When it comes to lying awake at night, being on your phone is just one more hurdle keeping you from your ultimate goal— sleep. Even though it’s tempting to catch up on what your friends think about the latest celebrity scandal or political revelation, the blue light emanating from your phone has been proven to keep you up long enough to watch at least 10 more cat videos. Yawn. Reading a book on the other hand, is said to be one of the best things you can do before bed. This is because it calls for a longer attention span than your phone does, thereby using a different part of your brain that won’t keep you as wide-eyed and jittery.
But, if you and your phone are truly attached at the touch-screen, here are three great apps to help you fall asleep faster:
1. ASMRtist - Free
You may have already seen one of the viral ASMR videos. Meaning “autonomous sensory meridian response,” ASMR has a strange way of making you feel tingly, yet totally at ease. This is because the certain sights and sounds that are ASMR “triggers” cause your brain to experience a sensory phenomenon that feels like static-like tingling in your head and skin. This app lets you create a playlist of your favourite triggers, or put them on shuffle to see which ones suit you best. Not everyone reacts to the same ASMR triggers, but the most popular include soft whispers, tapping, rain, and fluttering fingers.
2. Calm - Free trial, then € 11.99 per month
Calm is like a zen garden in your phone, with more “playlists” for sleep than you could dream of. And this time it’s not just an anonymous voice lulling you to bed, but rather recognizable figures reading popular books, or describing tranquil scenes in your ear. Doze off to Bindi Irwin taking you through the Australian outback, or (our personal favourite at IMAGE) Stephen Fry leading you through fields of lavender. Calm doesn’t just want you to sleep better, it wants you to really feel better. Besides your run-of-the-mill stress reduction activities, this app includes exercises that are meant to build self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and even improve focus.
3. Buddhify - € 2.79
Part of Buddhify’s appeal is that it’s conscious of how hard mindfulness can be for some people- it’s difficult to just turn off all your thoughts in a snap! Soundtracks validate this as different voices take you through a range of sleep exercises. From meditation to games like “whack a thought,” Buddhify’s activities have something for every restless sleeper. Bonus: this app isn’t exclusively for sleep, and Buddhify says what sets them apart from other sleep apps is that it’s “designed to fit a busy modern lifestyle.” The home screen includes a wheel of contexts to calm down in, including travelling, work breaks, and dealing with stress/difficult emotions, all with runnings times to suit whatever window is available to you.