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Sleepiest: The Sleeping App

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Sleepiest: The Sleeping App App Poster Image
Soothing sounds, stories introduce device to nightly ritual.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn some relaxation techniques. Guided meditation may help kids release tension and focus their minds.

Ease of Play

Easy to navigate and tap into sounds and stories.

Violence
Sex

Some stories include themes of romance.

Language
Consumerism

Free download and free trial allow access to limited content or for a limited amount of time. Subscription needed to access full app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sleepiest: The Sleeping App has white noise, soothing background music, stories, and meditations designed to help listeners fall asleep. If kids provide a name and email address -- or sign in through a Facebook account -- they can create a profile. With the profile, kids mark favorite sounds and stories and track their sleep, and can coordinate with the Apple Health app to earn rewards for sleeping well. Push notifications, if allowed, can remind kids when it's time to go to sleep. Kids can access Facebook, Instagram, and all the device's sharing options from within the app, even if Screen Time is turned on and social networking apps aren't allowed. With adult oversight and some device controls (like Guided Access), it's safe for kids to use, but parents need to decide if they want to build a habit of having a device in their kid's bedroom at night. The free download includes a limited amount of content; to unlock all content, kids must subscribe. Parents can start with the seven-day free trial before paying $9.99/month or $49.99/year. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Kids can browse the sounds and stories in SLEEPIEST: THE SLEEPING APP to experiment and find what might be the most calming for them. There are four categories to choose from: Sounds, Composer, Meditate, and Stories. Sounds includes a mixture of soothing music and classic background noises like rain or tweeting birds. Composer allows kids to layer multiple sounds together to create their own customized background noise. Meditate includes a handful of meditations based on guided imagery and body relaxation. And Stories includes classics like Sleeping Beauty as well as lesser-known stories; browse by story or preferred narrator. Set the timer to automatically turn off audio after a set amount of time. Sign in with a profile to track your sleep and save favorite audio tracks.

Is it any good?

For adults who have trouble falling asleep, this collection of sounds and stories that gently distract you from your thoughts could be quite helpful; it's less clear how good an idea this is for kids. The white noise and background sounds are pretty standard. What makes Sleepiest: The Sleeping App stand out is the collection of stories, beautifully narrated by voice actors who have amazingly gentle and soothing voices. The pacing of the reading purposefully gets a bit slower toward the end of the story as the listener should hopefully be getting closer to falling asleep. Helpful functions, like automatically turning off after a set amount of time (or at the end of the story), make for a thoughtfully designed app. However, some families may feel reluctant to introduce a screen at a time of day when most experts suggest leaving screens untouched. Sure, listening to stories or sounds does not involve prolonged viewing on a device. But given that the typical recommendation is to leave devices out of the bedroom, especially at bedtime, using the app clearly goes against that advice. Plus, it could potentially be a distraction, particularly for teens and particularly if the device is their phone. With the use of parent controls, Sleepiest: The Sleeping App is a nice, well-designed, albeit pricey, app. Whether families feel comfortable introducing a piece of technology to help their kids sleep is a personal decision that only they can make.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why their kids might need Sleepiest: The Sleeping App to fall asleep. Is there something that's worrying them? Are they tense? What's getting in the way of them winding down at the end of the day?

  • Discuss the use of screens and technology in our daily lives. In what ways do they help us do things better? Are there aspects of our lives or days where screens should not have a place? Why or why not?

  • If you use Sleepiest: The Sleeping App, set some clear ground rules around what kids should and should not be doing with the device in their room.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Skills: Health & Fitness: meditation
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (seven-day free trial available then $9.99/month; $49.99/year)
  • Release date: July 19, 2019
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Topics: Fairy Tales
  • Size: 167.90 MB
  • Publisher: Happiest LTD
  • Version: 5.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.0 or later
  • Last updated: August 20, 2019

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love meditation and routines

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