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7 best apps for a good night’s sleep

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From hypnotherapy to bedtime stories, sleep soundly with these top downloads for iPhone, iPad and Android

 

Relax Melodies Premium: Sleep zen sounds & white noise for meditation, yoga and baby relaxation

Apple: iPhone4 / iPad2Wifi / iPad23G / iPhone4S / iPadThirdGen / iPadThirdGen4G / iPhone5 / iPodTouchFifthGen / iPadFourthGen / iPadFourthGen4G / iPadMini / iPadMini4G / iPhone5c / iPhone5s / iPhone6 / iPhone6Plus / iPodTouchSixthGen / – Download – £2.29
Android: 2.2 and up – Download – £1.99/$2.99

This is the most aesthetically pleasing app, which counts for a lot when the aim is to induce a calm state of mind. It includes an extensive range of sounds, some of which, such as a vacuum cleaner, aren’t obviously relaxing. Sounds can be selected individually or in mixes by tapping on wooden tile graphics that are dangling on strings against a backdrop of moving clouds. You can also tag favourites, select from your own music and also set an alarm. Effectively a soundboard for insomniacs, this app both looks and sounds soothing.

— 5/5

 

White Noise

Apple: iPhone-3GS / iPadWifi / iPad3G / iPodTouchThirdGen / iPhone4 / iPodTouchFourthGen / iPad2Wifi / iPad23G / iPhone4S / iPadThirdGen / iPadThirdGen4G / iPhone5 / iPodTouchFifthGen / iPadFourthGen / iPadFourthGen4G / iPadMini / iPadMini4G / iPhone5c / iPhone5s / iPhone6 / iPhone6Plus / iPodTouchSixthGen / – Download – £1.49
Android: 4.0.3 – Download – £1.28/$1.99

This app is an ambient sound generator that allows you to play a wide variety of background noises. The soothing sounds are likely to be the most useful aids with regards to falling asleep and include audio such as birdsong, a cat purring and wind chimes. There is the option to play sounds individually or mixed together – plus, you can program them to run for a specific period or to come on at a set time. When the display is untouched it reverts to a digital clock so you can easily see what time it is if you wake up halfway through the night. Definitely a more effective sleep aid than the Michael Keaton movie with the same name and a worthy download for anyone.

— 4/5

 

Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson

Apple: iPhone4 / iPad2Wifi / iPad23G / iPhone4S / iPadThirdGen / iPadThirdGen4G / iPhone5 / iPodTouchFifthGen / iPadFourthGen / iPadFourthGen4G / iPadMini / iPadMini4G / iPhone5c / iPhone5s / iPhone6 / iPhone6Plus / iPodTouchSixthGen / – Download – £2.29
Android: Varies with device – Download – £1.89/$2.99

Even if you don’t buy into hypnotherapy, qualified practitioner Andrew Johnson’s soothing Scottish accent should help you wind down when it’s time to sleep. This recording begins with basic instructions that include the obligatory warning to not listen while you’re driving. Following that is a long introduction that is meant to get you relaxing into your mattress. Finally, there is a Deep Sleep section intended to make you doze off. You can also schedule a Delayed Wake session to bring you round again. Think of this as a warm bath of words and you could soon be snoozing soundly.

— 3/5

 

Sleepmaker Rain Pro

Apple: iPhone-3GS / iPhone4 / iPodTouchFourthGen / iPad2Wifi / iPad23G / iPhone4S / iPadThirdGen / iPadThirdGen4G / iPhone5 / iPodTouchFifthGen / iPadFourthGen / iPadFourthGen4G / iPadMini / iPadMini4G / iPhone5c / iPhone5s / iPhone6 / iPhone6Plus / iPodTouchSixthGen / – Download – £1.49
Android: 1.6 and up – Download – £0.66/$1.06

This simple white noise app includes a comprehensive list of recorded sounds associated with rain or running water and nothing else. Each sound can be played for 45 minutes, and when you play one a countdown is displayed on screen showing how much time is left. The selection includes light, medium and heavy rain falling on several surfaces and water running down gutters at various speeds. A repeat option would be nice but the only controls in the iOS version are Start and Stop buttons and a volume slider, while the Android version also includes a programmable timer. If you find that relaxing rain renders you unconscious, this will be all you need.

— 3/5

 

Babywise Nap App

Apple: iPod-touch-with-mic / iPhone-3G / iPhone-3GS / iPadWifi / iPad3G / iPodTouchThirdGen / iPhone4 / iPodTouchFourthGen / iPad2Wifi / iPad23G / iPhone4S / iPadThirdGen / iPadThirdGen4G / iPhone5 / iPodTouchFifthGen / iPadFourthGen / iPadFourthGen4G / iPadMini / iPadMini4G / iPhone5c / iPhone5s / iPhone6 / iPhone6Plus / iPodTouchSixthGen / – Download – £1.49
Android: 2.0 and up – Download – £1.99/$1.99

One common cause of stress for new parents is getting their baby to sleep for long enough. That’s because when a baby doesn’t sleep, mum and dad don’t either. This app is designed to help parents find out why their baby won’t stay asleep if he or she wakes up easily. It includes basic sleep facts, information on common causes of nap challenges and questionnaires that lead to possible reasons why baby isn’t sleeping properly. The interface is occasionally quirky but the app is attractively designed and offers sensible advice that might keep parents and their infant snoozing for longer. Sleep is essential for babies and parents and this app might help both get more.

— 4/5

 

Nightlight + Lullaby songs & Sleep sounds

Apple: iPhone-3GS / iPadWifi / iPad3G / iPodTouchThirdGen / iPhone4 / iPodTouchFourthGen / iPad2Wifi / iPad23G / iPhone4S / iPadThirdGen / iPadThirdGen4G / iPhone5 / iPodTouchFifthGen / iPadFourthGen / iPadFourthGen4G / iPadMini / iPadMini4G / iPhone5c / iPhone5s / iPhone6 / iPhone6Plus / iPodTouchSixthGen / – Download – £1.49
Android: 2.2 and up – Download – £0.64/$0.99

This app consists of a set of cartoon images reminiscent of classic Disney movies that can be displayed at varying degrees of brightness as night lights. They can also be accompanied by calming aural stimulation in the form of lullabies or other soothing sounds such as birds singing, waves or rainfall. The light and sounds can be left on indefinitely or can be set to go off at a particular time. The pictures are aimed at children but they are pleasant enough for anyone and adults could definitely nod off too. Two apps for the price of one is something you should never lose sleep over.

— 4/5

 

Nighty Night! HD – The bedtime story app for children

Apple: iPad2Wifi / iPad23G / iPadThirdGen / iPadThirdGen4G / iPadFourthGen / iPadFourthGen4G / iPadMini / iPadMini4G / – Download – £2.49
Android: 2.2 and up – Download – Free

If you have a toddler you’ll know that getting them into bed at night can be the most challenging part of settling them ready for sleep. This delightful eBook is designed to calm children down and get them familiar with the idea that night time is for resting. The app achieves this through a short interactive animated story that is populated by charming animals. It can be read by a soothing narrator in several languages or played just with the story’s own sound effects and images. Best of all, it works great for adults as well. Short and very sweet, this should be a staple part of everyone’s bedtime routine.

— 5/5

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