Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep

Rating Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 2+
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About Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep

Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep is an app to help parents establish an effective bedtime routine for their kids and is full of soothing stories, music, and ambient sounds. It is distinguished from other bedtime apps by its scientific basis—its content reflects research into children's sleep. The app is suitable for kids aged up to 10 years old.

Stella Stories is an exclusive iOS app at the time of this review. The app is free to download, and new users can choose to activate a free trial. After the trial, access to the app's complete library requires a subscription. 

Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep Review

What is Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep app?

Stella Sleep is an app to help soothe and relax kids. The app contains lots of sound-based content to help kids sleep, with more added regularly. The app includes specially written stories, music, lullabies, and background sounds. 

This material's primary purpose is to help kids sleep, but the app takes a more holistic view and incorporates social and emotional learning to help kids deal with worries that might otherwise keep them awake. The app also has parental guides to help kids develop bedtime routines and overcome sleep problems. 

What we love about Stella Sleep app

As we all get daily practice at sleep, it is easy to think we know all about it. This notion has also been true for some bedtime apps which claim to help kids sleep but have no evidence that they do. Is it all just about dreamy narration and soft music?

Stella Sleep says not and has the research to back up its claims.

We want to be sure that apps for kids do what they claim, and an open research-backed approach is a good way to do this. Experts have created Stella Sleep's content, and the app's website explains the research underpinning it.

The content is beautifully produced and easy to access. The narrators skilfully pick their way through the gentle and soothing stories, and the music layers a gentle soundscape over your kid's sleeping environment. 

The stories aren't repurposed for the app but are created especially to aid sleep. The readers' voices have an indefinable but recognisable quality that leads to relaxing the listener, and they include the well-known, such as actor John Cleese.

Uniquely among bedtime apps, the stories incorporate techniques to aid sleep, such as breathing and relaxation exercises. These are expertly woven into the tale and feel natural elements of it, and like they would be effective at helping kids drift off.

If your kids prefer the ambient noise of a nighttime environment, perhaps with a crackling campfire or soothing music, you have the option of activating these. You can also set a timer to turn off the sounds after a duration you think will work for your kids.

If kids overcome any anxieties or worries during the day, they'll be less likely to be disturbed by them at night, and so not all of the app's material is designed purely for bedtime. There are plenty that can help calm kids at any time and ones that help them think about social and emotional aspects of their lives.

What skills does it teach?

Stella Sleep's purpose is not to teach skills, although it does provide useful advice to parents about bedtime routines and kids' sleep problems. 

Stella Sleep supports kids' bedtime routines and helps them sleep. The app also includes content that kids can use at any time of the day, including social-emotional support such as child-friendly guidance on overcoming problems and fears in their lives.

What age is it appropriate for?

The content in the app suits kids up to the age of 10. The soothing sounds of the music and stories will create a calming atmosphere for babies, and the app's sleep advice to parents will help them to keep an appropriate bedtime routine as their kids grow up.

Is Stella Sleep app easy to use?

Parents don't want to struggle with a complex app at bedtime, and, fortunately, with Stella Sleep, they won't. The app uses a familiar navigation process of choosing the section from the options at the bottom of the screen and then swiping through the content it reveals.

A story or piece of music is only a few taps away from opening the app.

Kids often like the familiar, even if it seems repetitive to us. There is no harm in this, especially at bedtime when the aim is calmness rather than stimulation. The app makes it easy to build playlists and mark out favourites for straightforward future access.

How will students benefit?

Young kids aren't great at judging their tiredness. Excitement and worry temporarily overrule what their bodies tell them about the need to sleep. Turn your kids' attention away from distractions and help them resolve their concerns, and they'll have a much better chance of a well-rested night.

This is easier said than done, though. Stella is a great tool to help with this. Its content is well-made for its purpose. The stories occupy kids' minds without overstimulating them. Music replaces the silence of the night and masks the mystery noises of houses settling and street-based activity. 

With the routines and support provided by this app, kids won't find bedtime a jarring transition from wakefulness to bedtime. Instead, it can become a pleasurable time that will lead to kids being full of energy for play and study the next day.

How will parents benefit?

Stella Sleep provides parents with more than soothing stories that form the bulk of its content. The app also includes parental guidance on bedtime routines, sleep problems, and social and emotional learning. These are narrated rather than text, making them easy for parents to listen to as they go about their day.

Parents of multiple kids, often torn between competing demands for attention, could use the app to soothe one child while they get another ready.

Parents might also find content in the app that helps them to sleep. Many adults use audio-based sleep aids and apps that play ambient noise. Some people suffer from tinnitus, and the distracting noises can help them, but others just prefer white noise to silence. They won't have to buy a separate product if they have this app for their kids.

How will teachers benefit?

Teachers know that parental support can make all of the difference in how kids progress at school. Kids practice and consolidate their learning at home. It is also where they get their rest.

Along with supporting your kids' learning, ensuring they get a good night's sleep is crucial in helping them concentrate and remain engaged at school during the day. Teachers will benefit from having alert and focused students in their classrooms.

Not all of the app's content is specifically for nighttime. Schools, kindergartens and nurseries might find it useful to have an app full of calming material. After exciting activities, classroom dramas and other events, teachers can use this app to bring their kids back down to earth.

Good to know

Stella Sleep will let you listen to previously accessed content without an internet connection, but you will need to connect to add new material.

The stories, sounds, and music work well enough through your phone's speakers, but we'd recommend connecting to an external speaker. A larger speaker's warmer, richer sound lets Stella Sleep's quality shine.

How much does Stella Sleep app cost?

The Stella Sleep app is free to download and gives you the option of a free trial with access to all of the app's content for seven days. After this time, if you don't continue the subscription, the app is still accessible with reduced stories and music.

What is included with the free version vs. paid?

You have the option of a monthly or annual subscription to Stella Sleep. The yearly plan offers a considerable discount over the monthly, so if you decide to use the app long-term, keeping in mind the app receives new content frequently, the longer subscription is the one to take.

Is Stella Sleep app safe to use?

Stella Sleep does not contain advertisements in the unsubscribed app, the trial, or during a subscription.

When you first open this app on an iOS device, it asks if you would like to allow the app to track your activity across other apps and websites. You have the choice of allowing this or not. Neither option will change your experience but allowing it will support the app's developers by letting them see how their users discover Stella Sleep.

What can Stella Sleep app improve on?

The screen layout is problematic when you first use the app on a phone-sized device. The on-screen keyboard obscures the sign-up  button when your device is oriented to landscape. Turning it to landscape resolves the issue, but we'd like to see it reposition its buttons or respond better to the orientation.

Stella Stories uses an unconventional sign-in procedure which you might only notice if you tend to use a different device for your sign-up email address. Some parents use a different email for kids' apps which might not be one that they use on their mobile device.

Typically, people who do this will confirm their account creation using a different device, such as a desktop machine. This approach will not work for this app. The link must be clicked on the device which holds the app as it will reopen the app. On a desktop, you will get an error that is not very helpful in understanding what is wrong.

Stella Stories should ideally use a process that does not require users to change how they use their devices. The next best solution would be to tell the user that they must open the email on the device with the app.

On the whole, these issues are minor bumps in the road to getting going with the app and should not be something that puts you off Stella Sleep.

Overall rating of the app.

Stella Sleep is a well-made app full of superb content. Its expanding library will keep it fresh for your kids as they grow and ensure you get good value from your subscription.

Will your child find it easier to get to sleep with this app? Will bedtime become easier? You've nothing to lose by taking out a free trial of this app and seeing the difference it makes over the week.

App Details

Ratings

Devices

iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Topics

Skills

Organisational and Productivity Skills
Emotional Development
Health & Fitness

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

Saga Sleeping Technologies AB

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You can download Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep on your iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Download Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleepfor iOS

Screenshots of Bedtime Stories - Stella Sleep

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