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Whether we’re working too hard, feeling stressed or staring at too many screens before bedtime, research shows that we’re not getting enough shuteye.
Most of us could use a little help getting more sleep, and thanks to the internet and apps, people can learn about their sleep through technology.
CEO of Northcube, Maciek Drejak claims to have found a way to make sleep tracking available to everyone, as well as to help us wake up easier without compromising the quality of our sleep.
The good news?
You can download the solution straight to your phone.
Say hello to Sleep Cycle — the smart alarm clock.
Sleep Cycle Review: The Sleep Tracker for iOS and Android
Is there really a need for an ‘intelligent alarm clock’?
Sleep Cycle has received rave reviews and is rated one of the most popular sleep trackers on the market.
We decided to check out what all the fuss is about.
Main Features of Sleep Cycle
Sleep Cycle boasts an edge over some of its competitor apps and has been designed with an intelligent alarm clock with the ability to analyse your sleep and wake you up in your lightest sleep phase.
The theory being… that’s when you are most likely to get up feeling rejuvenated.
When you place your phone on the floor, your nightstand or in your bed, the patented sound analysis technology can track your sleep movements and noise via your phone’s microphone. You can also use the sensitive accelerometer in your iPhone to help monitor movements.
The smart alarm comes with a customisable wake-up window and a library of alarm melodies or you can opt for some tunes from your own music library. The Sleep Cycle alarm will wake you up during your lightest sleep cycle within 30 minutes of the time you set your alarm.
For example, if you set your alarm for 7:00am, Smart Cycle will only wake you up during your most restless phase between 6:30am and 7:00am to ensure you wake up in the most natural manner.
Sleep Cycle also keeps track of your different sleep phases during the night to track sleeping habits. The results of your sleeping patterns come in the form of detailed statistics and graphs and should also help you see what triggers a good or bad night’s sleep.
Other features include background mode and snooze. Background mode enables you to set your alarm and exit Sleep Cycle while sleep analysis continues in the background, and snooze can be activated by lightly shaking or tapping your phone.
Reaction from the sleep hacking community
From Wall Street Journal and the Guardian to Wired, CNN and 148Apps, Sleep Cycle has proven a big hit with many leading bloggers and publications. The New York Times maintains that Sleep Cycle is a hassle-free and affordable way to monitor your night’s sleep. Live Science contributor, Stephanie Pappas also rated it on her list of best sleep apps and said it’s easy to use and personalise.
Pros and cons of the Sleep Cycle App
Interested in hacking your sleep with the help of a smartphone and one very clever app?
Here are some of the pros and cons of Sleep Cycle:
- Gently eases you awake during your lightest sleep phase
- Gives you detailed feedback on sleeping habits
- Fully integrated with Apple’s Health App and exchanges sleep analysis and heart rate
- No built-in reminder to set alarm
- Have to pay to upgrade to premium for online backup, sleep aid, sleep notes, wake-up mood, weather, heart rate monitor and Philips light bulb support
By far the biggest sell of Sleep Cycle is its ability to wake you up at the most opportune moment.
It’s difficult to compare how effective the app is to a regular alarm, but from our first impressions, we did indeed find it slightly easier to get up when using our natural body clock. Your mileage may vary.
We also found it sparked our fascination with monitoring sleep patterns, but left us a feeling a bit flat and thinking we’d be tired all day when we discovered we’d had a bad night of sleep. A negative placebo effect, perhaps?
If you want an alarm app that helps you learn about your sleeping patterns and improve your sleep quality, then this will be right up your street.
The app also makes a neat attempt at the gamification of sleep by allowing you to compare your results against other users around the world:
Ever wondered how much sleep you get compared to, say, the population of Japan?
Now you know.
Check out the Sleep Cycle website for more information.
Have you tried the app? Got another sleep tracking app you can recommend?
Let us know your thoughts and reviews below.