Our Review of Popular Sleep Apps

September 14, 2020

As the best over the counter sleep aid, Zenbev Drink Mix works hard to help you fall asleep naturally and wake up refreshed. Some people pair Zenbev with the use of relaxation devices which can help set the stage for a peaceful transition to slumberland. We were curious about online apps in the sleep category and decided to check them out ourselves. It should be noted that we were not sponsored or asked to do this, nor do we have any affiliation with these companies. We simply took it upon ourselves to review the most popular tech apps out there to help you compare their features. We try before you buy!


This first app is creatively named “Sleep” and it aims to help you do just that! Upon first opening the app, you will notice that the user interface (UI) is clean, calming and easy to understand. Immediately, you are met with the immensely soothing sounds of the seaside. The app draws you in with its aura of relaxation and peace. This is quickly cut short, however, with a prompt to buy the premium edition of the app before you have time to even navigate the home page. This will be a recurring theme throughout these reviews. Once you dodge a one-week free trial that requires your credit card information to tie you in, the fun starts.

The app immediately aims to personalize itself for you. It asks questions about your birth date, sounds you find relaxing, what you are aiming to improve in your sleep and so on. This is very welcoming and feels as though you are being cared for, and the app makes sure you feel this way throughout most of the user experience.

Sleep is one of the most expensive options you will find in our list, paired with very little access to any of the app’s services without paying 3.99 per week. This seems miniscule until you add up the yearly charges to roughly $190 CAD. However, if you are serious about the app, there is a lot of variety to be appreciated. The primary service of Sleep comes in the form of bedtimes stories, mediation and calming noises.

All of these are very high in quality and provide an overwhelming feeling of relaxation, ushering in a very quick sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep). The Sleep app is recommended for anyone that prefers an imaginative approach and aesthetically relaxing visuals to match, provided you are willing to pay a premium. The main takeaways are extensive personalization options and a variety of services offered, at the cost of very little content available to non-premium users.


 The “Calm” app is one of the most advertised and widely used applications for relaxation out there. They boast an excellent cast in their storytellers and guest speakers with actors and musicians, even NBA star Lebron James is featured in a “mental fitness” series. Calm is similar to the Sleep app in function. Starting with the user interface, you will notice that Calm has categories for sleep, meditation and music. The home page is slightly less navigable than Sleep due to a mish-mash of genres and sleep series on the same screen. However, the value of the app lies in the content and value it does provide. With a subscription of around $80 CAD per year, the application is significantly more “worth it” for the services it provides.

Where the Calm app lacks the imagination and fantasy of Sleep, it makes up with a cheaper, modern, and fresh take on sleep content. Older users of the app Calm might find less bang for their buck, however, with the application relying heavily upon its guest features and celebrity musicians. Those who would find value from these are the people who recognize the name Harry Styles and possibly enjoy the electronic music of Diplo. A significant portion of the app relies upon the feat of recruiting these stars so, if you aren’t a fan of celebrity glorification, you may want to take a look at the next app. Calm is a cheaper alternative to the Sleep app, it also provides more content to free users than the latter. Boasting the same range of content, users should look to the details and pricing to determine which of these they would prefer.


 The final app in this review is a little different. Headspace provides a service mainly focused on meditation rather than sleep. Depending on what users are looking for, Headspace can provide the most relaxation with less focus on bedtime. The other apps covered in the review are geared to relaxation and sleep while Headspace attempts to take charge and improve the quality of mind. All of the apps mentioned feature some mediation courses, however, Headspace could be considered a class of sorts teaching the user the basics and applications of mindfulness in daily life.

This is not to say the app is without sleep components. An entire category of the app is dedicated to their “sleepcasts” which provide the same storytelling service that Calm and Sleep do. Headspace aims to improve specific cracks in your sleep development with carefully designed courses for each issue such as: waking up in the middle of the night, calming down after a nightmare, sleeping through pain, a racing mind and much more. If a user is looking for all-around care, Headspace is the go-to app.

The guided meditations feature a calming voice each time with exceptional attention to detail. The user feels cared for and in the right hands. The power of change is also placed in the hand of the user, fostering a sense of self-growth rather than hand-holding. With a yearly subscription of around $80 CAD, Headspace provides much of what Calm and Sleep do within the same price range.

The decision lies in what kind of experience you would like to have your money spent on. In terms of life-changing, Headspace aims to improve aspects of your lifestyle more than most applications for the same price. The downsides arise in the variety of individual guided meditations. These come in the form of 10-session “courses”, although each session builds up extremely incrementally from the last. Those who want a quick fix in life might want to look to other options since Headspace operates under the impression that you are in it for the “long-haul”. Headspace is the best all-around option that appeals to the widest audience possible. It sacrifices little in terms of user-friendliness, especially when it comes to free users. Unlike other apps mentioned, Headspace provides the most content for non-premium users, hoping to hook you in with its quality versus limited availability.


With all that technology offers, it is great to have the choice to augment your sleep routine with imaginative strategies that may help. Taken with Zenbev or on their own, sleep apps offer some creative options that run the gamut from gentle calming to intensive courses. What you are willing to spend, which aspects of sleep you need the most attention for and how much time you want to devote all play a part. We hope this mini-review helps shed some light on the most popular sleep apps out there. Any and all focus on obtaining the healthiest, most natural sleep possible is important and will pay off with the practice and commitment. Remember, Zenbev is always here to gently accompany you on this journey.