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5 Apps to Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep

A good night's sleep is essential to your health and your daily life. Waking up refreshed gives you a head start on your day. You're energized and ready to tackle anything life dishes out. A night of tossing and turning, by contrast, can turn your day into a nightmare.

When it comes to getting to sleep at night, smartphones are a mixed blessing. Using them to check social media or email before or in bed can wind you up when you need to throttle down. They also radiate melatonin-suppressing blue light that convinces your body it's midday, and thus time to be alert. But used wisely, they can be helpful, especially because they offer apps which can help you sleep better. Here are five of our favorite sleep-aid apps.

1: Relax Melodies

This app by Ipnos Soft, available for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows phones and Mac desktops, plays relaxing sounds and music to help you get to sleep. You can add tracks from your own library, or mixes shared by other users. There are also brainwave entrainment beats that help you sleep or concentrate, as well as a dedicated blog with articles and tips on sleeping better. The cost ranges from $2.99 to $4.99 depending on what device you're going to run it on. Related apps include an Oriental-themed version, a seasonal-themed mix (for iOS, free) and an alarm clock/sleep sound app (also free, for iOS).

2: Pillow, the sleep cycle

This app for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, provided by Neybox, helps you track your sleep and analyze sleep patterns. It monitors your sounds and movements while you sleep, and adds sleep duration data to the built-in Health app. It also provides sleep aid melodies and wake-up sounds.

3: Pandora

This famous music streaming service with iOS and Android apps can help you sleep too. You can fall asleep to any soothing channel, with gentle sounds of the rainforest, running water or soft music in your ears. You can also use it to wake you up with sounds or music in the morning.

4: Sleep Genius

This app, based on NASA research, is available for iOS, Android devices and Samsung wearables including the Gear Neo, Gear 2 and Gear Fit. It uses scientifically developed sounds and music patterns to help you get to sleep. It also wakes you up gently in the morning and includes relaxation and power nap programs as well. It's $4.99 for iOS, and free for the Samsung wearables and Android devices, with in-app purchases.

5: SpinMe Alarm

If you are a deep sleeper who tends to snooze through alarms in the morning instead of waking up, this $1.99 iOS and Android app are what you need. You can't turn off the alarm and ignore it just by tapping the screen – you have to get out of bed and spin twice in a circle before the sound stops. If that doesn't get you up for good, you'd better get one of the sleep aid apps above – and start getting to bed an hour earlier.

While clever apps can help you get to sleep even when you're wound up, an even better solution is to schedule a massage, so you're less likely to be wound up when you're ready for bed.


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