Android: Sleep is more important than you think. When we think of sleep deprivation, though, we tend to think of the length of sleep, but the quality of your sleep is also vital. I've shown you how to wake up more refreshed and how to mitigate the effects of your phone's LED light, but I've yet to encounter a sleep app quite like this one.
Sleep Ambiance provides soothing sounds to lull you into a deeper, more comfortable sleep. The default selection palette includes soundscapes like "Healing Drums," "Peaceful Garden," and my personal favorite, "Intertwining realms." Now, there are plenty of apps that provide a decent soundscape, but Sleep Ambiance excels in its execution. Play a sound and you'll see a popup where you can set the volume in-app or set a timer (you'll want to set the timer for at least a few minutes before your alarm, which will be much more effective if it sounds during a period of silence). You can also set the soundscape as your alarm by opening the three-dot menu next to each sound on the homepage.
In that same menu, you'll also see an option to upload the sound. Here's where things get interesting. Sleep Ambiance maintains a database of user-submitted sounds, so you can browse soundscapes created by other users and download them directly from the app (the database is accessible via a cloud icon on the homepage).
These aren't just .mp3s that users have saved to their phone. The app allows you to import sounds, yes, but it also has a built-in editor, in which you can add multiple background noises to a single soundscape, and even modify the volume of each individually. For instance, the "Deep oceans of calm" track includes Scuba at 100 volume, Stormy sea at 10 volume, Negative future at 30, and Wind chimes at 5. There are also intermittent sounds on top of those background sounds, complete with volume and frequency levels. Modify to your heart's content, then save a complete soundscape, and, if you choose, upload it to the library. You can even modify the default soundscapes.
All this, and the app sports a gorgeous (if somewhat intense purple) design.
If you've searched high and low for a decent, relaxing soundscape, but haven't found one, chances are Sleep Ambiance's vast library has something that'll satisfy you. And if it doesn't, you can always make your own.