Most nights it takes me a couple of hours after climbing into bed to actually fall asleep. I just have a hard time turning off my brain. I start making mental lists of errands I need to run, replay conversations I had earlier in the day, recalculate my monthly budget to see if I can afford a new pair of shoes: my mind just takes off running. Then I discovered Calm, an app with tons of audio and video content designed to help you fall asleep, or mitigate your anxiety during waking hours. They have seemingly endless natural sounds like rain and waves, or calming music playlists, that use science-based research to help turn off your racing thoughts and lull you to sleep. All at the touch of a button on your phone. Now, I fall asleep within 15 minutes every night. Getting a full night's rest has made such a big difference in my life: I have more energy, am more likely to go to the gym after work, make healthier food choices, and concentrate better at work.
Now, I'm honestly answering all your questions about what it's like to use the Calm app. Let's get started!
What is Calm?
It's an app with stories, ambient noises, specially curated playlists, and guided meditation classes to help people turn down the volume on their anxiety and get better sleep. It's the #1 app in the meditation and sleep space, and Apple even named it the app of the year for iPhone in 2017. Those awards gave me a lot of initial confidence in the app because it means Calm's programs really work for millions of people like me.
How Does It Help You With Anxiety?
I mostly use Calm at night to help relax at bedtime, but on some mornings when I have a meeting I'm stressed about, I'll listen to a guided meditation or a story on my commute to work. I focus on British actor Stephen Fry's deep voice reading a story and everything else I'm worried about just melts away!
How Does It Help You With Sleep?
Calm has 100% changed the way I sleep for good. I put on one of their nature tracks, listen to waves or heavy rain from my phone, and am asleep in 15-20 minutes. The track keeps playing but never wakes me up, it just helps me stay asleep more soundly. The difference between getting a groggy 6 and a deep, steady 8 hours of sleep at night is incredible. When I wasn't getting a full night's rest, I was cranky and unmotivated. It happened so often that I was starting to feel like relying on 3 trips to Starbucks to get through the day was normal. Calm has unlocked a whole different side of my personality. Now I know that this energized, positive person is the real me, and that other person who couldn't take the steps to achieve her life goals was just sleep deprived.
Why Is It Better Than Playing Youtube Rain Videos?
Calm's audio tracks and meditation programs are backed by neuroscience and created specifically to help calm your mind and put you to sleep. That's a huge difference. I know I've tried listening to wave tracks from Youtube in the past and the changes in sound or intensity would end up keeping me awake for longer.
How Many Different Audio Programs Do They Have?
Seriously, hundreds. And they are constantly adding new ones. I probably have ten favorites, but I love that I have countless new stories, meditation classes, or tracks to play if I wanted to mix it up.
How Much Does It Cost?
Calm has a 7-day free trial, and then several options for becoming a subscriber. I opt to pay once a year for year-long unlimited access. For the cost of two coffees per month, I've been able to completely change my relationship to sleep.
Update: Not only does Calm offer you relaxation at your fingertips, but they're also offering our readers the first week free! Click here for your free 7-day trial!