best insomnia apps

Lying awake in the middle of the night can be the most anxious of states. When we are pinned down by insomnia, our small worries become amplified. These blown-up concerns can feed sleeplessness, and an ugly cycle continues. If you’re suffering from insomnia, you might try modifications in diet and exercise as well as stress reduction activities like meditation. There are also excellent smartphone apps out there that can help you get your sleep. Check out Healthline’s review of the best insomnia apps of the year. They feature soothing sounds, sleep timers, and more.

Relax & Sleep by Glenn Harrold

iPhone rating:
5 stars $1.99
Android rating:
4 stars Free

Interface: This app’s pleasingly arranged interface keeps things simple with a relaxing purple and crisp white background for screens and vivid video.

Usability: One review claimed, “... this is the best meditation app I’ve ever used.” Relax & Sleep lets you navigate easily from new sessions you might want to try, to saved sessions that have worked for you.

Quality: Very good.

More: Hypnotherapist Glenn Harrold guides you through many sessions available by in-app purchase. His therapies address issues other than sleeplessness, too, such as weight loss.

Pzizz Sleep

iPhone rating:
5 stars Free

Interface: Pzizz is out to change your life by getting you the sleep you need — and that’s apparent in its clean, intensely colored graphic screens for sleeping and power napping.

Usability: Usability is the big difference with this app. Some people who suffer from insomnia find that the same lulling sounds don’t work after a while. Pzizz creates new custom sounds any time you need them.

Quality: Excellent

More: According to the Mayo Clinic, short naps don’t interfere with nighttime sleep. Pzizz encourages short naps with its Power Nap feature.

Relax Melodies

iPhone rating:
5 stars Free
Android rating:
5 stars Free

Interface: Hundreds of thousands of pleased (if sleepy) users have enjoyed this app’s calmly cheerful screens. Illustrations are pleasant while the nature photographs range from beautiful to stunning.

Usability: Relax Melodies offers many options for relaxation, and they are easy to navigate to.

Quality: Excellent. There are nearly limitless options for combining calming sounds.

More: In addition to nature sounds, you’ll find binaural beats, said to have a calming effect on the brain.

Yoga for Insomnia

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $1.99
Android rating:
5 stars $2.99

Interface: The simply illustrated yoga poses are easy to see and understand.

Usability: This app’s excellent usability is supported with broad side panels that provide one-touch access to information on poses.

Quality: Very good.

More: The practice of yoga has been studied for insomnia relief and it has been shown to lead to significant improvement in the sleep habits of participants. This app guides you to specific poses thought to help with sleeplessness.

Sleep Cycle

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $4.99
Android rating:
4.5 stars $2.99

Interface: This app’s calming dark blue interface won’t interfere with your sleep if you look at it in the middle of the night.

Usability: Great for even the drowsiest of app users, Sleep Cycle’s uncomplicated usability guides you through alarm-setting to sleep stats.

Quality: Excellent. Sleep Cycle is top rated around the world.

More: Sleep Cycle “sleeps” under your pillow, where it analyzes your nighttime motion and calculates the time to wake you when you’re sleeping most lightly.

Sleep

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $1.99

Interface: The most important thing about an insomnia app’s interface is how it affects you when you’re drowsy and frustrated. This app’s pleasant screens are easy to read and won’t make you more agitated.

Usability: It couldn’t be easier to get to the bedtime sounds you want on these screens. A fully customizable soundboard gives you thousands of possible sleepy combinations.

Quality: Very good. One reviewer raved: “... the best bedtime thing that was ever invented.”

More: Use AirPlay to stream music from any of your devices. Combine music with the app’s sounds.

SleepTime+

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $1.99
Android rating:
4 stars Free

Interface: SleepTime+’s interface has the best of both worlds. It has a calm deep blue background that won’t make things too bright at bedtime, and also crisp graphics so you can easily read your sleep stats.

Usability: This app has the information you need to make your night’s rest better. You’ll be able to review your nightly sleep info as well as stats over the long term.

Quality: Excellent. It’s full of features like white noise and pulse reading capability.

More: The alarm detects your nighttime movements and sets itself to wake you when you’re sleeping lightly.

Awoken — Lucid Dreaming Tool

Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

Interface: Dreams can often interfere with the ability to stay asleep, leaving you awake as you try to interpret them. Awoken is an app that helps you learn lucid dreaming, or dream awareness. An easy-to-use interface lets you browse for tips on lucid dreaming, as well as record your dreams in a diary. If you want to record your dream right away, the app can record your voice instead of having to type your dream.

Usability: The app itself is easy to use, but lucid dreaming can understandably take time to learn. The goal is to be able to recognize and resolve your dreams — all while you’re still dreaming. This app aims to help you learn the tools you need to accomplish this.

Quality: Very good.

More: You can have a completely dark, sleep-friendly background for purchase.

Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep

Android rating:
4 stars Free

Interface: Nature Sounds features 13 different sounds that can help provide relaxation, and even lure you into a good night’s sleep. Upon opening the app, your ears are greeted with relaxing ocean waves (“Roar of the Surf”). From here you can select a different sound. Each time you open the app, the sound you last listened to comes up on the screen. Every sound comes with a relaxing photograph — there aren’t any stimulating graphics that will keep you awake.

Usability: Finding the right sounds is as simple as navigating left and right. You also have the option of clicking a button and reviewing the entire list at once.

Quality: Very good.

More: Set a timer at night so the app shuts off automatically for disruption-free sleep. Also, while you might use Nature Sounds to help you fall asleep, there is also an option to download the sounds from the app for an alarm clock tone.

Sleep as Android

Android rating:
4 stars Free

Interface: Sleep as Android packs so many exciting features that you’ll want to be sure to check them out during the daytime, and not when you’re trying to fall asleep. Set an alarm with the desired ringtone, and the app tracks your sleeping patterns, as well as your quality of sleep. Sleep cycle tracking is free under a two-week trial, and may be purchased thereafter.

Usability: This app is one of the easiest of its kind to use. All of your options are on one screen, making it easy to navigate different settings, change ringtones, and set your alarm.

Quality: Excellent.

More: When it’s time to wake up in the morning with traditional alarm clocks, you may be apt to hit the “snooze” button. With this app, you won’t be able to simply turn your alarm off — in fact, it makes sure you really wake up by making you solve a brain game in order to shut it off.

Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson

iPhone rating:
4 stars $1.99
Android rating:
5 stars $2.99

Interface: The design focus is on ease and relaxation. Calm blue and white screens don’t clutter things up.

Usability: Very user friendly, with large, readable tabs and screens.

Quality: Very good.

More: Andrew Johnson is a globally renowned life coach who focuses on eliminating stress, addiction, and bad habits. Here, he guides you through meditations aimed at dropping your stress and dropping off to sleep.

DigiPill

iPhone rating:
4 stars Free
Android rating:
3.5 stars Free

Interface: DigiPill’s screens remind you it’s important to keep a sense of humor, even when you’re anxious and not sleeping: The app’s clever screens “prescribe” you a hypnotic audio “pill” in the form of a guided meditation.

Usability: Excellent. Simply identify the issue you want to address (prevent insomnia, stop smoking, lose weight) and tap through to the prescribed screen.

Quality: Very good.

More: This is your pocket pharmacy for stress reduction meditations.

Sleep Genius

iPhone rating:
3.5 stars $4.99
Android rating:
3.5 stars Free

Interface: Sleep Genius’ dark blue interface and circular alarm controls will remind you of a night sky.

Usability: This app is easy as pie to use — pick your relaxation or sleep program and alarm, and you’re ready to sleep until awakened by gentle alarms.

Quality: Very good.

More: Sleep Genius relies on neurosensory algorithms to help your brain fall asleep. One program is available with app download, and you can purchase more in the app.

Sleepmake Rain

iPhone rating:
3 stars Free
Android rating:
4 stars Free

Interface: Sleepmake Rain’s screens tell you what you need to know about this app: It’s loaded with the sound of rain to help make you sleep.

Usability: If only real rain were this easy to control. You’re one touch away from the soothing sound of just about any kind of rain, from thunderstorms to rain on canvas.

Quality: Very good.

More: Rain sounds may not help everybody sleep, but for those they do help, this is exactly the weather you ordered. 

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control issued an article with the headline “Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic.” Those emphatic words underline how important it is to sleep well. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that at least 30 percent of adults have insomnia. If that’s you, rule out underlying causes by talking to your doctor. Then get the help you need, whether from modifications in diet and exercise, meditation and yoga, or from apps like these.

Methodology

We selected these apps based on their potential to help people deal with insomnia in a number of ways. Additional factors considered in selecting these apps included user ratings, affordability, accessibility, format, functionality, and relevance to insomnia and the needs of people who have insomnia. Together, this collection represents a valuable cross section of helpful iPhone and Android apps that are designed to help users understand insomnia and find ways to improve their sleep. 

Please note: Healthline Networks does not imply warranty of fitness or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Healthline Networks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the apps unless otherwise indicated.