: The app is based off of Andrew Johnson’s best-selling CDs and MP3s that have helped people worldwide cope with stress, anxiety, and addiction.
Interface: DigiPill is creative and playful. The app “prescribes” you digital pills for different circumstances. You can buy your “pills” from the pill store.
Usability: There’s a sanctuary “pill” to clear your mind, and a sleep deeply “pill” to get to bed. Each is actually a guided meditation.
Favorite thing: The ability to try lots of “pills” without negative side effects.
Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep
Interface: Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep lets you choose from a wide variety of natural noises, ranging from city sounds to waves crashing on the beach. Listen for as little or as long as you want by using the start/stop timer.
Usability: Simply swipe left and right to find the sounds you want.
Favorite thing: You can also set the sounds as your alarm or ringtone.
Interface: Pzizz doesn’t play around. The app is designed to help you fight insomnia and take power naps during the day.
Usability: The app generates new sounds each time you use it, so your mind can’t get used to the same overplayed sounds. You don’t need to organize a sound library or make your own mix.
Favorite thing: Just turn it on and let it go to work! No need to create your own playlist.
Relax & Sleep Well by Glenn Harrold
Interface: Soothing colors of white, purple, and blue help set the tone for relaxation. Everything in the app is designed to flow together and help you meditate.
Usability: Now optimized for both phone and tablet use. Easily navigate through different meditation and relaxation exercises.
Favorite thing: Having access to Glenn Harrold’s over 20 years of hypnotherapy experience at your fingertips.
Interface: Relax Melodies features 32 musical and white noise sounds with beautiful images to match.
Usability: The latest version features an adjustable sound volume and an improved interface that allows you to find everything in one place.
Favorite thing: Combine sounds for infinite possibilities!
Interface: Peaceful screen images pair with hundreds of calming sleep sounds.
Usability: As one user review raves, this app “has only gotten better over time.” You can use it on both your iPad and iPhone after only one payment. It’s easy to completely customize your own sound mix.
Favorite thing: Mix and match Sleep’s sounds with music from your own collection.
Sleep as Android
Interface: The sleek black background allows you to easily see colorful data and other information.
Usability: Set your alarm with a ringtone of choice, and track your sleeping patterns and sleep quality. You can even record talking in your sleep or track when and how much you snore. You’ll also have access to a variety of soothing sounds.
Favorite thing: The ability to integrate it with other sleep products, like Google Fit.
Interface: A dark blue background makes the screen easy on the eyes at night.
Usability: Sleep Cycle is rated number one in the United States and around the world. Easy-to-read graphs help you make sense of your sleep patterns. The alarms and snooze functions are also very user-friendly.
Favorite thing: While you sleep, Sleep Cycle rests under your pillow and works to gather data. The app then uses that information to wake you up when you’ll feel the least groggy.
Interface: Deep blues and blacks remind you of a night sky. Text and graphics are very easy to read over the tranquil backdrop.
Usability: Select a relaxation or timed sleep program and let the app go to work. When it’s time to wake up, the app will use a gentle alarm to bring you out of your meditation, nap, or night’s sleep.
Favorite thing: The app does the work for you. Just set it and forget it!
Interface: Sleep Time+ has a calming dark blue background that makes it easy on your eyes at night.
Usability: Get a full analysis of your nightly sleep patterns with the colorful graphics and stats. You can also use the app as a daily alarm. Set the alarm with one gesture and have it wake you up when you’re most rested.
Favorite thing: You can now set Sleep Time+ to check your resting heart rate when you wake up.
Sleep Well Hypnosis
Interface: The app’s aqua background makes the screen relaxing to look at and clear graphics make it easy to choose your sessions.
Usability: Sleep Well Hypnosis uses relaxing sounds along with the voice of a hypnotist to lull you into relaxation. Clickable icons allow you to easily navigate through the app’s options.
Favorite thing: Sessions can be looped as you sleep.
Interface: Water droplets incorporated into the design get you ready for rain sounds on demand.
Usability: If rainstorms help you sleep, you’re in luck with this app! It’s easy to choose from a variety of different rain patterns. These are real rain recordings, not fake sounds made in a studio.
Favorite thing: 3D touch remembers the last three tracks you played on iPhone 6S and iPhone 6+S.
Interface: Vibrant photos stand out against a sleek black background.
Usability: White Noise helps you drown out unwanted sounds at bedtime, so you can relax and focus on sleep. Each sound is represented by an image, so it’s easy to choose or mix and match them to create your personal sound.
Favorite thing: Record your own sounds and add images.
Yoga for Insomnia
Interface: Pictures and written descriptions explain how to do each pose so there’s no confusion.
Usability: The app makes doing yoga at home accessible to almost anyone. Simple graphics and basic adjustment features allow you to focus on designing your own yoga routine and learning the poses.
Favorite thing: You can pick your difficulty level.