(+1 just for fun!)
Established in London in 2010, Headspace now boasts over 15 million users worldwide. The app offers hundreds of themed meditation sessions, covering a wide variety of topics to help its members including stress, anxiety, sleep, work, kids, focus, productivity and much more.
Headspace are highly focused on the science behind meditation – they research and measure how it can improve the health and happiness of their users, and the results speak for themselves. Research shows Headspace can positively impact mood, compassion, work, anxiety, stress, depression and focus.
With over 2000 meditation apps out there, it’s hard to know which one to choose – I would definitely recommend Headspace. With an in-house science team and partnerships with the most prestigious scientific research institutions and organizations, Headspace are one of the only meditation apps committed to researching the health benefits of meditation and using their findings to improve the health of their users.
Download it here >> Headspace App
Sleep Cycle is a multipurpose app which monitors and analyses sleeping patterns and incorporates an intelligent alarm clock to wake users in their lightest sleep phase. Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally without an alarm clock, helping users to feel more rested and refreshed.
Both freemium and premium versions are available – the free plan includes the alarm clock and sleep analysis graphs, with the addition of a sleep aid, snoring and wake up mood analysis and more on the pro plan. Both options include a sleep quality percentage which I find to be very useful to consistently monitor my sleep “performance” on a day to day basis.
As the Guardian puts it, “The result is so gentle and lovely it feels like being woken up by a mermaid stroking your hair or a unicorn nuzzling your toes”. Say no more.
Download it here >> Sleep Cycle App
This app is ideal for people that struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep due to a “racing mind” or “thinking too much”. The app uses a combination of soothing sounds and voice cues to help users relax, destress, and get to sleep faster.
Similarly to Sleep Cycle, Pzizz spends 3 minutes gently bringing the user out of sleep with personalised wake-up audio. Endorsed by several celebrities including J.K. Rowling, sports stars and journalists, this app has helped some users overcome chronic sleep conditions such as insomnia.
Download it here >> Pzizz App
Hypnosis & Meditation
An acclaimed hypnotherapist created the Relax and Sleep Well app which does exactly what it says on the tin. It includes over 80 hypnotherapy and meditation recordings covering insomnia, stress, anxiety, mindfulness, sleep, weight-loss, confidence, self-esteem, spiritual healing, phobias, addictions and much more.
The app uses affirmations and specific keys and frequencies to help guide users into a deep state of mental and physical relaxation. It aims to encourage healthy sleeping patterns, leaving users with a profound feeling of relaxation and mindfulness – Relax and Sleep Well now helps over 3 million people improve the quality of their sleep every night.
Download it here >> Relax & Sleep Well App
Blue Light Filter
The Night Shift app analyses your phones clock and geolocation settings to determine when it’s sunset, at which point it will shift your phones display to warmer colours and return to normal in the morning (times can also be set manually if preferred).
The apps night light is anti-glare which reduces eye strain and protects eyes from blue light. Studies have found many negative effects caused by blue light as it blocks the release of melatonin; a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. Blue light from our phones and tablets can therefore cause insomnia and restlessness, chronic migraine, sleepless chronic headache, glaucoma and cataract.
Night Shift helps to improve eye health and sleep quality over time.
Ever wished you could control your dreams? Have you experienced it before and want to know how to do it again? Awoken is a dream journal and mental training app that gives you the tools to experience lucid dreaming.
Although it is not yet known why, dreams are quickly forgotten once we wake up and sometimes not remembered at all if we don’t wake at the right time. Awoken’s dream journal gives users a platform to recollect dreams upon waking, providing a Speech-To-Text feature for when you’re just awake enough to start collecting your subconscious adventure, but not awake enough to use the keyboard.
Dreams can be analysed and controlled, learning to master experiences that aren’t possible in waking reality. You can fly, breathe under water or whatever else you put your mind to. With the sensations as real as in waking life, your mind is the only limit!
It is reported that lucid dreaming can also help to overcome nightmares, be used to rehearse success for real life scenarios and be used to train creativity.
Download it here >> Awoken
There are numerous risks involved in sleep deprivation including diabetes, obesity, depression, and high blood pressure. We have adopted many bad habits that interfere with sleep and increase these risks, like caffeine or alcohol and screen time before bed. Risks have also risen due to human nature; we are the only mammal known to willingly delay sleep, staying awake for work or social reasons. Sleep apps can help us to create new good habits and reduce the health risks that a lack of sleep can cause, so give one or all of these apps a try to improve your health!
Read this blog for 4 quick tips to improve sleep quality.