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Using apps to help you sleep better

Stress and chronic illness have a way of making themselves known when we’re trying to get some sleep. Somehow, we can shove our stressful thoughts aside most of the day but the moment we try to clear our minds and go to sleep, BAM- stressful thoughts overwhelm us. There are times when it’s really diificult to clear our head and go to sleep. I’m notorious for intrusive thoughts.

Thankfully, there are ways to help. In the third part of the Sleep Better While Stressed series, I’m talking about apps.

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Our smartphones are never very far away. They can be useful when it comes to reducing stress and helping us sleep. The blue light from our phones is actually counter intuitive, but I personally sleep better when I use my phone to distract me from intrusive thoughts. For the most part, you can just start an app, set a sleep timer and close your eyes anyway.

Both iPhone and Android have apps that can help us better understand our sleep cycle and help us clear our minds to sleep better. I’ve got four apps that might be worth a shot when you’re struggling with painsomnia, stress or intrusive thoughts.


The Headspace app’s tag line is Be Kind to your Mind. This mantra is perfect when stress tries to rob you of your sleep. The app has a variety of benefits including help to assess why you may not be sleeping, functions for power napping, and being mindful. The app is free for basic access and charges a monthly fee for advanced features. There is also a new Netflix series, Guide to Meditation, that my husband enjoys. They have a few others as well. I’d rather pay for Netflix than a single app, but you do you.


The Calm app is one of the highest rated apps for relief from anxiety and stress. This app has a wide variety of meditations ranging from beginner to advanced. Subscribers can choose how long and what type of meditation they prefer. This app also has an option for nature sounds which can be great as white noise for stress relief. This app is free and does offer some in-app purchases. 


The Dare app is unique because its focus is helping you face your anxiety and stressors rather than distract you from them. This unique app helps you move through anxiety using guided imagery you can focus on while the audio portion helps you sit comfortably with your stress. This can help you overcome and move on from stress which can lead to better sleep and less recurring anxiety. This app is free with in-app purchases available.

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While not technically designed as an app to help you sleep better, Spotify is on this list for a reason. There are so many options with Spotify. Nature sounds to help you drift off? Check. Audiobooks to bring on the dreams? Check. Podcasts made for your exact situation? CHECK! There is obviously every type of music you could ask for as well. It’s worth having the paid version to cancel out ads. I also love that there is a sleep timer. Turn on Nothing Much Happens, set a 30 minute timer and it’s lights out.

Using your smartphone to help manage stress and sleep better makes sense. Having resources available that guide you through relaxing and letting go of worries is an asset at bedtime. Try various apps to see which ones meet your needs. Be willing to switch it up and try new apps when one feels too familiar, the variety will help. You can consider investing in the small fees to upgrade and unlock the bigger and better features too. Just make sure to try free versions first so that you aren’t wasting your money.

In the next post, I will be discussing meditation to help reduce stress at bedtime. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list to find out more.

Are there any apps that help you sleep better? Do you use any of the ones mentioned?

Check out the rest of the Sleep Better While Stressed series:

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Four Apps to Help You Sleep Better While Stressed