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Can Apps Help You Sleep?

Posted On January 7, 2014
January 07, 2014

Can’t remember what life was like when our society was not connected to smartphones and most other technological gadgets? It seems that we are plugged in so much at times that we have lost the ability to unwind and de-stress at the end of the day. It will come as no surprise that experts say that although our electronic gadgets might help make our lives easier during daylight hours, they can wreak havoc on the quality of our sleep. Therefore, they suggest turning off cell phones and tablets an hour or two before bedtime, which will help us get ready to relax and not be stimulated by sending emails or posting on Facebook. Add to their sage advice the following tidbit: cell phones and tablets all have a backlit function, which can disrupt your body by not producing melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep.

But then again, what if these electronic stimuli can assist you in getting a full night of Zzzzs? What then? Of course, there are a slew of apps, free and for a fee, for both iPhones, Androids and tablets that can help you nod off without a problem.

The following are some of the free apps that can help you get a good night of sleep but before you launch most suggest making sure your device is in the “Do Not Disturb” or Airplane mode:

Sleep Pillow

If you like white noise or sound machines, Sleep Pillow is a free app available for iOS that might be for you (there is a full version with a cost of $1.99). The app has sounds loaded that can be mixed to your taste, including a crackling fire, chirping bird, babbling water and a metronome. Just set the sound and timer to fade and allow yourself to drift off to sleep. If you upgrade to the full version, you will have access to additional sounds, with the ability to create close to 700,000 combinations, along with the capability to set a morning alarm to a mix of your choice.

Sleep Time Alarm Clock Cycle

There are actually two versions of this iOS app, free and $1.99 in the iTunes store (which is the full version with all the bells and whistles). How many times have you woken up with the alarm clock out of a totally deep sleep? It can almost put you in panic mode and make the rest of your day tumble downhill because you were just not quite ready to lift your head off the pillow. This app was created to make sure that when you wake up you do so at the best time possible as well as get a good night of sleep in the process. The app analyzes and keeps track of your movements while you sleep by taking advantage of the phone’s motion sensors or accelerometer. So when you wake up in the morning, you can see a graph depicting your movements throughout the night which in turn calculates the quality of your sleep.

All you have to do is set the alarm for the time you would like to be woken up and the app will determine, within a 30-minute window from the pre-set time, when you are in a state of light sleep and prime to be woken up. With the free version of Sleep Time, you can also set the app to a soundscape choice to assist you in falling asleep but with the full version, you have many other options, along with the ability to use tunes from your music library. In order for the app to work the best, your phone needs to be connected and charging and also placed face down on the corner of the bed near your pillow.


Similar in concept to SleepTime, Sleepbot is a free app available for both iOS and Android users. Your sleep is analyzed and you are woken up at the most optimal time according to your unique sleep pattern. Another difference is that Sleepbot has the ability to record talking in your sleep and snoring. And for those who like to repeatedly hit the snooze button, you have the ability to only turn off the alarm when you have performed a determined task that allows the app to know you are truly and fully awake. In addition, after a couple of nights of sleep history, this app goes a step further in that it will offer suggestions on what to enhance or avoid before bedtime to allow you to maximize the quality of your sleep.

If you would like to find out more about getting a good night of sleep or believe that you might have a more serious health issue like sleep apnea, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation.


About Phoebe Ochman

Phoebe Ochman, Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America, manages all content and communications for the company.
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