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.

Sleep Genius

Sleep Genius

Sometimes all it takes to erase a good night’s sleep is the jolt from a noisy alarm clock. Sleep Genius employs all manner of gentle yet clever technology to optimise several aspects of your sleep cycle. To begin, a relaxation program sends you off to sleep with acoustically modified music to induce a relaxation response. When it’s time to get up, according to the perfect wake time you’ve pre-programmed, you’ll then be eased into alertness with the revive cycle alarm, which utilises periodic sound cycles to shift you softly out of sleep.
$7.99, available on iOS and Android.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Getting yourself into a sleep-ready state can prove a challenge, especially for those not used to getting shut-eye while thousands of feet in the air. Stop, Breathe, Think harnesses the relaxing and mind-expanding techniques of meditation and mindfulness to release any residual tension your journey might cause you. There are 20 free sessions to start with, each focusing on particular themes.
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 Power Nap

If you’re hoping to catch fewer than 40 winks, Sleep Cycle Power Nap can structure your slumber so you don’t fall into a complete sleep cycle. By analysing your movements, this clever app wakes you before you descend into deep sleep, which, in the case of jet lag, can make you more tired in the long run.
$2.99, available on iOS.

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.    

SEE ALSO: An Expert Guide to Sleeping on a Plane

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