Sleep meditation apps can help people with insomnia or who have difficulty falling asleep. Most feature guided meditations that use the spoken word to guide a person through an exercise.
Often, apps to help with sleep contain a library of soothing sounds and music. Many have additional features, such as a timer function or built-in reminders.
Most sleep meditation apps offer a free trial, so try a selection to find the right fit. This list provides a range of options, and each app has different features.
This app provides talks and guided meditations from teachers, mindfulness experts, and psychologists. Insight Timer adds new guided meditations every day.
Users can search by topic. The popular sleep deeply topic makes it easy to find meditations for sleep. Insight Timer also has tracks with music and sounds to help with relaxation.
As well as searching by topic, users can find meditations and talks by length or teacher. It is possible to follow a favorite teacher and join discussion forums in-app.
Insight Timer is free, with the option to subscribe for access to courses and to listen offline.
This app aims specifically to help people sleep. It comes with a library of sounds, music, and white noise. Relax Melodies also features guided meditation, bedtime stories, and breathing exercises.
Users can create a personalized mix by selecting tracks. These vary in length and include guided meditations, as well as sounds.
People using Relax Melodies can set themselves a reminder to use the app. It also has a timer so that the app switches itself off after a certain amount of time. This makes it easy to use the app for falling asleep.
After a free 7-day trial, users have the option to subscribe with an annual subscription fee.
Calm offers guided meditations, breathing exercises, and music. The app is suitable for people who are new to meditation but also has content for more advanced users.
One of the key features of the app is sleep stories. There are over 100 bedtime stories for adults designed to help users unwind and fall asleep.
Sessions range from 3–25 minutes in length. Calm adds a new 10-minute daily meditation every day.
After a free 7-day trial, users have the option to subscribe with a one-off annual subscription fee. This gives access to the app’s full content.
The basis of this app is exercises that teach mindfulness and meditation. Beginners can start with a basic course that introduces them to mindfulness.
Headspace has a specific sleep section, with guided meditations, relaxing sounds, and exercises to wind down for sleep.
The 7-day free trial allows access to all content. After the trial, users can choose a monthly or annual subscription. Without a subscription, users can still access some free content.
This app has themed meditations organized by type, including meditations for sleep. Instructions are clear and simple to follow.
Meditation & Relaxation is for those who are new to meditation, with a 7-day program to introduce mindfulness techniques.
Other content includes 7-day programs on topics, such as stress relief, and single sessions on topics, such as forgiveness and self-love.
The app is free, with limited content. For access to the full app content, users must pay an annual subscription.
This app has three themes, sleep, nap, and focus. Pzizz uses a playlist of sounds, spoken segments, and music, which it calls dreamscapes. This tailored playlist, which changes every night, helps users get to sleep,
The nap setting contains spoken instructions and music. The focus setting contains sounds that aim to boost productivity by encouraging the user to concentrate.
Over time, the app learns what sounds a particular user likes and dislikes and will personalize playlists accordingly. The app offers a choice of narrators too.
Pzizz comes in two versions, pro and free. Users can trial pro for 7 days before deciding to pay with a monthly or annual subscription. Users can also continue to use the free version.
The narrator of Relax & Sleep Well is hypnotherapist Glenn Harrold. The recordings guide the user through a self-hypnosis session, with background sound effects.
One of the free recordings is a 29-minute hypnotherapy session. The session helps the listener relax and encourages healthy sleep patterns.
The app is free to download, with four free recordings. Users can purchase other recordings in-app.
This app design fits into a busy day, with themed meditations. These include getting to sleep, traveling, and facing a stressful situation.
A variety of teachers lead meditations ranging from 3–40 minutes. Mindfulness exercises help to calm the mind before sleep.
There is a one-off cost to download the app. All content is free, with the option of paying an annual membership for extra features and benefits.
Many meditation apps come with content to help a person sleep. Others are specific apps for helping people sleep, so there are many available options.
As well as using a sleep meditation app, some lifestyle changes can help to improve sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend:
- making sure the bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet
- trying to go to bed and get up at the same time every day
- avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and eating a large meal before bed
- avoiding looking at screens at bedtime
- exercising during the day
If these changes do not work, or lack of sleep affects daily life, a person may need to see a doctor.
Some medications and medical conditions can make it harder to sleep. Keeping a sleep diary and sharing this with a doctor can help them identify any problems.