Apps for Naps:
THESE ARE ALL FREE (with options to upgrade, cause that’s how apps work)
Calm: The only app I actually paid for. This app has tons of music, meditations, and sleep stories to help with insomnia. I believe the free version had three or four sleep stories, and some basic meditations as well as “The 7 days of calm,” a week-long series of guided meditations focused on relaxation. It keeps track of your statistics and has a variety of background moving images with sounds you can choose to activate or not. I tried the free app for about a month and really loved it! It quickly became an integral part of my night-time sleep ritual. Finally, I made an investment in my well-being and bought a year-long subscription. Totally worth it. The meditations are organized into categories such as ‘relationships,’ ‘calming anxiety,’ ‘forgiveness,’ and ‘deep sleep,’ then time, and most of them are guided – great for a beginner like me! They also have many 7-day programs on different topics: ‘7 days of managing stress,’ 7 days of gratitude,’ ‘7 days of self-esteem,’ and more! The sleep stories are awesome! They have a variety of readers reading a variety of types of stories of variety of lengths in soothing voices.
My favorite non-fictions are “Blue Gold,” a story read by Stephen Fry about harvesting lavender in France, “Scotland’s Hidden Hideaways,” a history of the bothies (free adapted shelters for hikers and travelers) of Scotland read by May Charters (yes, she has an accent!), and ‘The Sequoia,’ a nature essay about the Sequoia tree written by John Muir! My favorite fiction sleep stories are many! They have Greek myths, childhood favorites, fairy tales and more! The Dragon Tamers by Edith Nesbit is my favorite new story! I even bought her biography! But I am almost too into the sleep story to be able to fall asleep! Fortunately, the app provides a vast range in level of monotony. There’s one story that is just the British shipping forecast. “Dr. Orma’s Sleep Science” is also a great non-fiction one to listen to when your especially frustrated about sleep – it reassures you and dispels common myths about insomnia. This app really makes me feel better about the time I spend in bed, not sleeping. Because I am meditating during that time, I can see that I am accomplishing SOMETHING.
Relax Melodies – This app has a free 5 day meditation program to help you manage your sleep better and stay asleep longer so you wake up well rested and energized. It teaches you about the benefits of meditation and each 10-minute meditation is designed to guide you to sleep. There are a couple other meditation programs on this app that provide you with the first few free as well. You can create your own custom combination of relaxing sounds to lull you to sleep and set them on a timer length of your choosing. I didn’t know there were types of noise other than ‘white noise,’ but apparently there exists ‘pink noise’ as well as ‘brown noise?’ (Sounds gross…lol) The melodies included are fairly simple and repetitive, but they get the job done. They also include isochronic tones and binaural beats if you’re into that.
Atmosphere – An app to customize your atmosphere, this helpful tool provides a variety of sound options organized by environment. So you can choose to hear rain as it sounds on the beach, in the forest, in the city, etc. You can also import your own sounds, program favorite combinations, and set the timer for whenever you want. Like Relax Melodies, this app also includes binaural and isochronic sounds that are supposed to help reduce stress and anxiety and stimulate creativity and mental clarity. There are some unusual sounds – who wants to fall asleep to the sound of construction, sirens, or a rooster? But hey – whatever floats your boat!
Sweet Sleep – This is another free app for your phone and/or tablet that plays soothing sounds and music. My favorite is ‘lullaby of the forest’ combined with ‘gentle rain’ and ‘morning beach.’ You can customize melody/nature sound combinations, adjust the volume of each one in your mix, and set them on a timer. This app has somewhat more variety in music choices, which is nice. And they are less repetitive as well in addition also too.
Forest – Not specifically for napping, but if one of your sleep-related obstacles is your phone, this can definitely help. Basically this app helps you reduce the wasting time on your phone, keeping you focused and in the present.. I tend to just browse or play games on my phone at night when I should be trying to sleep. And we all know electronic devices are supposed to be a no-no at bedtime! With this app, you choose an amount of time to commit to being phone-free and you plant a ‘tree.’ As long as you leave your phone alone during this time the tree grows and flourishes. But if you interact with your phone, your tree dies 🙁 and your forest is ugly. With your rewards you can buy fun trees shaped like octopi, or made out of candy, or with awesome treehouses in them. ALSO, If you plant enough trees in your forests, the app is partnered with a tree planting organization that will plant a real tree! (Alas, I’m not focused enough for that yet…) But it is also a great way to commit to focusing on getting daily tasks done, studying more efficiently, working, etc.!