Science Says These 8 Apps Can Help With Insomnia

by Carolyn de Lorenzo

Anyone who’s ever had insomnia (including this girl right here) knows that there are few things as frustrating as not being able to fall and stay asleep at night. Getting regular, sound sleep is so key to feeling well on every level, and when that much-needed rest is elusive, the effects can be felt for days. And while our blue-light emitting phones and devices can sometimes interfere with getting quality shut-eye, on the flipside, there are lots of apps for insomnia that can help you finally fall asleep.

According to NPR, chronic insomnia affects about 10 to 15 percent of adults, while another 25 to 35 percent deal with occasional sleep issues. For people who deal with insomnia, a range of apps can help administer CBT-I, or cognitive behavioral therapy that's designed to help insomnia. These apps "[help] the patient understand the biology of sleep," NPR wrote.

Per the American Sleep Association, sleep apps can perform a number of different functions, depending on what your needs are. From tracking your sleep patterns, to helping you relax so you can fall asleep faster, sleep apps are ingenious devices for helping you achieve better rest. And while there are basically eleventy-million sleep apps out there for you to choose from, the following either feature the most cutting-edge application of sleep research, or tried and true traditional approaches like guided meditations and progressive relaxation. You'll definitely want to take a few for a spin, and see what works best for you.



The Sleepio app is the companion app for the Sleepio course, which uses an evidence-based program to help resolve insomnia, according to NPR. The program aims to help users fall asleep faster, and sleep more deeply with fewer interruptions to their sleep cycles. Users can download the iOS app for free, and optional in-app content is available for purchase.


Relax Melodies

According to their website, Relax Melodies helps curb insomnia with over 100 relaxation sounds, binaural beats, white noise, and soothing melodies. Sleep enhancing guided meditations are also included, and the app is free for iOS or Android. In-app purchase options are also available to expand your Relax Melodies content library.


Nature Sounds Relax & Sleep

According to Healthline, the Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep App helps you fall asleep to sounds of nature to help you wind down, relax, and sleep more deeply. The app is free with in-app purchase options, and is available for Android only.


Sleep Genius

According to their website, Sleep Genius was developed via research meant to help NASA astronauts fall asleep. Healthline notes that the Sleep Genius app was designed to use sounds that help guide your brain through a complete sleep cycle so that you can fall asleep faster, sleep better, and wake up at your body's optimal time. The Sleep Genuis app is available for $4.99 for iOS or Android, and features cutting-edge sleep, relaxation, and power nap programs.



According to their website, Pzizz helps curb insomnia through the use of sound sequences that help optimize your sleep. So you can fall asleep and stay asleep while waking up feeling rested. Pzizz is free to download for iOS or Android, and also offers in-app purchase options.



Inscape is a guided meditation app that uses progressive relaxation, soothing sounds, and atmospheric music to help you fall asleep. According to Inscape's website, by choosing a focus area in-app — there are sessions to help you sleep if you struggle with insomnia — you can target the issues you'd like to focus on day-to-day. The app is free with in-app purchase options, but is available for iOS only.


Sleep Time

Per the Sleep Time page, the app's personalized sleep analysis helps you track your sleep cycles, features gentle soundscapes to help you fall asleep, and gently wakes you up with a sleep phase alarm clock so you wake up feeling refreshed. You'll also get a detailed analysis of every sleep session with the sleep analysis feature. The Sleep Time app is free for iOS and Android, and additional in-app purchase options are also available.


Sleep By Headspace

Per the Headspace website, Sleep by Headspace is designed to promote a "soothing bedtime experience" as sleep sounds and guided meditations help you falls asleep and rest deeply. New Headspace content, called sleepcasts, uses both sound and visualizations to create optimal conditions for deep, restful sleep.

You can access Sleep by Headspace via the Headspace app — just make sure it's updated to the latest version. Also note that while the basic Headspace meditation course is available for free, you'll need to subscribe to access the full library of content. Subscriptions are available for $12.99 per month, or you can pay a yearly fee of $94.99. The app is free for Android or iOS, and in-app purchases are also available.


While insomnia and sleep problems are no fun for anyone, you've got lots of choices when it comes to choosing an effective sleep-promoting app. Whether you like a pre-bedtime meditation sesh, or more complex sleep cycle tracking, there's an app for virtually every sleep need you might have. So, experiment a bit and get sleeping better, my friendlies.