A few years ago, I was having trouble sleeping and nothing worked. My family was going through a rough time. I spent the majority of my day worrying about my kids and my parents. I was completely neglecting my health, and the stress worked its way into my sleep. I would wake up every night around 2:00 am, wide awake, thoughts racing through my mind. Eventually, I'd fall back asleep around 5:30 am, just in time for the alarm to ring at 6:00 am. This went on for a few months. I was drained and exhausted. I tried everything: omitting coffee after 3:00 pm, no TV an hour before bed, even getting up and doing a task like laundry or emptying the dishwasher – nothing worked. Friends were suggesting medications, but I was worried about addiction or side effects. I joined a support group and a few people suggested meditation apps to help deal with stress, anxiety, or to simply help you sleep better. The majority of the group was using them and Calm was the favorite.

I was skeptical that an app could really make a difference, but there was really no risk, so I decided to give it a try. I learned lots of tactics to help me sleep and the majority of them worked. I started with meditation. I like to have an organized plan for everything I do, so I chose 7 Days of Sleep under the Sleep section. Other categories include beginner, anxiety, stress, self-care, inner peace, the list goes on. All of these sections have different one-time meditations or 7-day plans, so there's a lot to explore. The 7 Days of Sleep worked for me. I was falling asleep at bedtime and sleeping through the night. It was amazing how much better I felt after just a few nights.

I eventually tried some of the other features Calm offers. People love their Sleep Stories, where a person with an interesting voice speaks softly and slowly while telling a story (think a handsome man with a British accent). These are great, but the music section is my favorite. The sounds are similar to what you hear at the spa and range from nature to slow piano pieces. My phone is on my nightstand so if I ever wake up at 2:00 am, I play Symphony of Rain or Milky Way and I'm out in 5 minutes.

Today, Calm is the #1 app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. They've won numerous awards, including “App of the year" and “Happiest App in the World". The title of the top review on apple is “Life changing" and that's exactly how I feel. A month of Calm costs less than the latte I used to need every morning, and you can cancel at any time. Looking back, the app was able to pull me out of a dark time and gives me tools to help work through my problems. If I'm traveling and wake up to strange sounds, I play Summer Breeze and I'm back asleep in minutes. If I'm commuting and have a headache, I meditate for 10 – 15 minutes on the train, and I always feel better after. My mind is clear, and I no longer walk around like a zombie. Yes, there's still stress in my life, but I'm much more capable of dealing with it now, and I can focus on being me.

Update: If you struggle to sleep as I do, then you need to try Calm. Plus, what's there to lose? Click here and get the first week for free!

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