I now have a personal sleep coach, and you can have one too

(Image credit: Future)

Sleep is one of those things where everyone seems to have an opinion. The first time I remember experiencing it was as a teenager and I’m sure I’m not alone. “You’re sleeping too much. Go to bed earlier. Do something with your life.”

Then I experienced a bit of a reprieve until I became a parent for the first time. The comments were now bypassing me and finding their target on my baby:

Don’t put them on their front.
Don’t leave them to cry it out.
They’re not still sleeping in your room, are they?

I’m sure other generations will attest that the sleep-related comments continue.

Recent years have seen a new kid on the block with a desire to help people sleep better. This time it comes in the form of an app and is usually well backed up with a load of science and sleep research. And because it’s an app, it somehow feels less critical and obtrusive. One of the most popular sleep apps is ShutEye, which has over 10 million users. With such a huge following, I just had to see what all the fuss was about.

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After downloading the app and answering questions to help customize my experience, I was ready to have my sleep completely transformed. The app promises a lot so I had high expectations. It claims to be able to help people with sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and even narcolepsy. There was no time to lose!

The feature I was most excited about and went straight for was sleep tracking. My fascination with tracking nighttime events has something to do with the mystery attached to eight hours of every day. Not knowing what happens when we sleep fills me with a huge amount of intrigue and a little bit of terror!


(Image credit: Future)

I launched the tracker, set my wake-up time, played the recommended nighttime music, and drifted off to sleep. Other than toilet trips with the kids, I slept like a baby and the next thing I could hear was the birds singing in the garden. I picked up my phone and perused the tracking report. It’s pretty detailed but everything is summarised in a single score at the top.

I was more interested in the tracker graph and specifically how much deep sleep and snore time I accumulated. I was glad that the amount of time I spent snoring was negligible, not only for my wife’s benefit but also because snoring can be indicative of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). My deep sleep time was not as long as I would have liked but that had more to do with the aforementioned kids than something I could change or control.


(Image credit: Future)

One of my favorites, if only for the laughs, is the sleep recording feature that captures individual clips of sleep, which are then categorized into specific sections. There are the predictable clips of talking, coughing, and snoring, but there’s also an ‘Animals’ category. Brilliant! I’m glad to reveal that I didn’t impersonate any animals during the nighttime hours.

Beyond the basics, ShutEye provides a lot of detailed metrics, including breathing abnormal pauses, sleep consistency, and noise levels throughout the night. All of this helps sleep enthusiasts not only find out how they’re doing on specific nights but, more importantly, what the patterns are over time.


(Image credit: Future)

With my sleep tracked, I decided to have a little walk around the app. One of the other substantial elements is the audio aids, which are broken down into white noise, music, and even stories. ShutEye has curated a gorgeous selection of audio that helped me wind down and relax. I particularly liked listening to Man In The Brown Suit as read by Christopher Fitton. More specifically, I enjoyed listening to the first 60 seconds or so. It’s so atmospheric that my body was placed into a sleep coma every time I turned it on.

There’s also Sleeppedia, which contains a collection of sleep articles. I read about insomnia, snoring, and narcolepsy, finding my knowledge growing with every article I read. Sleep theory can often be quite confusing and a little overwhelming. It helped me to get a greater understanding of sleep in general and about various conditions specifically. After a while, it all seemed a lot less scary.

ShutEye has created a perfect blend of tools and resources that help people address their sleep patterns. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using it. There is a 7-day free trial, with a year’s subscription costing $49.99.

Download the ShutEye app on iOS or on Android

Freelance writer

Paul is a digital expert. In the 20 years since he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Computer Science, Paul has been actively involved in a variety of different tech and creative industries that make him the go-to guy for reviews, opinion pieces, and featured articles. With a particular love of all things visual, including photography, videography, and 3D visualisation Paul is never far from a camera or other piece of tech that gets his creative juices going. You'll also find his writing in other places, including Creative Bloq, Digital Camera World, and 3D World Magazine.