While the Internet has tons of solutions for upping your zzzs (including utilizing essential oils and light therapy devices or changing your diet), there's one clinically proven way to improve your sleep: meditation. A 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that 20 minutes of mindful meditation improved sleep quality for adults with sleep disturbances. And if you're wondering where to get your daily sessions, look no further than the MyLife Meditation App. (Full transparency: Shape and MyLife share a parent company.) The more than 20,000 near-perfect reviews in the app store speak for themselves.
MyLife sets itself apart from other meditation apps by offering a personalized meditation based on your mood. You start with a four-step check-in that includes a few guided breaths, a physical and mental report, and a quick survey of any emotions you're feeling. The app then recommends a few meditation options to guide your practice, as well as an activity of the day that ranges from acupressure to a quick yoga practice. (P.S. Here are 10 Yoga Poses You Can Try for a More Restful Sleep.)
Of course, you're not limited to exploring just your current emotions for your meditation practice. The app's explore page delivers a range of additional meditations targeted to various themes including body positivity, relationships, and anxiety. There are also collections with curated routines that focus on specific areas of improvement, such as gratitude, mindful eating, or sleep.
These curated selections are nicknamed either an essential (a short one-time program) or a journey (a longer multi-day series that dives deeper into topics). For example, the sleep essential gives you a five-step practice for a better snooze that includes yoga, meditation, a quick mindfulness activity, sleep sounds, and a wind-down. The longer sleep-pegged journey lasts 10 days and provides a new routine each day with a combination of meditations, mantras, and activities.
And if you've tried meditation apps before — and just ended up ignoring them after a month — MyLife motivates you with a meditation streak counter that tracks your number of consistent check-ins and meditations. Along with sticker rewards, the app also tallies the total amount of time spent meditating to give you a visual representation of your progress.
Not that you'll need to rely on data to feel the effects — reviewers write that progress from the "life-changing app" is noticeable in all aspects of their lives.
"Mindfulness and meditation have always seemed out of reach, and not for me — too complicated, too time-consuming, too esoteric," wrote one reviewer. "This app has changed all of that. The sessions are short, practical (one I can do while driving, many I can do at work, etc), and accessible. In the six weeks since I have used the app, no circumstances in my life have changed; but my response to them has. I'm less reactive, more settled. Grateful for this app, and all the work behind it!"
Another app user wrote: "I was in a pretty bad spot recently. I took up doing one of the meditations in the morning when I wake up and once again before bed on a daily basis. It changed my life. I've never felt like this on a regular basis. I feel more confident, happy, and overall positive. This literally changed my mindset."
Best of all, you'll see your devotion to meditation paying off with more restful sleep — something everyone could use a little more of right now. Daily devotions to meditation can pay off with better sleep. A monthly membership to the MyLife platform costs $10, and an annual subscription is less than $60. Even better? You can use the code MYLIFEHEALTH50YR to get 50 percent off an annual subscription today.