We live (and sleep) in a technological age. Smartphones and tablets are quickly taking over the cell phone market. We carry our smartphones with us through the day, and most sleep with them nearby at night, using them for as an alarm clock in the morning. But did you know that there are also apps that can monitor your sleep cycles, record your sleep talking or snoring, play ambient noises to help you sleep, and even wake you up while you're in your lightest stage of sleep in the morning so that waking up will be easier.

More and more people are testing the myriad sleep applications available on their smartphones, but how do you decide which apps are actually effective? We have picked our top three sleep apps, the ones we love and which had the highest ratings. These top sleep apps should help you relax before bed, and also monitor your sleep cycle during the night!

  • SleepBot for iOS and Android (Average rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars) The Sleepbot app tracks your sleep cycles and can also be used as your alarm. It graphs your sleep cycle and records your movement and sounds made during the night, so you can view your sleep activity once you're awake in the morning.
  • Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock for iOS (Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars) This app monitors your body movements during the night and wakes you during your lightest stage of sleep.
  • Pink Noise for iOS and Android (Average rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars) This app can play over 40 sounds from nature, and it can be set to play while you're waking up and going to bed. This app is also recommended by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality who goes by Dr. Oz on his weekly television show about health and wellness.

Just a reminder that trouble sleeping might be as simple as an old pillow or mattress, or it could be as complex as a deeper medical issue. These apps are not substitutes to a visit to your doctor, and they are not a solution to sleeping problems. If you have had difficulty sleeping for around a month, you should contact your doctor.