How to use your iPhone or iPad to help you sleep and relax better

February is Fitness Month at iMore and Mobile Nations, and that means our whole community is involved -- readers, listeners, viewers, and most of all, forum members. All week you've been sharing how you use your iPhone and iPad to stay rested and relaxed, and the apps and accessories you use along with it. Sure, we sweetened the deal by putting a $100 iTunes gift card up for grabs -- and we'll do it again next week -- but you guys brought serious game.

So what did you tell us?

Our winner, da_abades, had this to say:

Cool, i love this topic and have lots of apps for my iPhone about this!

  1. Sleep Cycle alarm clock: Everybody should know about this one or has seen it on the top of the App Store, it's amazing! If you place it as the above image shows it tracks your movements and analizes your sleep. When you wake up it will show you a graph of your sleep, but most important it wakes you up knowing when you are less in deep sleep. It also has some relaxing sounds to help you get in to sleep!

  2. Ambiance: This is really the best of the best out there! Includes over 2500 free sounds to download and listen. You can create customized sound mixes, cycle through playlists and even wake up to relaxing sounds. (You can purchase more HD sounds)

  3. BreatheMate: This app assists you to follow breathing patterns. For example you chose 4-20 seconds holding your breath, (automatically calculates depending on what you selected) 2-10 breathing-out, 1-5 seconds breathing-out and it will start repeating (the app is predeterminated for 10 repeats). I really like this one for it's simplicity, nice design and ease to use just after download.

  4. Yoga Free: 250 Poses & Yoga Classes: Simple and straight foward yoga app, all what you want and need. 250 Poses and some nice extra features (Calendar, quotes...)

Thanks da_abades! We also had great tips from many of the other entrants.

bamf-hacker, among others things, likes to track his sleep the hard-ware-way:

  • Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker, Black: The FitBit uses the accelerometer to determine how much you are moving while you sleep. You need to wear the FitBit in the included wrist strap, and it is fairly accurate. The sync to the iPhone is done via Bluetooth and as long as the app is running in the background, it will do so automatically. You can then look at the app to see the hours of sleep you received, and it also shows you how many times you were awake. It also gives you the option to edit the sleep in case it is not set correctly.

metllicamilitia, among other things, likes to avoid active thoughts the built-in way:

  • Music app: I also use the Music app to listen to my meditative state inducing sound files, I currently have two. And I will set my phone to Do Not Disturb and then play my sound file and turn the screen off so that I am not disturbed while I am meditating. And since I use passive noise canceling headphones, I am free to meditate wherever I am and not being disturbed by my surroundings.

We had a lot of other great posts as well, and a lot of great recommendations, so make sure you check them all out, and if you haven't already, please add yours to the thread!