You crawl into bed after a long day, finally ready to catch some shut-eye.
You turn off the light, fluff the pillow and… nothing. Next thing you know, it’s 2 a.m. and you’re still staring at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep. Insomnia is not just frustrating and exhausting, it’s also bad for your health—both mental and physical.
If you feel like you’ve already tried every trick in the book, and you’re still having trouble drifting off, a high-tech solution has arrived. Just like seemingly everything else in life, there’s now an app for that.
Instead of counting sheep, take a cue from your kids and try this bedtime story app. It’s called Calm, and it’s full of snooze-inducing stories for both adults and children, specifically designed to help you nod off in no time.
The stories are about 20 minutes in length, and you can choose from fiction, nonfiction or nature essays. There’s also relaxing musical selections such as “Silk Waves” and “Healing Piano,” as well as guided meditations if stories aren’t your thing.
The goal is always the same though: to calm your mind and help you drift off into a deep sleep and wake up refreshed.
Calm’s founders say that the stories on the app work because they bring you back to a simpler time.
“When you’re a child, you have much less on your mind and sleep comes easily. Sleep Stories are meant to take you back to a simpler mental state and let your brain relax and prepare for a deep rest, just as it did when you were young. There’s no reason we can’t all have a good night’s sleep… without medication,” said Calm Co-Founder Alex Tew in a press release.
If you’re looking for more apps to help you get a good night’s rest, check out Sleepio, a digital program that aims to combat insomnia through CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).
When I was suffering from intense insomnia myself, I gave the program a try. Although it requires that you commit yourself to some hard-to-stick-to rules (such as going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning, even on weekends), I found it quite effective.
Here’s to a good night’s sleep, with a little help from your smartphone.