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The top five sleep apps

11 October 2012

Perfect your night’s sleep with these top-reviewed phone apps. Rosie Brogan reports.

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#1 Proactive Sleep 
www.proactivesleep.com

Best for: helping you to improve the quality of your sleep

How it works
This iPhone app takes note of your nightly sleep habits, and, over time, it let’s you know if you’re netting the amount of sleep you need.

Start by setting a sleep goal, activating the alarm when you’re ready to sleep, and the next morning, receive your feedback. This comes in the form of a red, green or yellow light – plus data. The app also has a wake-up function, in which you press images of the sun a few times until you’re fully awake – this adds to the data by telling you how groggy you are each morning!

#2 Sleep Cycle 
www.sleepcycle.com

Best for: helping you wake at the optimal time

How it works
Slip your iPhone between the bed’s sheet and mattress in the top corner closest to your pillow. The app senses how much sleep you’re getting during the night (and it knows when you wake up over the course of the night, too). To do this, it uses an accelerometer, a sensor that’s already in your phone.

Sleep Cycle monitors your sleep fluctuations, and presents you with a graph in the morning. It also works out the bets time to wake you up – based on that info – and brings you around with a soothing tune.

Fact: Sleep Cycle was reportedly the best selling paid-for app in Sweden, Germany and South Korea in 2010.

#3 Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson
www.withandrewjohnson.com

Best for:
easing you into sleep

How it works
This app delivers a guided meditation that you can use to bring on Dr Snooze. It’s spoken by self-help expert, Andrew Johnson – if you’re into Sean Connery, you’re in luck, as the two blokes sound similar.

It features tips on breathing and relaxing, and the idea is that the app chills you out before lulling you to sleep.

#4 Long Deep Breathing 
itunes.apple.com/au/app/long-deep-breathing/id337291691?mt=8

Best for: calming a busy mind

How it works
This ‘no frills’ app helps you nail ‘long, deep breathing’ using a breath gauge. Follow the visual cues while you inhale and exhale. The app lets you adjust the duration of each breath and work towards – you guessed it – making your breaths longer and deeper.

Slowing your breath is thought to calm the mind; the app provides details on the science and benefits of this concept.

#5 Relaxing ambiance 
ambianceapp.com

Best for: creating a peaceful vibe

How it works
Very simply! This app gives you over 2000 relaxing sounds to fall asleep to. Choose from sounds like the beach, wind chimes and river streams. If you’re creatively minded, you’re in luck: the app also has a function that lets you mix up different sounds and make your own sleep soundtrack.

Also includes an alarm so you can tailor your wake up experience (to a point).

Have you found any other sleep apps that you rate?


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