05/04/2016 13:17 BST | Updated 06/04/2017 06:12 BST

Your Phone Isn't the Villain of Sleep, It Can Be Your Best Friend

As someone who grew up in the deepest depths of rural East Anglia moving to London was something of a shock.

London is an incredible city, but when it's at its worst it can be loud, rude, aggressive, unpredictable and in every way a combatant to the peace and tranquility that we all need at the end of the day.

london busy

Combine these negative elements with what could in all probability be a god-awful day at work and you've got just about every ingredient needed to make sure you have a truly crap night's sleep.

Clearing your head of all this nonsense then is key to making sure that you can truly get a good night's kip and for me it's about finding my 'happy place'. This can be through playing a video game, listening to music or simply turning everything off and reading a book.

A friend listens to Radio 5 Live, another likes to have an audiobook playing, in truth we all have a mechanism and sometimes it's just about finding it.

My most recent weapon in the fight against the regular and deafening sound of the Overground railway network is in the form of 'Windy', an app which is designed not to distract from the whole process of going to sleep but help it.


This press picture seems to suggest you cover your phone in props to enhance the experience. I'd argue it's just as useful without them but I'll leave that up to you.

It's a beautifully simple concept, you have access to a range of different 'scenes' which have been meticulously hand drawn. Accompanying these scenes though are 360-degree infinitely looping soundscapes, from a quiet suburban street to a countryside field.

Each scene can be customised, if you want more insects at night you shall have more insects at night and so forth.

The resulting effect is actually quite astonishing. Each scene has been recorded in stereoscopic audio which means that even with normal headphones on leaves really do sound like they're moving around the room.


Look at this little guy, he's practically falling asleep standing up.

You can then finally set a timer so that once the app starts if you do fall asleep you won't have to worry about it running all night.

It's not a perfect solution by any means, and as people who know me will attest, I'm the last person to suggest anything other than a frankly Victorian solution to sleeping. 'Windy' however, and solutions like this, aren't gimmicks. They're taking you to a place where there are quite simply no physical ties to your stress.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go virtually stand in a windy field and have a staring contest with a fox.