Last week I picked up the Sleep Cycle smartphone app by Maciek Drejak Labs. It uses the accelerometer in your phone to track your movements while you sleep, and uses this data to wake you up at a better time in your sleep cycle. The operating theory is that your movements during sleep are directly correlated to your wakefulness; the less you move, the deeper sleep you are in. Waking up from a deep sleep can make you feel groggy and tired well into the day, generally to the dismay of roommates, spouses and coworkers. For $1, Sleep Cycle is supposed to fix that, or at least improve your sleep as best is possible. There’s a lot of mixed reviews on the internet about this, even some that claim its fake. I’ll put my name on the line and call it as I see it… Its been a week now, heres what I think.
To wake you up at a point of lighter sleep, Sleep Cycle will trigger its alarm to wake you in a 30 minute window (this can be lengthened or shortened) before your desired wake up when it senses your moving a lot. Alarm set to 8AM? Sleep Cycle senses your in a light sleep at 7:50? Alarm goes off. You wake up
super happy and refreshed. We all know thats a myth. Sleep Cycle stores this data and plots it on graphs, which is definitely the coolest part of the app. I enjoy checking out my sleep graph in the morning, its cool to see your sleep patterns from night to night. I can even see at what times my cat has gone out of his way to wake me from a deep sleep and how quickly I fell back into my slumber. After five nights, Sleep Cycle starts to rate your sleep quality based on your history, and you can see how this could be a useful tool in both the short and long term. The app comes with a number of other nifty features, even a [easyazon-link asin=”B002SMJQT4″ locale=”us”]white noise generator[/easyazon-link] to put you sleep.
So does it work? Yes, I’ll say it does. I’m not exactly a morning person and its helped me feel better in the morning. I’d gladly wake up 20 minutes earlier if it means I feel better rested, and if anything Sleep Cycle lowers my stress about sleeping through an alarm. Holding off on rating the actual product though, how creative a use for technology is this? This is your phone or iPad being really useful for something other than entertainment and connectivity. Not too many other apps directly affect your life for the better, and I love that Maciek Drejak Labs put their brainpower towards creating something truly useful for all of us to have. And for $1? Tell me another app thats as beneficial and well designed as Sleep Cycle for a buck. Considering Sleep Cycle has replaced the prospect of an expensive sleep calculator for me, hopefully we’ll continue to see creative and useful apps make beneficial services like this accessible in the future.