Recently I suffered with a bout of insomnia which lasted about three weeks. I tried all the usual things: warm bath, warm milk, glass of wine, sleep aids etc. (not all at once – but there’s a thought!). As a last resort, I decided I would download an app on my iPhone to see if that would help – I am now on sleep app number four (I find them oddly fascinating for some unknown reason) and have tried each one three times. Here are the ones that I have used – so far:
Days 1-3: Sleep Easily Meditation by Shazzie: A Guided Meditation To Help You Sleep. (Free)
Sleep Easily Meditation was written and read by Shazzie. As an acclaimed author of five books, the creator of several life transformation programs and an international speaker and workshop facilitator her quest is always the same: to help you on your journey back to the centre of your own heart.
This meditation is twenty six minutes long – I don’t think I made it past about the ten minute mark. I wasn’t sure I would be able to relax with her voice, and each time I listened, I thought ‘no way is this going to work’ and then I was completely flat out asleep. The only downside is that I woke up at the end of the twenty six minutes and I felt a bit sick – although I was able to fall back asleep.
Verdict: I will definitely use this again.
Days 4-6: Hypnosis ~ Sleep Soundly by Hypnotransformations (Free)
Hypnosis To Go! Hypnosis for Everything, Anytime, Anywhere!
This was 39 minutes long and uses guided imagery with deep relaxation techniques. I thought hypnosis would be a winner but I found myself becoming more awake the longer I listened – so I only managed about twenty minutes.
Verdict: Not for me.
Days 7-9: Relax Melodies HD: A white noise ambience for sleep, meditation & yoga By iLBSoft (Free)
Relax Melodies is the leader in personalized relaxation and sleep assistance. No more insomnia for you! Tension is a thing of the past at any moment! Just custom mix your favourite high quality sounds from a selection of 46, then slip naturally into a relaxed state or a deep, rejuvenating sleep.
This is a lot of fun. There are 46 sounds to choose from, and you can layer them – think of all the combinations! The first night I played with the sounds for a good half an hour before deciding on a combination of ‘urban rain’ and ‘thunder.’ You can set a timer with it, so it won’t play all night.
Verdict: I found it really relaxing, but not sleep-inducing. I will use this though, as I particularly love thunderstorms.
Days 10-12: Sleep Cycle alarm clock by Maciek Drejak Labs (69p)
Waking up made easy. An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed.
This app does have some relaxing melodies but it didn’t really help me fall asleep. It is calculates how much restful sleep you get and wakes you in your lightest sleep in the morning – within 30 minutes of your set alarm. The app is supposed to help improve your mood and performance throughout the day (this hasn’t happened for me yet – but you are supposed to use this for at least five days to get the most accurate results, so we will see). It uses the iPhone accelerometer to sense your movement as you sleep, and gives detailed instructions on how to do a placement test to get the best results.
Verdict: I am going to keep trying this to see what happens.
All of the apps reviewed were downloaded from the iTunes app store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/genre/ios/id36?mt=8