Sleep Cycle

According to the National Sleep Foundation, only 15% of teenagers reported sleeping at least eight and a half hours on a school night.  A traditional alarm clock set for a certain time every morning wakes you up without consideration of which phase of sleep you were in, which ultimately affects the rest of your day based on how tired you feel when you wake up.  With more than one million users in over 11 countries, the iPhone app Sleep Cycle helps you make the most out of your sleep with a new kind of alarm clock.

Using the highly sensitive iPhone accelerometer to track sounds and movement throughout the night, the Sleep Cycle alarm clock analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase for maximum energy and relaxation throughout the day.  When going to bed each night, you set the alarm time frame and song/sound you wish to be woken up with and place the iPhone face down on the corner of your mattress.  For example, if you set the alarm for between 6:30 and 8:00 AM, Sleep Cycle will wake you at the most opportune time when you are closest to being awake for the most natural and easy transition possible.  Upon awakening each morning, you see a graph of your sleep patterns

However, there are some drawbacks to Sleep Cycle.  Sleep Cycle is not available on the Android Market, but there are a few similar apps available.  Many users are concerned about the effect of radiation due to the iPhone’s proximity to your head during sleep.  A solution to this concern is using Sleep Cycle with an iTouch or turning your iPhone to “Airplane Mode” setting, thus sacrificing any notifications until morning.  Sleep Cycle also cannot be used effectively on memory foam mattresses.

After using Sleep Cycle for almost a week, I feel refreshed and in a good mood for the rest of the day.  It seems as if, to an extent, the time you wake up matters more than how long you slept.  Of course, if you get three hours of sleep, you’re still going to feel terrible whether you wake up to Sleep Cycle or not.  Sleep Cycle is not a cure for the sleep deprived, but it drastically improves the sleep you do get and the start of your day.  For only 99 cents, Sleep Cycle does exactly what it advertises for any schedule with adjustable time periods for tight school schedules or sleeping in on weekends.