Now, I may be in the minority here but I have always been slightly fascinated with sleep, and dreams and such. So much so that I even tried my hand in attempting to Lucid Dreaming once. During my lucid dreaming phase i learned a fair amount about different phases of sleep, what characterises them and what they mean. And this, my friends, is what Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is based around.
Now, the idea behind the theory is as simple as can be: Wouldn’t being woken up whilst you’re lightly sleeping leave you feeling less tired than being torn out of a deep sleep? Of course it would! So Sleep Cycle aims to monitor your movements whilst you are asleep in order to wake you up during one of your light phases of sleep. It does this by using the sensitive accelerometer (I wonder if Apple ever thought their accelerometer would be used for so many damn things!?) on the Iphone to track your bodies movement while you sleep.
So there’s the theory, but does it work? In a word (Or not as Oxford Dictionary corrects me): Sorta’. It does make you feel less groggy after being woken up by this but obviously you aren’t going to leap out of bed every morning feeling refreshed and invigorated due to being woken up in a gentle fashion. Using the app is really quite simple, you plug your Iphone into the charger to retain battery life, set a time you want waking up (This app works using a 30 minute window, waking you up in the lightest phase of sleep during this window. So set your alarm to the latest you want to be woken up), then you simply place the Iphone face down on the corner of your mattress, and sleep. The actual alarm tones this app uses wake you up quite gently in themselves and I find them much more pleasant to wake up to than the usual incessant, soul destroying beeping.
Being the stat geek I am, the next feature is something I really like about Sleep Cycle. Yes, that’s right stat enthusiasts, it comes with GRAPHS! So after being gently woken up you can look at a graph displaying the phases and cycles you went through that night. These graphs are actually helpful too, after using the app for a few weeks I looked at the graphs and was able to spot some patterns in my sleeping cycle. For example, I seem to go through a full cycle every 2.5 hours or so, meaning I can actually predict when I need to go to sleep in order to wake up not feeling like shit, and then set my alarm clock along with it. Some of these graphs are pretty interesting as well, an example being after I pulled an all nighter. So I hadn’t slept for a good 36 hours when I finally hit the hay, when I looked at the graph the next day instead of it showing the usual movement through phases and completion of cycles, it seemed I had just been in a very deep sleep for 11 hours straight! Now I don’t expect you readers to find that interesting to tell you the truth, but if you are in fact a stat geek like myself, you might do!
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is currently in the Top 25 Paid Apps in the App Store on sale for a measly $0.99, so it isn’t really that much to sacrifice to feel slightly more refreshed each morning, even if the results aren’t miraculous. But it works.