Best apps to help you sleep 2024

Apple Watch using Sleep app
Apple Watch using Sleep app (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Sleep is super important. It allows our bodies and minds to rest, but it also affects our mood, cardiovascular health, immune system, and so much more. But, sleep doesn't always come easy to everyone, and it can be demoralizing when you're tossing and turning all night with no rest.

As someone who deals with insomnia occasionally, I've experienced firsthand what extreme sleep deprivation can do to a person, and it's best to avoid that at all costs. The good news is that your best iPhone has access to many apps designed to help you get better sleep. Whether you just need some white noise or music to get you through the night, or you want to try some mediation or sleep stories, these apps might be able to help you out. Here are the best apps to help you sleep.

Calm (#clam)

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Calm App on iPhone X

Calm App on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

Calm is an award-winning mediation app, and not only can mediation before bedtime help you relax your mind and wind down from your busy day, but Calm also has a ton of sleep stories.

Sleep stories are like a podcast, but usually with much less talking, specifically meant to put you to sleep. They feature calming music, voices, and sounds that can help you clear your mind. Plus, Calm will even ask you a few questions about your sleeping woes in order to suggest specific sleep stories or meditations that may help your exact predicament.


One of the most popular mediation apps has plenty of features to help you sleep. Calm can help keep your mind from racing and hopefully lull you to sleep with everything from super zen mediations to sleep stories.

Dark Noise (#dark)

Dark Noise Hero

Dark Noise Hero (Image credit: Charlie Chapman / Dark Noise LLC)

Sometimes simplicity is the best medicine, and Dark Noise takes that approach with its excellent ambient noise app.

With 50 unique sounds to choose from, you're bound to find something that sounds pleasant to fall asleep to, but what's really cool is you can add sounds together to make custom mixes. So if you want to hear a waterfall, crickets, and a train going by in the distance, you can easily create that as a personal sleep mix for you.

Dark Noise will even sync across all your devices, so whether you want to use your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to help you sleep, you can!


The ultimate white noise machine. With 50 sounds that you can mix and match to create the perfect soundscape for you as you sleep.


Headspace is another popular meditation app that really excels at offering great short guided meditations, but their huge list of bedtime meditations is really a boon to anyone who wants to prepare themselves for bed.

On top of that, Headspace offers sleepcasts, which are claiming stories with serene music, that you can throw on when it's time to get some shut-eye. Or, you can try one of their many ambient music or ambient sounds to help drown out the noise of the world when you're trying to fall asleep.


Yet another favorite meditation app that offers plenty of sleepcasts to help you put your worries away and drift off to sleep.

Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle Alarm (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

SleepCycle isn't really designed to help you fall asleep but rather to help you wake up feeling refreshed. The idea is that SleepCycle uses the microphone and other sensors in your iPhone to sense when you are in the lightest stage of sleep to sound your alarm. Thus, waking you up a little more gently and allowing you to feel more rested.

It's a more scientific approach to waking up, and it can be a little tricky to set up because it works best if you can have your phone relatively close to your face — like on your bedside table by your head — but I find that it works wonders.

I've been using SleepCycle for about five years now, and I find that it helps me wake up even on days when I haven't gotten enough sleep. Plus, it has a bunch of sleep tracking features if you want to dive into all the analytics.


Designed to wake you up at the lightest stage of sleep, the Sleep Cycle alarm has been a go-to of mine to help me wake up feeling as rested as possible.


Slumber Screenshot (Image credit: Indian Summer Media, LLC)

Like bedtime stories? Slumber's main focus is sleep stories designed to help you fall asleep, whether you're a kid or an adult. With hundreds of sleep stories to choose from, you're bound to find something that suits you. Plus, they also offer zen meditations, ASMR, and soundscapes for white noise if you want to switch it up.

You can get access to over 20 sleep stories for free by downloading the app, so you can try it out before buying into the full app experience.


With hundreds of sleep stories to choose from, and even some ASMR to boot, Slumber will talk your ear off, but in a good way — right to sleep.

Don't forget that your iPhone has a sleep timer!

We love all the apps listed above, but if you just find you need some calming music to get you asleep, you can set a Sleep Timer with Apple Music, so you can drift off to sleep with some zen music, but not have to play music all night.

Apple Music has quite a few sleep playlists that it regularly updates with new tracks, so you should be able to find something that suits your needs.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.