“The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald, and if you’ve spent more than a few nights watching the bedside digits click from 3:59 to 4:00, you’re probably frustrated and exhausted enough to agree.
The Web site Healthline.com has some suggestions for any insomniac with a smartphone. Staffer Tracy Rosecrans has taken a look at a range of apps providing sleep-inducing techniques, and selected 15 as possibly worth the time and the cost (from free to $4.99 per app).
Apple’s sleep-cycle alarm clock, which gets tucked under your bedsheet, not only analyzes your sleep but also adjusts the alarm time so you are awakened during a light phase of your sleep cycle — since you hate to waste that deep, non-REM sleep. Several apps involve some form of hypnosis: One is a guided meditation led by a hypnotherapist, designed to “rid your mind of the chatter.” Another is a free self-hypnosis guide. A third offers a single free hypnotherapy program to try out, plus a list of other programs you can purchase.
Various apps provide soothing sounds, such as rain, words, music, frogs; some repeat the same sound until you sleep, while others let you design your own aural pattern. The site says the apps were picked by user ratings, affordability and functionality, among other things, and were “reviewed” by a physician, though Healthline doesn’t vouch for any of them.