Apps to Help You Fall Asleep on Your Next Flight

lady sleeping peacefully on a plane stock

Don’t let a lack of shuteye impact your travels. These ingenious apps use voice, sound and colour to ease you into sleep, no matter how far from home you might be.


Helping users get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer, this celebrity-favoured (J.K. Rowling and the late Steve Jobs included) app uses neuroscience to bolster its efforts. It combines psychoacoustic principles to craft dreamscapes of binaural (providing a different frequency in each ear) beats and neurolinguistic programming techniques, lulling you more easily and deeply into a heavenly dream state.
Free, available on iOS and Android.


Calm app

Calm channels the soothing properties of meditation and mindfulness, with the addition of “sleep stories” designed to mimic childhood bedtime fables to help get you off to dreamland. Grimm’s fairytales and lullabies from Stephen Fry even feature in the upgrade option.
Free, available on iOS and Android.

Welcome to Night Vale Radio

Although tales out of the fictional town of Night Vale are far from the subject matter most would consider comforting (it’s essentially a storytelling podcast with stories from the shadowy, mystery genre), devotees of the podcast – which has knocked eternal favourite This American Life from the top spot of the most downloaded podcast on iTunes in the past – insist the enthralling nature of the conspiratorial stories actually improves focus and aids sleep, much like the old ‘counting sheep’ trick. It’s akin to the scary stories you swapped at sleepovers and what could be more pacifying than a little nostalgia?
Free, available on iOS via Apple Podcasts and Android.

SEE ALSO: 12 Travel Pillows for a Good Flight’s Sleep

Sleep With Me

Sleep With Me app

With the intent of boring its listeners to sleep, the monotonous meandering of host Drew Ackerman’s droning rambles has a similar effect to the long-winded explanations of your least favourite teacher. The tales told are essentially pointless and the digressions are of little consequence, making tuning in effortlessly dreary – and perfect for putting you to sleep.
Free, available on iOS via Apple Podcasts and Android.

Rain Rain Sleep Sounds

This app recognises the placid power white noise has on your capacity for relaxation. Mimic the feeling of being tucked up in your own bed while a storm rages outside with looped soundscapes that imitate a wet forest, a crackling fire, a trickling stream and summer rain. Even the names of the more than 100 possible noises sound soothing.
Free (paid upgrade available), available on iOS and Android.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Sleep Cycle alarm clock

The most technical of the bunch, this app analyses a whole host of data on your sleep cycle, leaving no aspect of your snoozing unturned. Every evening, the app collects data on your nocturnal movements and sounds and you add extra information including energy levels and diet. In preparation for your trip, you’ll get to know your habits – including triggers for a rough night’s sleep – to ensure you stick to healthy, personalised routines when travelling.
Free, available on iOS and Android.


If the sound of rain doesn’t soothe you, Noisli offers a range of other white noise options that might do the trick. There’s “train” and “coffee shop” for that pleasingly nondescript din or “fan” for a mesmerising hum. There are also the options of “brown” and “pink” noise – the former relating to slightly deeper sounds than the standard “white” and the latter is generally used to test loudspeakers and equalise sound equipment but has a positive effect on creativity and productivity.
$2.99, available on iOS and Android.


There was something to the colouring-in craze that captivated the globe in 2016. For one, taking to a colouring book has been proven to reduce stress levels, which should make falling asleep that much easier. You’re also likely to never run into the same image twice in this app – there are more than 1000 pictures to turn technicolour. Just don’t forget to pop your phone on night mode to reduce the effect of blue light before dozing off.
Free, available on iOS and Android.    

Sky Guru 

Created by experienced pilot Alex Gervash, this app will make you feel like you’ve been upgraded to seats in the cockpit. With the help of a virtual pilot, Sky Guru keeps you informed throughout your journey, explaining every sound and turn in real time while also highlighting turbulence and the weather conditions at departure and arrival. Whether you're a nervous flyer or an aviation enthusiast, Sky Guru enhances your travel experience by providing helpful tips and techniques. 
Free, available on iOS 

Noise Machine

Fall asleep with Noise Machine and say goodbye to tossing and turning on long-haul flights. This app uses white, pink, green and brown noise to create a soothing environment. Whether it's the hum of the engines or chatter from fellow passengers keeping you awake, the app will block out distractions and drown out surrounding sounds. Be sure to set the integrated sleep timer to gradually fade out the app’s noise as you fall asleep.
Free, available on iOS 


The audio world is at your fingertips with Spotify. There are personalised daily music mixes, songs from different genres, countries or decades and the option to curate your own podcast library. A good tip for flying is to subscribe to Spotify Premium so you can download and listen offline wherever you are. There are guided meditations, soothing music playlists and even a Just Sleep – Bedtime Stories for Adults podcast that reads you classic stories. 
Free, available on iOS and Android.   

SEE ALSO: An Expert Guide to Sleeping on a Plane

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