Top 3 sleep apps to help you drop off tonight

Discover the top 3 sleep apps to help you get a proper night's slumber and wake up fully refreshed

A woman sleeping near her phone
(Image credit: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto)

Can't sleep? A good sleep apps could make a real difference. While there are any number of reasons why you may not be getting all the sleep you need, it's possible that the right app could give you the help you require and enable you to drop off quickly and get a full eight hours or so of uninterrupted slumber.

There are almost too many sleep apps out there to choose from, though, so that's why we've kept things simple with a selection of three options that cover most of the bases. So whether you want a properly sleep-focused app, a more general mindfulness and relaxation solution to help you focus your mind so that it's not racing at bedtime, or simply some soothing soundscapes to help you drop off, we've got you covered.

Of course there are other things you can do to ensure a better night's sleep; you'll naturally want the best mattress to ensure you're comfortable at night, not to mention the best pillow to go with it. And if you want a more dedicated tech solution to sleeplessness, the best sleep tracker can help you get into better bedtime habits.

The Sleep Cycle app in front of a bedroom

(Image credit: Pexels / Monica Silvestre / Sleep Cycle)

1. Sleep Cycle

The best sleep app all-round

Specifications

Platform: iOS, Android

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Apple Watch compatible
+
Helps improve sleep quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a while for best results

For a helpful and comprehensive app that'll help you sleep better, Sleep Cycle's a great choice. First and foremost it's a sleep tracker that uses your phone (or your Apple Watch) to monitor you throughout the night, listening out for the noises you make such as moving about, snoring or talking in your sleep. It then presents that data in an easy-to-understand graphs, enabling you to figure out how you can adjust your sleep patterns and get the rest you need at night.

Once Sleep Cycle understands your own personal sleep patterns, it can wake you up when you're in your lightest sleep phase so that you can bounce out of bed feeling more fully rested. And to help you drift off at night, it'll also play you soothing sounds and storied; read on to find another option along those lines.

The headspace app in front of a bedroom

(Image credit: Pexels / Lina Kivak / Headspace, Inc.)

2. Headspace

A mindfulness and meditation app with helpful sleep functions

Specifications

Platform: iOS, Android

Reasons to buy

+
Great for clearing your mind
+
Lots of meditative exercises

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited free trial

If your head's full of unwanted thoughts and worries, that can be a huge barrier to getting a proper night's sleep. And if that's the case for you, then a more general mindfulness and relaxation app could be a better idea than a more specifically sleep-focused option, and that's where Headspace can help. While helping you get to sleep is one of its functions, providing you with 'sleepcasts', music and other audio experiences to help you drop off, it can also help you tackle problems like stress and anxiety through meditation, yoga, and workout sessions.

There's a free trial version available, but to get the most out of Headspace you'll have to pay a monthly subscription fee, which might be a turn-off for some. However if you're serious about sorting your head out so it lays better on the pillow, it could easily be a worthwhile investment.

3. Rainy Mood

A selection of soothing soundscapes to help you drop off

Specifications

Platform: iOS, Android

Reasons to buy

+
Fully customisable
+
Great quality sound

Reasons to avoid

-
No wake-up option

Sometimes the simplest solutions can be the best, and if you're having trouble turning off your brain at the end of the day, simply distracting it with the right noises can be the ideal way to get off to sleep. Some people go for basic white noise, but for a natural selection of sleep-inducing sounds, Rainy Mood is an excellent choice.

Designed to help you sleep, study or relax, it features four fully-customisable rain soundscape - Classic, Ocean, Countryside, and Café - as well as a huge sample library and tools to help you mix up the sounds you hear so that the experience always sounds fresh and never repeats. You can mix it with your own music if you like, and Rainy Mood has a built-in sleep timer so that you can set it to fade out once you've (hopefully) nodded off.

Jim is a freelance writer who has been covering tech, games, design and more for magazines, websites and brands over many years.