Poor sleep can seriously affect your quality of life, but sometimes counting sheep just doesn’t cut it. (You know, like at 3 a.m. when you wake up to pee and then spend two hours silently rehearsing that work presentation you’ll be almost too tired to deliver coherently later that day.) Well, friends, if you’ve got any sleep-related woes, there’s an app for that. Here, a list of the best free sleep meditation apps for audio you can tune into when it’s time to tune out and take a snooze.
The 9 Best Free Sleep Meditation Apps
Best sleep meditation apps at a glance
- Best for sleep sounds: Sleepiest
- Biggest guided meditation selection: Insight Timer
- Most customizable: Pzizz
- Best for anxiety: Buddhify
- Best for kids: Smiling Minds
- Best for stress-related sleep issues: MyLife Meditation
- Best for long meditations: UCLA Mindful
- Most user-friendly: Calm
- Best for short meditations: Aura Health
Best for sleep sounds
Sleepiest boasts an impressive library of over 150 different sleep sounds ranging from white noise to zen monk chants and everything in between. In other words, if an ASMR experience is what you need in order to drift off, this app will do the trick. (You can also tune into more than 25 different guided meditations, if you want to change it up.)
Download for iOS
2. Insight Timer
Biggest guided meditation selection
A TIME and Women’s Health magazine app of the year award winner and a celeb favorite, this app has a diverse selection of content, including over 70,000 talks and guided meditations led by psychologists and mindfulness experts, as well as thousands of soothing music tracks. No need to be overwhelmed by the massive selection, though—Insight Timer has a user-friendly interface that allows you to narrow your search by topic (and avoid the stuff you don't like).
Whether it’s a power nap or a full night’s rest you seek, the science-backed psychoacoustic principles behind Pzizz’s sleep program will have you covered. Best of all, this app has advanced features that allows you to change the voiceover settings and choose the length of their sleep meditation session, whilst also tracking and adapting to your preferences. The end result is a personalized experience that even the most hardcore insomniacs credit with curing them of their condition.
Best for anxiety
This mindfulness app has a wide range of guided meditations for whenever anxiety strikes—be it during your morning commute or at bedtime. Bonus: Buddhify has a sizable selection of kid-friendly meditations that parents can use to help their tot get to sleep or, you know, snap out of meltdown mode.
5. Smiling Mind
Best for kids
Created by an Australian non-profit with a mission to support mental health, this entirely free app has a sleep-specific program on offer, as well as daily meditations and mindfulness exercises that can help you relax at any time of day. It was also initially designed with kids in mind, so it’s a shoo-in for parents of young people who are prone to bedtime protests.
6. Mylife Meditation
Best for specific stress-related sleep issues
Download the MyLife Meditation app and you’ll basically have a therapist and a sleep coach in your pocket at all times. This app has an array of sleep meditations and also a daily check-in feature so you can report how your body and mind is feeling and receive targeted suggestions in response. Bottom line: MyLife Meditation aims to melt away your worries so you can hit the hay in a peaceful state.
Download for iOS, Android
7. Ucla Mindful
Best for long meditations
This beginner-friendly app developed by the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA has a wealth of resources related to wellness and meditation (i.e., the things that help you sleep). Plus, in addition to all the educational reading materials this free app boasts a dozen guided meditations, all of which are available in multiple languages and last a solid thirty minutes.
Calm is an exceedingly popular sleep app that’s been turning novices into meditation pros for the past decade with its diverse library of calming sounds, bedtime stories, and guided meditations of varying lengths. The only catch is that this one isn’t really free—but a seven day trial won’t cost you a dime if you want to give it a shot before you spring for a subscription.
9. Aura Health
Best for short meditations
This meditation app, which features content from over 200 professional coaches and therapists, provides free access to one three-minute meditation per day. (If you want more you’ll have to pony up some cash for a membership plan.) Aura health is particularly unique in that it relies on an extensive quiz to provide users with personalized tracks from a library of over 10,000 guided meditations.