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What app is the best for falling asleep?

collage of app logos in thought bubbles over phone
Annabelle Rivera, 42Fifty

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a teen student attending Oswego High School, and as a teen myself attending OHS, I can conclude that you are tired. We have tests to worry about, homework to do, the prospect of the future breathing down our necks. Life is exhausting! 

I have noticed a trend of drowsiness amongst my fellow teenagers in OHS. Whenever I ask someone how they are, nine times out of 10, they respond with “tired.” What I can assume from this revelation, is that teenagers are generally sick and tired of being, well, tired. 

If you’ve ever looked at apps or websites that can help with your sleeping performance, it can get pretty overwhelming. These programs all promise the same thing: a better night’s sleep. However, they all seem the same, so how could you choose the one that works?

From a fellow teen to the next, I did the work for you! I ended up trying out five different apps and websites to figure out which ones help the best with sleep. Here are my results, ranked from worst to best:

5. Aura (prices vary from $5.99-$399.99)

Aura is an app that claims it uses meditation and bedtime stories to lure you to sleep. Unfortunately, it does the complete opposite. At first, the app asks you to “share your emotion.” However, as soon as you tap on any of the options, an annoying ad pops up, urging you to subscribe to get the full experience. The prices with these types of apps are often not cheap, with Aura’s most expensive option being $399.99. The thing that bothered me the most was how in-your-face it all was. All of the free tools for meditation, music, and more are mixed in with what comes with the subscription, making navigating the app overwhelming and obnoxious.  Not worth your time.

4. Headspace (prices vary from $9.99-$399.99)

I’ve have been recommended this app by both my friends and adults in my life. Therefore, I had pretty good expectations for Headspace. The result was a resounding “meh.” I mean, the app did have some okay features, like breathing exercises that worked decently to help sleeping performance. Additionally, the overall layout of the app was nice, as well. Unfortunately, the subscription was expensive, and there were so few free meditations that it fell flat. 

3. Slumber (prices vary from $2.99-$5.99)

Slumber was slightly better than Headspace, but it wasn’t better than the other apps and websites I will talk about later on. This app has a confusing layout, and the sounds to help you sleep weren’t exactly fantastic. Despite this, there are a lot more free sounds than usual, which is really nice. You can even adjust sounds when listening to sleep stories that the app provides, like rain and snow. I suggest this app if you prefer quantity over quality because although it does provide a lot of features, the quality of features are lacking.

2. SleepyTime.com (free)

The website Sleepytime doesn’t provide things like meditation or white noise to help you sleep. Instead, it has you input what time you are going to wake up, and then it tells you when you should fall asleep by. That’s it. It counts backwards in sleep cycles, making sure you’ll wake up in between them. The website explains that waking up between cycles will make you refreshed while waking up during a cycle makes you groggy. Even though it has nothing to make sure you fall asleep when you’re supposed to, it works, which is something that cannot be said about the previously mentioned apps. I woke up feeling far better than before using Sleepy Time, and I recommend this if you want a quick and easy solution to drowsiness. 

1. Sleepiest (prices vary from $34.99-$299.99)

 Although Sleepiest may have limited resources to listen to for sleep performance, the ones you can listen to work wonders. Seriously. I fell asleep and felt awake in the morning feeling great. The app has a lot of different things to listen to to help the sleeping process, which include different sounds and relaxing stories. You can even adjust and add the sounds to your liking. I highly suggest this app if you have slept, are sleeping, or are planning on sleeping

Overall, the apps and the one website that I tried were somewhat helpful. However, the insanely expensive subscription prices of most of these programs and some absence of anything beneficial in terms of sleep were some of the low points I noticed. However, if you were to use any of these programs, Sleepiest, Sleepytime, and Slumber were the most helpful when it came to getting a good night’s sleep.

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