Sleep problems and disorders are widespread in the UK, with factors such as stress, noise, and mental health issues significantly impacting sleep quality. It was reported that 67% of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep, and as many as 16 million suffer from sleepless nights. It was also found that 31% of UK adults claim to suffer from insomnia.
Due to this, many resources are available that can help improve sleep quality. This includes sleep aid websites, which are designed to help users get a better night's sleep by offering various features and services. Below are our most recommended sleep aid websites, as well the science and studies behind the sounds that make you sleepy.
(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion)
|Restflix.com||Web Browser, Apple TV, Roku, Android, Fire TV, and iOS||7 Days||≈ £6/month|
|BetterSleep.com||Web Browser, iOS and Android||7 Days||≈ £4/month|
|Pzizz.com||iOS and Android||30 Days||≈ £8/month|
|Brain.fm||Web Browser, iOS and Android||3 Days||≈ £5/month|
|Calmradio.com||Web Browser, iOS and Android||N/A||≈ £5/month|
|• Binaural beats |
• Personalised channels
|• Those seeking a mood booster |
• People who use multiple devices
• Individuals who enjoy bedtime stories
Restflix is a streaming service that aims to help users get to sleep faster and rest easier. The service can be used on multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS and your PC. You can also use the service on a large screen by connecting to Android TV, Fire TV, Apple TV and more.
To offer the best service, Restflix uses science and technology to help users achieve a better night's rest. The streaming service includes access to binaural beats, which is a relaxing technique that combines different sound frequencies to create a new frequency tone. Restflix uses this to connect to the brain's responsive system and increase melatonin.
Restflix has over 20+ personalised channels of video content to help address sleep issues and disorders. You can also access thousands of hours of Sleepscapes, including bedtime stories, meditation and binaural beats to help send you to sleep.
|• Extensive audio collection|
• Sleep tracker
• Meditation guide
|• People seeking more routine|
• Those looking to improve sleep quality
• Individuals requiring relaxation techniques
Bettersleep is an online service and app which includes many features, such as sounds, music, meditation and relaxation techniques. The app has been downloaded approximately 55 million times and has received over 600,000 reviews, with the majority being positive.
When you subscribe to Bettersleep, you gain access to their extensive audio collection and bedtime stories for adults to help you relax and fall asleep. The audio feature allows you to combine your favourite sounds, music and binaural beats to suit your preferences. Moreover, you also have the option to track your sleep, create bedtime routines and discover your chronotype.
In addition to the features, Bettersleep also features many tips and tricks to help you get the most from the service and get a better night's rest. Bettersleep claims that 9 out of 10 of their users have seen an improvement in sleep quality, and 87% reported waking up feeling well-rested.
|• Hybrid music system|
|• Individuals seeking customisation |
• Those interested in scientific techniques
• People suffering from insomnia
Pzizz is a sleep and nap system which has been created to encourage a good night's sleep, as well as helping you wake up feeling refreshed. The service has been recommended by several established third-party publications and famous figures. Pzizz currently has a user base of over a million people with many positive reviews.
Pzizz has many features, including the hybrid music system. This gives you access to over 100 billion sequences that have been algorithmically remixed and human-composed to help the user get better sleep. Other features include a soothing voiceover which you can customise, alarm clocks and fadeout timers for the music and voiceovers. Within their features, Pzizz uses Dreamscapes and psychoacoustics, which is connected to psychology and sound. The Dreamscapes utilise scientific techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and hypnosis to help treat sleep problems and insomnia.
When you subscribe to Pzizz, you also gain access to their various other apps. This includes the visual apps Mesmerise and Woah and Soundly and Doze, which is designed to help you get a better night's rest.
|• Neural phase-locking |
• Patented scientific technology
• Neural Effect Filter
|• People looking to de-stress|
• Those seeking to increase motivation
• Individuals who need to improve focus
Brain.fm places science at the forefront and uses their patented technology with music to connect to the brain and help you relax. Aside from helping you get better sleep, Brain.fm can also encourage motivation during the day or help you de-stress.
By collaborating with scientists, musicians and developers, Brain.fm has created functional music through research and testing. Their scientific technology involves eliciting strong neural phase-locking, which allows your neurons to connect to activity and remove distractions in sound. Once you select the right music track, you are able to use their Neural Effect Filter to adjust the intensity level to suit your preferences. If you want to learn more about the science, Brain. fm gives you access to their scientific research and testing on their site.
Brain.fm has been featured in several well-known publications and has received over 4000 five-star reviews. Users have stated that their productivity has increased since using the service, as well as helping them focus and relax.
5. Calm Radio
|• HD channels |
• Nature sounds
|• Those who prefer a choice of subscriptions |
• Individuals looking for a variety of genres
• People who enjoy meditation
Calm Radio is a music streaming service that gives you access to hundreds of HD channels where you can access relaxing music, sounds, podcasts and videos. You can use the service on multiple platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS and Alexa.
When you subscribe to Calm Radio, you gain access to unlimited listening to their extensive collection of music and nature sounds, which has been curated to help promote relaxation. Channels include easy listening, wellness, lounge, meditation and audiobooks. In addition, you also get guided sleep and meditation, as well as scenic videos to help you relax.
Calm Radio offers four different subscription options, where you can choose to pay every month or pay for one or two years. Moreover, you can also opt to pay for a lifetime membership or select a family plan for up to 3 users.
6. Relaxing World
|• Visual backgrounds |
• Customisable ambience
• Sharing feature
|• People looking for a free service |
• Those who value simplicity
• Individuals who want to improve their mood
Relaxing World focuses on creating the right ambience by using a variety of different sounds and images. You are able to personalise to your preferences by combining your favourite backgrounds and sounds to create the ambience that you desire.
By using relaxing sounds and images, Relaxing World aims to improve your mood and mental state while encouraging a positive state of mind. Once you have created your ideal ambience, you can adjust the volume sounds save under your chosen ambience name. Moreover, you also have the option to share your creation with your friends and family online.
Before creating an account, the site gives you the opportunity to use a demo where you can try out the different sounds and images and see what other options are available. If you have any questions or queries, you can contact the site developer directly via social media or email.
The Science Behind Nature Sounds
Natural sounds have often been linked to relaxation and wellbeing. To prove this, scientific research and experiments have been conducted to authenticate the connection between nature sounds and relaxation, which can be beneficial when trying to fall asleep.
Researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School wanted to explore how 'natural sounds' can affect bodily systems and if they can be linked to resting activity in the brain. The experiment was conducted by researchers and audiovisual artist Mark Ware. Participants listened to both natural and artificial sounds while having their brain activity measured with MRI scans. Brain activity showed outward-directed focus and relaxation when listening to natural sounds. In contrast, artificial sound showed a slight increase in stress and inward-directed focus of attention, which can also be observed in people suffering anxiety and depression.
Another study✓ examining the effects of different natural sounds found that water sounds had the most significant impact on health and positivity. The same study also highlighted the Stress Recovery Theory, which theorises that nature is perceived as less threatening and stress relieving.
Sleep Aid Website Features
There is a wide range of sleep aid websites currently available online, with many different features and benefits to offer their users. Before trying out or subscribing to a new service, it's helpful to be aware of the various features so that you can choose the best site for your preferences.
- Sleep Aid: If your main goal when using a new service is to get a better nights rest, it’s handy to have a range of resources on the website to help facilitate this need. Many sites have an extensive collection of relaxing audio and sounds which aim to help you fall asleep faster and feel more well-rested.
- Science: Many sleep aid websites incorporate science, testing and research to help improve their services and features. Scientific technology can include binaural beats and psychoacoustics, all designed to connect to the brain and help the user to relax.
- Relaxation Techniques: Aside from features that are directly designed to help you sleep, there are other services you can use to help you feel more relaxed before bed. This includes meditation guides, bedtime stories and video content.
- Compatibility: As technology progresses, it’s often convenient and useful to have a service or website which is compatible with other devices. Aside from the PC, many sites can be used on iOS, Apple and on the TV.
- Layout: When using a new website or service to relax, ease of use can be important. For this reason, the layout should be simple and uncomplicated. Many websites also incorporate calming visuals to help you feel more relaxed.
- Subscription: While many sleep aid websites offer free versions, they often have limited features. If you want full access to all features, you can often pay on a monthly or yearly basis. Monthly subscriptions often range from £4 - £8, while yearly subscriptions can typically range from £30 - £55.
Binaural Beats Explained
Several sleep aid websites mention binaural beats and how they incorporate them within their audio and music. They claim that including binaural beats helps the listener relax and de-stress.
Binaural beats are created when you combine two tones of different frequencies in each ear to create the illusion of a third sound. This sound is able to connect to the neurons in the brain and send electrical messages. Binaural beats can be used as a form of sound therapy and are used to help treat anxiety and stress.
Despite this, there is little solid evidence to support that binaural beats help with mental health issues and many doctors consider this an experimental treatment. Science Daily also states that there are many unsupported claims that binaural beats decrease anxiety and improve mood and focus.
The Benefits Of Different Sounds
Sleep aid websites often provide an extensive amount of music and sound to help you improve your sleep. While these sounds are known to have a relaxing effect, it's interesting to know how exactly they can help us fall sleep. Below are some popular sleep-inducing sounds and what benefits they can offer.
- Ocean: The sounds of waves can have a claming affect on many people. The University of Exeter published an artice stating that research living close to water can improve mental health. Biologist Wallace J Nichols also states that our brains react positively to water and can help to calm and connect us.
- Rain: When it rains , negative ions are released into the air which can help improve the human nervous system and make us more comfortable. The University of Melbourne states that contributes to why the sound of rain can help us feel sleepy. In addition, the rhythmic ticking sound of rain can also help us to relax and fall asleep.
- Birds: In 2020, The National History Museum published an article detailing the scientific benefits of listening to bird sounds. They referenced a study conducted by the University of Surrey which involved 174 participants listening to 50 different bird sounds. Results showed that some bird sounds showed reduction in mental fatigue and stress. Bird sounds with a quiet, high frequency had the most positive effects.
- Classical Music: Listening to classical music can often offer a calming effect and can therefore be used as a tool to help listeners fall asleep. A study✓ involving participants with sleep complaints found that listening to relaxing classical music before bed significantly improved sleep quality while depressive symptoms also decreased.
- White Noise: White noise consists of a collection of different frequencies which offer equal intensities. This can be affective in helping us sleep as it can block out other disruptive sounds. A 2021 study✓ in New York found that white noise significantly improved sleep in participants who had difficulties sleeping due to environmental noise.
Important to note:
Some experts disagree that white noise can be beneficial in helping you sleep. Colin Espie, a professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford states, "White noise is just like any other monotonous stimulation, which has been tried many times in many ways over decades, and the evidence [for it working] is poor.”
Scientists Say This Is The Most Relaxing Music In The World
This song was created by Marconi Union in collaboration with Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, back in 2011.
This 8 minute and 8 seconds sound compilation is said to reduce stress by 65%, lower blood pressure, heart rate and breathing speed. There are also reports that mention that this song is 11% more effective than similar soothing songs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a sleep aid website?
A sleep aid website uses specially curated audio, sounds and music to help you fall asleep faster and get a better nights rest. These websites also often include additional relaxing features such as meditation guides, visuals and bedtime stories.
Websites on how can adolescents improve their sleep?
For adolescents, stress can be a significant factor in preventing them from getting a good nights sleep. For this reason, our recommended sleep aid websites include many features to help you relax, such as meditative guides and relaxing music.
How do sleep apps work?
Many sleep aid websites also have apps that you can use on multiple devices. These apps often work in the same way as the websites and typically include many audios and other features to help improve your sleep.