Mike's NBC-TV stories

Apps to help you fall asleep and stay asleep

Everyone knows the value of sleep but it can be especially tough to come by as we head into the holidays and one of the busiest times of year.

With the help of some great apps, you can put worries about long, sleepless nights to rest.

Sleep Cycle 5.0 wakes you when your body says it’s time. Simply place your smartphone next to your bed and the app does its thing analyzing the sound of your sleep. When the app is able to determine you’re in the lightest phase of sleep, it wakes you up. The developers say by waking in the lightest phase of sleep, you will not feel as tired for the day. The app is free for iOS and Android.

If falling asleep is an issue, you may want to consider Sleepbot. This app includes settings to play ambient noise that will help you fall asleep more peacefully. You can set multiple alarms and Sleepbot also tracks habits based on sounds and will wake you when it determines you’re in the lightest phase of sleep. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Sleep Genius aims to improve sleep by helping you fall asleep and stay asleep with audible programs designed to promote “the optimal night’s sleep.” Sleep Genius also has a program to sneak in a power nap as well as a relaxation mode. And it makes waking less jarring with an gentle alarm program to ease      you wake. The app is available for iOS and Android and costs $4.99.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.