Can't sleep in the heatwave? This iPhone app could be the answer

Dark Noise on iOS
(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you live in the United Kingdom, we're dealing with one of the hottest days ever known, but the biggest challenge for me so far has been trying to fall asleep during it.

Managing the heat during the day has been okay for me - mainly due to being in the coldest area of the house, using three apps, having a fan constantly on, and a fridge full of bottled water, ready to go.

But falling asleep, you're trying to switch off while your bedroom feels like the Sahara Desert, and two fans just weren't working for me.

While we've already talked about the background noise feature that's available in iOS 15, I needed to use something more powerful to help me go to sleep. This is where Dark Noise comes in, available on iOS for $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$10.99, it has the standard types of noise, such as Pink, Brown, Grey and White, but this app goes further.

Turning rain up to 11

Dark Noise - thunderstorm setting and themes

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Dark Noise, created by Charlie Chapman, I've always had it on my iPhone and Mac as a way of helping me focus when some urgent work needed doing.

The app offers a bunch of different noises, split into seven categories:

  • Water
  • Appliances
  • Nature
  • Fire
  • Vehicles
  • Urban
  • Sleepy

You can also create your own noises, so if you have a blender nearby for example, that can be recorded as it makes a smoothie for you.

There's plenty of widgets and shortcuts you can set up as well, so certain noises in the app are just a couple of taps away, but I wanted to set it up in a different way this time.

At 2AM during the UK's highest heatwave, I was getting impatient. This may just be me, but I like to imagine scenarios as I try to fall asleep, and as there were two fans blowing directly in my face, I was imagining myself flying across the UK, much like Superman, but without the suit.

Yet this still wasn't working, especially when the heat was making everything uncomfortable. This was when I thought to use Dark Noise and turn on the 'Thunderstorm' noise. But instead of just playing this on my iPhone, I also switched on the weather effect on the iPad too so the noise can be amplified.

Soon after, I fell asleep. It was ideal, as I was also dreaming about running in the rain, so it was mission accomplished for Dark Noise.

At the time of writing (July 19), the day is slowly approaching the 40-degree Fahrenheit temperature, but that's going to be manageable. It's the coming night where it may be a struggle once again. But after last night being saved by Dark Noise, it'll be the first app I'll use as soon as I try to fall asleep, and I recommend you do the same if you're struggling too.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.