Tossing and Turning? These 5 Free Apps Could Help You Get to Sleepy Town

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I’m in a committed relationship with my pillow and blanket, but some nights I just can’t fall asleep no matter how hard I try.

I’m hardly alone. The American Sleep Association recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 35% of adults commonly sleep less than seven hours per night.

Lying awake tossing and turning once in a while is no big deal; it happens to everyone. Chronic sleeplessness, though, can take its toll on your health.  

Researchers at Harvard Medical School say poor sleep habits can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart problems and mood disorders.

That makes sense to me. I know I’m plenty cranky when I don’t get enough sleep.

Fortunately, there are a number of free smartphone apps on the market designed to help people fall asleep — and stay asleep.

5 Apps To Help You Fall Asleep Faster

Here are some of my favorite apps I use to help me get to sleep.

1. Pzizz

I have no clue how to pronounce the name of this app. All l I know is that it works.

Pzizz plays “human composed, algorithmically remixed sounds” while a male voice (or a choice of a male or female voice in the Pro version, which costs money,) lulls you to sleep with guided suggestions similar to meditation or hypnosis.

You can change the volume of the music and voice or turn them off completely if you want to focus on just the music or voiceover.

If it’s a quick snooze you’re after, select the Nap option so you aren’t lulled too deeply into sleep.

Pzizz is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

2. Relax Melodies

I often rely on Relax Melodies to help me fall asleep because of how customizable it is.

The app has over 100 ambient sounds to choose from so you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

I usually go with predictable selections like rainfall or the ocean, but this app has everything from a chiming grandfather clock to a running clothes dryer.

Relax Melodies also offers isochronic tones, binaural beats and guided meditation for a change of pace.  

Relax Melodies is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

3. Simple Habit

If it’s straight-up meditation your after, Simple Habit is the way to go.

This app offers over 1,000 guided meditations, though some are only available in the premium version.

Free options include meditations for deep sleep, mindful sleep or to just help you drift off.

Simple Habit is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

4. Sleep Well

Sleep Well uses hypnosis techniques to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

A certified hypnotherapist guides you through the process while peaceful music plays in the background.

If you just want a fast nap, the app will wake you when the session is over. Or, disable the feature to stay asleep when the session ends.

If your smartphone is running iOS 10 or above, Sleep Well will even share your listening time in Apple’s Health app so you can track your progress over time.

Sleep Well is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

5. Sleep With Me

Technically, “Sleep With Me” is a free podcast, but you’ll need a podcast app on your phone to listen. Most devices come with a native podcast app, so check your smartphone.

Sleep With Me” podcast host Drew Ackerman is possibly the most mind-numbingly boring speaker on the planet, but he would consider that a compliment.

It’s the “Seinfeld” of the podcast world because each episode is literally about nothing. Ackerman simply drones on and on (and on!) for an hour or two in the most monotonous voice you can imagine.

I once tried to actively listen to the meandering story Ackerman was telling and nodded off anyway. It’s that good!

Download episodes of “Sleep With Me” on iTunes or from the podcast’s website.

Of course, all good things must come to an end and we have to wake up sooner or later. These nine free apps will help you get your butt out of bed in the morning.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She has a very tenuous grasp on sleep.