1st Mar 2012
Graph your sleep cycle

Technology is truly amazing. You can now graph your sleep cycles overnight and have an alarm wake you when you are in your lightest sleep phase. That’s one way to wake up feeling rested.

Sleep Cycle is an app for the iPhone. After downloading the app you set the alarm. Unlike a regular alarm you don’t set a specific time that you wish to be woken up. Instead you set a period of time – for example half an hour – during which you would like the alarm to go off.

You then place your iPhone under your pillow. The accelerometer in your phone measures how much you move during the night. In this way Sleep Cycle app is able to graph how deeply asleep you are at any given point. It works out when you are in your lightest sleep phase during the half-hour period set, and that’s when it wakes you up. Waking up in the lightest sleep phase means that you feel more awake first thing in the morning.

The app also saves the graphs of your sleep, which can be both fascinating to look at, and useful to show your doctor if you believe you may have a sleep condition. It’s not a new idea. Bio-alarm clocks have been around for years, but doing it through an iPhone app has taken the price from around $200 to $0.99. Does it work? This bright-eyed and bushy-tailed YOURLifeChoices writer thinks so.


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