Sleep Cycle App

Sleep Cycle App for iPhone
Sleep Cycle App for iPhone

I have said time and time again that I need to sort out my sleep cycle. I have

previously recommended


Sleepy Time website

, which is essentially a bedtime calculator which tells you what time to go to bed if you want to feel fresh when your alarm clock sounds, or alternatively suggests the optimum time for you to set your alarm for when you input your intended bedtime. This seems to be available as an

app for Android

 but not for iPhone. Instead, I have downloaded the

Bed Time Calculator

 (free!) which does the same job.

Recently I have gone one step further and downloaded the iPhone app

Sleep Cycle

 for £1.49 (or $1.99). If you read my post last week about how much I enjoyed the

Horizon - Monitor Me

programme, you'll understand why I love the idea of monitoring my sleep.

So, how does it work? Sleep Cycle says:

Since you move differently in bed during the different phases, Sleep Cycle uses the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement to determine which sleep phase you are in. Waking up in the lightest sleep phase feels like waking without an alarm clock – it is a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.

Amen! In the past, on days when I have woken without enough sleep, or at the wrong time in my sleep cycle, I have felt nauseous for several hours and not myself all day! Sleep Cycle displays the data that it collects in graph form so that you can see how you slept as well as compare the quality of your sleep from different nights. There are lots of settings and options that you can adjust to suit you. Firstly, the alarm is optional so you can still run sleep analysis without the alarm. However I really like the alarm and there are lots of great tones to choose from.

Sleep Cycle App Alarm and Sleep Notes
Sleep Cycle App Alarm and Sleep Notes

As well as having the option to log your mood when you wake up (to track if this really does help to start your day more peacefully!) you can also add sleep notes. Sleep notes help you track how different activities affect your sleep quality, and you can choose sleep notes relevant to you. For example, drinking caffeine or alcohol would definitely affect your sleep quality and would be worth noting. As I do neither of those (at least not on a regular basis) I have chosen other sleep notes. As well as tracking whether I have eaten late or had a particularly stressful day, I have also decided to start tracking whether the time of day that I workout has an impact on my sleep quality. Unfortunately I haven't been tracking it long enough to see a trend yet but I look forward to seeing how the results progress!

Sleep Cycle App Statistics
Sleep Cycle App Statistics

My statistics from last night show that my sleep quality wasn't great at just 77%. I can see from the graph that it's probably because I didn't spend very much time in a really deep sleep. I remember that I dreamt last night so I wonder if that has any affect on sleep quality...

Sleep Cycle App More Statistics
Sleep Cycle App More Statistics

My other results show that my bedtimes have generally been getting earlier. I knew I had late bed times, going to bed around 1 or even 2am occasionally but until I used this app I didn't really that it was consistently this late every day so I have definitely made a conscious effort to improve that.

Some mornings I still wake up feeling groggy and end up snoozing a little after the alarm finishes.  I think that this is mainly due to the fact that I'm often still missing out on a good 9 hours of sleep (which is what my body seems to need to function!) but I know that when I'm back at uni and my days are less flexible, I won't be able to snooze and need to start getting out of the habit now...

It's also worth noting that sharing a bed with someone doesn't affect the effectiveness of the app. Sleep Cycle have done 'extensive testing' to ensure that this is the case and I haven't personally found my results to be 'confused' by this!

Would you consider monitoring your sleep? If you already do, I'd love to know what apps you have tried and whether you have found them helpful!