10 Best Games to Help You Fall Asleep: Use Your Smartphone or Just Your Mind

Whether you do or don't have your smartphone at hand, there are excellent games to try out next time you can't sleep.
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
Reviewed By
Medical Advisory Team
Medical Advisory Team
Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high- read more
Last updated: September 15, 2023
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Living in such a fast-paced world, we all have nights when our most embarrassing moments, worst fears, or the things we should’ve said or done prevent us from falling asleep. It can also be due to our irregular sleep routines, thanks to last night’s Netflix binge-watching. But whatever the cause, falling asleep becomes hard and we have no clue how to cure it aside from checking our refrigerators or reaching for our phones.

So, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, are there any games to help you fall asleep? Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media apps that have you fall down the internet rabbit hole, there are numerous other ways one can try going to sleep. So, in order to help you the next time you find yourself tossing and turning in bed at two in the morning, we have curated a list of devices, exercises, items, and games to help you fall asleep.

Mind Games to Help You Sleep

From counting sheep to imagining being in a calm peaceful setting, we have done it all when it gets difficult to sleep. This is where the concept of cognitive-focusing exercises comes into play, also known as mind games. These exercises simultaneously use both the left and right spheres of the brain and bore you to sleep. They have been researched upon for decades, and so, we have compiled a few effective ones to help you sleep like a baby.

Cognitive Shuffling

It’s a method developed by Canadian cognitive scientist Luc Beaudoin, also known as serial diverse imagining. It helps you purposefully scramble your thoughts and give your brain the signal to stop trying to manage everything. Essentially, you shuffle through a series of random, non-threatening images, and you begin doing this by starting with a word and then coming up with items that start with each letter of that word and move on.

In a published paper on the subject, Beaudoin argued that his technique is effective because since our brains are wired to make sense of everything, we cannot fall asleep without having to dwell upon and analyze everything. This is why cognitive shuffling acts as a mental distraction when we need to help ourselves relax.

Tense and Relax

It’s a common technique that operates on the idea that one must know the tension in order to know relaxation. This can be used to help you fall asleep. You should begin by tensing your toes for a few seconds and then relaxing them.

Next, repeat by tensing and relaxing your ankles for the same amount of time. And then the calves and upwards, slowly working your way up to the forehead. By the time you reach the forehead, your entire body will be relaxed and primed for sleep. This exercise can also be repeated a few times for effectiveness.

Imagine a Calming Setting

Every individual has their own soothing space that helps them unwind. For some, it can be the beach, and for others, a dainty little cottage on the top of the hills. Hence, by visualizing that peaceful setting and imagining themselves to be there, we try deceiving our brain into thinking about it being the present, which eventually helps us relax.

Write Down the Overthinking

10 Best Games to Help You Fall Asleep: Use Your Smartphone or Just Your Mind

One of the most common reasons why people stay up late and are unable to sleep is due to over-thinking. Our minds usually tend to do that at night. Since we are not physically performing an activity, the brain busies itself by thinking about all of the events, activities, or memories it has not touched upon yet.

Therefore, it may be useful to try penning down all those thoughts that worry you, which will help free your mind and provide a receptacle for all the ideas that run through your mind and prevent it from resting and getting sleep.

Count Backward

As old and conventional as the technique sounds, it really is effective since it is a persuasive mixture of boring and mentally taxing. Start by counting backwards from the number 100. And while you do, visualize the number by slowly drawing it in your mind. Chances are, you will probably not make it past 20 before you’re knocked out.

Try Staying Awake

It may sound a bit ridiculous, but our mind often tries to do the opposite of what we want to do. When we’re trying to fall asleep, our mind tries to fight it. Hence, by applying reverse psychology, if you try to stay awake, without any distractions, your mind will also fight that. And know who’s? Maybe you’ll doze off before you know it.

Smartphone Games to Help You Sleep

Scrolling through smartphones and using social media and game apps are some of the reasons why people don’t get a good night’s sleep. But what if we tell you there are hundreds of apps solely created to help you sleep better? Ironic, isn’t it!

We have listed down a few for you to check out for yourself!

Harmony: Relaxing Music Puzzles

Harmony is a calm and amusing problem-solving game, which through creating symmetrical patterns and harmonic notes, keeps your interest yet soothes you to help you fall asleep.

While listening to the pacifying music with each piece of the puzzle, you need to recreate a mirror image of the pattern. If you assemble the puzzle correctly, you get to enjoy another harmonic tune that leaves you feeling relaxed. And since the game has over a thousand levels to play, you don’t have to worry about getting the same puzzle more than once.

Dream Walker

10 Best Games to Help You Fall Asleep: Use Your Smartphone or Just Your Mind

Dream Walker is a very simple and fun game to play in order to help you feel relaxed and prepped for sleep. It follows a sleepwalking character, Anna who goes on an adventure in her dreams. Through its dim and enchanting visuals, it will have you thinking about sleepwalking so much that you may actually fall asleep playing it!

You just follow Anna and control wherever she turns. The game is purposely made easy so you wouldn’t have to think too much about the directions she moves in. And lastly, the calm and enchanting background music ties up everything together to have you asleep in no time!


Stack is another easy, problem-solving game that’s simple enough to help you go to sleep. It doesn’t require much thinking but is entertaining enough for you to want to keep playing it every time you feel like drifting off. The order is quite basic. You just need to stack the blocks around in order to create the highest tower possible until it falls. Its graphics are quite simple but include color tones that help you relax.


Antistress is a puzzle game where you can fidget and play around with a number of items available on a shelf. From wooden blocks, chalks, light switches to darts, the game is quite simple and mundane, and actually dull enough to rest your mind. It helps you to relax by overperforming simple tasks. The graphics and sound are not that great, which is what makes it the perfect game app to help you fall asleep!

More Tips for Better Sleep

Apart from the mind and smartphone games, there are countless ways to achieve an improved sleep routine.

Have a Hearty Meal an Hour Before Going to Sleep

Research has shown that having a high-carb meal can be damaging to a good night’s rest. A high-fat meal, however, can encourage a night of more deep and peaceful sleep. Hence, it’s important to take notice of the food that one consumes before bed as it affects your sleep.


Aromatherapy, which is the practice of using essential oils, is another technique that’s commonly used by people who have difficulty falling asleep. It proves to be effective in improving the quality of sleep. Putting a relaxing oil into the diffuser and dozing off with a comfortable sleep mask is the best way to do it!

Have Some Warm Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is also a popular beverage that’s been consumed around the world as a natural relaxant to aid sleeping. It has been used to help the body and mind relax and unwind. Modern research also supports Trusted Source Effect of Traditional East Asian Medicinal herbal tea (HT002) on insomnia: a randomized controlled pilot study www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov the tea’s ability in increasing specific neurotransmitters involved in inducing sleep. Out of the hundreds of herbs used for herbal tea, the most popular ones include chamomile, lavender, valerian root, passionflower, and magnolia bark.

Chamomile tea is known to be one of the widely used teas as it acts as a sedative and sleep aid conventionally consumed in various parts of Iran. It is known to be full of antioxidants and promotes calmness as well as reducing anxiety. The extract improves daily performance as well as the quality of slumber for older adults.

Hence, it is encouraged for people to consume it. And instead of brewing one’s own mix in today’s time, herbal teas are also very conveniently available in the form of tea bags like the Organic Chamomile Tea Bags by FGO.

Sleep Supplements

Apart from natural remedies, sleep-enhancing supplements also help one to sleep better as they tend to calm brain activity and boost production of sleep-promoting hormones. There are many options out there including magnesium, amino acid 5-HTP, L-theanine, Melatonin and GABA that induce sleep and help one relax.

According to many reviews, All-Natural SLEEP SUPPORT for Adults is a liquid Melatonin supplement that helps Trusted Source The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov with anxiety and stress relief. They are fast-acting liquid drops that the body can actually absorb.

Now even though technology is one of the major contributors to less and restless sleep, it has invented many useful devices that help you with sleeping better including white noise machines and sleep trackers. These devices can prove to be a valuable investment for people who face a hard time relaxing and falling asleep.

The video below also contains some tips to fall asleep quickly.

Final Thoughts

It is very important to destress and unwind after a tiresome day otherwise sleep deprivation can take a negative toll on many parts of our body and mental health. Hence trying out the suggested exercises, devices, natural remedies, and games to help you fall asleep is surely something every individual can benefit from.

Let us know which ones you’re going to try!


Effect of Traditional East Asian Medicinal herbal tea (HT002) on insomnia: a randomized controlled pilot study
The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature
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