The Best Mobile Sleep and Alarm Apps
If you, like most people these days, use your mobile as an alarm clock, then you might be getting sick of the same old ring tones. Even worse, you might be hitting snooze five times every morning before you get up. But we're here to help. Whether you want to get a better night's sleep, or you need to wake up better in the morning, here's our list of the best sleep and alarm apps on the market. Sleep tight!
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
We're starting out with a biggie. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is one of the most popular sleep apps on the market, and whilst it is available for both Android and iOS, it is a paid app (though it doesn't cost much). Why is Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock so popular? Because it does pretty much everything. Simply tell the app what time you need to get up, place your phone under the corner of a sheet close to your head, and the app will do the rest. You'll get graphs showing you your sleep stages, recommended bed times, and you'll be woken up with soft music during your lightest stage of sleep (at or slightly before the time you specified), meaning that you'll be full of energy and ready to go. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is simple to use, and very, very good at what it does.
Alarmy is one of those genius ideas that you can't believe you didn't think of yourself. If you've got a snooze button addiction then Alarmy is the app for you. You set your alarm, and then take a picture of something in your house (yes, it sounds weird, but bare with us). When your alarm goes off in the morning you won't be able to switch it off until you take a close to identical picture of whatever you took the night before. Take a pic of your bathroom sink, and by the time your alarm's off you'll already be in the bathroom. Neat, huh? Alarmy is a free Android app, but costs a few pennies if you want the iOS version.
If you have problems falling asleep at night, then Deep Sleep might be for you. The app is guided meditation. Hypnotherapist Andrew Johnson will guide you through a meditation programme that will leave you relaxed, sleepy and clear headed. Banish all that annoying brain chatter so that you can sleep like a baby. Amazingly simple to use (even if you've never meditated before), Deep Sleep is available for both Android and iOS, though it is a paid app.
Life Time Alarm Clock
Life Time Alarm Clock is for the true night owl, you know, those people that just can't drag themselves out of bed in the morning. Basically the app is a very nice, sleekly designed clock app, but it has a sneaky hidden feature. Set your alarm clock to the challenge setting and in the morning you won't be able to stop the beeping until you solve a problem. Generally this is a maths problem, but there are other options. You can also set your own music to be your alarm wake up sound, which is a nice touch. Life Time Alarm Clock can be frustrating, but it definitely wakes you up, especially if you're not a maths whizz. This is an Android only app, though it's free.
Morning Routine is another app for those that can't face getting up in the morning, and this one literally forces you to get out of bed. Set up the alarm by putting steps into your morning routine, whatever you normally do, like making a coffee or brushing your teeth. Then, when your alarm clock goes off, you'll need to scan the codes on certain items (the bar code on your toothpaste, for example, or on the milk carton) before you can switch off the alarm. It's a simple and elegant way to get you out of bed, and though set up takes a little time this app is very efficient at waking even the deepest of sleepers. It's Android only, but it's free.
Sleepmaker Rain is a very basic idea, but one that works well. Most of us sleep better to certain kinds of noise (which doesn't include your neighbour's TV). Sleepmaker Rain has a programmable selection of tracks that will help you sleep. Despite the name there are options other than the sound of falling rain, you can go for forest sounds, or the ocean, for example. And you can set your soundtrack to play for up to twenty four hours, so you'll enjoy restful sleep all night (and all day, if that's what you want). Sleepmaker Rain is available for Android and iOS, and it's free.
Wakie is an interesting experiment, though you might not want it as your alarm clock every morning. Download the app and join the Wakie community and then you'll have two options. You can either give another community member a call to wake them up, or you can set your own alarm and someone will call you to wake you up. Calls come from all over the world, and there's a large community of members, so you'll definitely get woken up. Whether or not you want to wake up to some Russian guy yelling incomprehensibly down the phone at you is your decision, but Wakie is definitely fun. It's also free and available for Android, iOS and Windows.
SleepBot is similar to the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock in that it uses your phone's accelerometer to track your movement as you sleep, gives you graphs to show you your sleep cycles, and wakes you up during your lightest sleep stage. But you can also set SleepBot to record sound. Need to know if snoring is the cause of your bad night's sleep? Want to know if you talk in your sleep? SleepBot will let you know. The app is also packed full of sleep information and advice to help you get all the reset that you need. It's a free app and is available for both Android and iOS.
Finally, if you miss the old days of radio alarm clocks, then RadiON might be the alarm app that you're looking for. Choose from a list of thousands of radio stations around the world, set your alarm for when you want to get up, and RadiON will wake you up with the soothing tones of whatever your preferred station is. It's just a more civilised way to get up in the morning… RadiON is available for both Android and iOS, and is free.