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Sleep meditation apps can help people who have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. Most apps feature guided meditations that use the spoken word to guide a person through a relaxing exercise.

A quick look at 7 of the best apps for sleep meditation

Apps that help with sleep often contain a library of soothing sounds and music. Many have additional features, such as timer functions or built-in reminders.

Most sleep meditation apps offer a free trial, so a person can try a selection to find the right fit. This list provides a range of options, and each app has different features.

Sleep meditation apps draw from the practice of mindfulness or mindfulness meditation.

These apps allow people to participate in guided meditations, listen to stories and music, and do breathing exercises that may help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.

While most apps are free to download, many require a subscription to access all features. People may wish to consider the overall cost of any subscriptions when choosing which app to use.

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Below are some sleep meditation apps available to download on Android and iOS.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for different session lengths: Chopra App

  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Customer rating on the App Store: 4.9 out of 5 stars
  • Customer rating on Google Play: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Features: personalized meditation and daily challenges
  • Price: free with optional in-app purchases
  • Subscription: $69.99 per year

The Chopra App provides meditations that are based on Deepak Chopra’s teachings. It includes over 500 meditations and practices, well-being experts available for coaching, and daily challenges.

Individuals must complete a quiz that allows the app to personalize meditations and sessions to each person’s requirements.

People can select different topics such as sleep, stress and anxiety relief, relationships, and personal and spiritual growth. Individuals can also choose among sessions that are 5, 10, 20, and 30 minutes.

This app is free to download and use. People can unlock all sessions and meditations for an annual subscription of $69.99.

Best for personalization: BetterSleep

  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Customer rating on the App Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Customer rating on Google Play: 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • Features: music, meditations, and bedtime stories
  • Price: 7-day free trial
  • Subscription: from $9.99 per year

This app aims specifically to help people sleep. It comes with a library of sounds, music, white noise, 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 BetterSleep can set themselves a reminder to use the app. It also has a timer so the app switches off after a set amount of time.

The app is free to download, and the company states that most of its content is available for free. Subscriptions unlock premium content. After a 7-day free trial, an annual subscription costs $9.99 for students and $59.99 for adults. Lifetime access costs $249.99.

Best for sleep stories: Calm

  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Customer rating on the App Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Customer rating on Google Play: 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • Features: sleep stories, guided meditation, breathing exercises, and music
  • Price: 7-day free trial
  • Subscription: from $69.99 per year

Calm offers guided meditations, breathing exercises, and music. The app is suitable for people who are new to meditation, but it also has content for more advanced users.

Read our Calm app review here.

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 meditation every day.

Calm offers a 7-day free trial. After this period, the app automatically enrolls people in Calm Premium. This costs $69.99 a year, or people can purchase a lifetime subscription for a one-off fee of $399.99.

Best for mindfulness exercises: Headspace

  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Customer rating on the App Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Customer rating on Google Play: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Features: guided meditations, sounds, and exercises
  • Price: 7-day free trial
  • Subscription: from $12.99 per month

This app is built around exercises that teach mindfulness and meditation. Beginners can start with a basic course that introduces them to mindfulness.

Read our Headspace review here.

Headspace has a specific sleep section with guided meditations, relaxing sounds, and exercises to wind down for sleep.

The app requires a subscription. While people can download the app for free, it automatically begins a 7-day trial before a monthly or annual subscription. A monthly subscription costs $12.99, and an annual one costs $69.99.

Best for beginners: Meditation & Relaxation Pro

  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Customer rating on the App Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Customer rating on Google Play: 4.7 out of 5 stars
  • Features: meditations and weekly programs
  • Price: free to download
  • Subscription: from $4.99 per month

This app has themed meditations organized by type, including meditations for sleep. Instructions are clear and simple to follow.

Meditation & Relaxation Pro may be suitable 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, but people can only access some of its content. For access to the full app content, users must pay a monthly or annual subscription. The cost starts from $4.99 per month.

Best for napping: Pzizz

  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Customer rating on the App Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Customer rating on Google Play: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Features: personalized dreamscapes
  • Price: free with optional purchases
  • Subscription: from $7.99 per month

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, may help 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 try the pro version for 7 days before deciding to pay with a monthly or annual subscription. Pzizz Pro costs 7.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Best for busy people: Buddhify

  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Customer rating on the App Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Customer rating on Google Play: 3.8 out of 5 stars
  • Features: themed, customizable, meditations
  • Price: $4.99
  • Subscription: optional $30 per year

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 calm the mind before sleep.

There is a one-off cost of $4.99 to download the app. All content is free, with the option of paying an annual membership for extra features and benefits. This membership costs $30 per year.

The following chart compares the sleep meditation apps in this article.

PlatformsApp Store ratingGoogle Play ratingFeaturesPriceSubscription
Chopra AppiOS,
Android
4.9 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 starspersonalized meditation and daily challengesfreeoptional
$69.99 per year
Better
Sleep
iOS,
Android
4.8 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 starsmusic, meditation, and bedtime stories7-day free trialrequired
from $9.99 per year
CalmiOS,
Android
4.8 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 starsmusic, meditation, breathing exercises, and bedtime stories7-day free trialrequired
from $69.99 per year
Head
space
iOS,
Android
4.8 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 starsmeditation, sounds, and exercises7-day free trialrequired
from $12.99 per month
Meditation
&
Relaxation
Pro
iOS,
Android
4.8 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 starsmeditations and weekly programsfreeoptional
from $4.99 per month
PzizziOS,
Android
4.8 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 starspersonalized dreamscapesfreeoptional
from $7.99 per month
BuddhifyiOS,
Android
4.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 starsthemed and customizable meditations$4.99optional
$30 per year

People may wish to consider the following when choosing a sleep meditation app:

  • Features: A person who prefers to listen to stories before going to sleep may wish to download a different app than a person who prefers listening to music or partaking in breathing exercises.
  • Length of sessions: People may wish to download an app that has a mixture of session lengths.
  • Experience level: People who are meditation beginners may wish to use an app that has sessions specifically for people who are less experienced.
  • Budget: While many apps are free to download, some require monthly or annual subscriptions that can be costly. People may wish to consider the benefits they may receive when deciding which app to subscribe to.
  • Customer reviews: People may wish to consider customer reviews when choosing an app. Apps may perform differently on iOS and Android, or even among device models.

There is anecdotal and research-based evidence suggesting that sleep meditation apps can be helpful.

A 2021 review of 10 studies conducted between 2012 and 2020 found that virtual mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) were effective at improving sleep quality. The MBIs the researchers considered included guided web-based programs people accessed through their smart devices and therapist-led interventions.

The researchers found that these virtual MBIs had a long-term effect of improving sleep quality. These forms of MBIs may be particularly beneficial for people who cannot access traditional therapy methods, such as those who live in rural areas or people who cannot afford access to healthcare.

In addition to using a sleep meditation app, making certain lifestyle changes can help 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 and 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.

Here we answer some common questions about these apps.

Can sleep meditation apps help anxiety?

Research into meditation apps and anxiety has found that there is evidence that these apps can reduce symptoms of both depression and anxiety.

While research has not looked at the effect of sleep meditation apps on anxiety, it is likely that they will affect people in a similar way.

Can sleep meditation apps help insomnia?

A 2021 study investigating the effect of the meditation app Calm on sleep disturbances found that participants self-reported falling asleep quicker, staying asleep, and feeling more refreshed once waking after using the app.

Additionally, a 2019 review of studies found moderate evidence that mindfulness meditation improved several sleep disturbances, such as insomnia.

Many meditation apps come with content to help a person sleep. Others are specific apps for helping people sleep. So users have many available options to consider.