SLEEP CYCLE APP by Vickie Kline

sleep cycleAre you curious about your sleep habits?? I am… and because of this my sister recently introduced me to an iPhone/iPad app called Sleep Cycle. It’s a very interesting little app that monitors your sleep patterns during the night and reports the information back to you. This works well if you suffer from sleep apnea and want to monitor your sleep cycle, or if you never quite feel rested in the morning… possibly you’re not getting quality sleep time.

How it works: I plug-in my iPhone (so it doesn’t run out of juice), place it face down in the upper corner of my bed, and then go to sleep. Sleep Cycle monitors how deeply I sleep, how often I wake up, and the quality of my sleep based on these. It accomplishes this by monitoring how often I move and how deeply I breath, using the iPhone accelerometer to sense movement.

As we sleep, we go through different states that range from deep sleep to light sleep. The state you are in when your alarm goes off often determines how tired you feel. A fixed alarm clock is always a risk and can go off when you’re in deep sleep, causing feelings of tiredness or crankiness. It is best to come fully awake from a light sleep, rather than being shocked by an alarm when you are in deep sleep. Sleep Cycle helps you accomplish this by sounding an alarm (of your choosing) when you are in the lightest cycle of sleep within a 30-minute period. There is also a snooze option, if you still need more time after the alarm goes off.

The sleep quality function measures how well I slept. Calmer and longer sleep gives a higher score, translating to quality sleep. In the morning I can review statistics showing how long I was in bed and my percentage of sleep quality. Sleep Cycle tracks this and eventually gives me information on the shortest night’s sleep, longest night’s sleep, best night, and worst night.

Sleep Cycle is really interesting. Those nights when the cats are ornery and keep me awake all night, show that I didn’t get much rest. If I want more in-depth information, I can answer questions, such as, if I had alcohol, caffeine, or other foods that may impact my sleep. After using Sleep Cycle for a while, I begin to see patterns that may explain why I slept well… or not.

Strive to be healthy!

image provided courtesy of Sleep Cycle


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