DEEP DIVE

Meditation apps for better sleep

These apps help you go from om to zzz.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a little tired. Modern life brings many wonderful things, but a good night’s sleep is rarely one of them.

“We aren’t like our ancestors, who went to bed when the sun went down and woke when it rose,” says Patricia Karpas, co-founder of the Meditation Studio app. “We’re a 24/7 culture, and we have so much on our minds.”

That’s why Karpas’ meditation app – and many others – have begun to focus on sleep, aiming to help users find the same calm at night-time as they do during the day. 

“When we go to sleep, we’re processing all these thoughts about what happened during the day,” says Christian Wolthers, co-founder and CEO of Zen–Meditation. “But we’re also preoccupying our minds with stuff that hasn’t happened yet.”

All of which can be addressed through meditation.

To meet the need, Calm launched Sleep Stories, bedtime tales read by actors Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Fry, singer Leona Lewis and the late painter Bob Ross (whose soothing Joy of Painting monologues and swishing paintbrush are presented as audio segments), among others.

The stories, Will says, are Calm’s flagship product, “specially engineered to quiet the mind and lull listeners into a deep and restful sleep.” The app also offers sleep meditations, nature sounds, and relaxing music.

    Calm - Meditation and Sleep

    Meditation and Sleep Stories

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Meanwhile, Headspace’s Sleepcasts mix breathing techniques, narrated soundscapes and music to create an immersive experience. They can be as long as 55 minutes and are remixed every night, so you never hear the same one twice.

    Headspace: Meditation & Sleep

    Stress relief: breathe, relax

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Ten Percent Happier offers guided meditations that encourage you to ease into sleep, practice gratitude as you drift off and dissolve your discomfort. For most sessions, you can choose the length – from 10 to 45 minutes – before you press play.

    Ten Percent Happier Meditation

    Find calm, insight, and sleep

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And Zen: Meditation & Sleep has programs that incorporate binaural beats and sounds designed to trigger an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), said to ease you into a deeper state of relaxation.

    Zen: Meditation & Sleep

    Anxiety Relief and Relaxation

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