Wake up refreshed with Sleep Cycle [iPhone]

Sleep, those little slices of death; Oh how I loathe them. – Edgar Allan Poe [link]

If sleep is a little slice of death that probably explains why I wake up feeling like I’m rising from the grave… and failing.

Apparently there are good times and bad times to wake up (and I don’t mean Saturday is good and Monday is bad). Your “level” of sleep varies throughout the night, with light sleeping, REM (dream) sleeping, and deep sleeping. Being woken abruptly from deep sleep leads to those awful moments of confusion and zombie-like rising, while being woken gently from light sleep is much less traumatic!

Sleep Cycle is an iPhone app that uses the phone’s accelerometer to work out which sleep stage you’re in and wake you up at the appropriate time. You set an alarm time and lay the phone face-down next to your pillow so that it can detect your movements throughout the night. The app looks for the ideal moment in the 30 minutes leading up to your alarm to wake you up. If there’s no good time to wake you, it’ll wake you at your alarm time anyway so you don’t need to worry about sleeping in.

The alarms are all pretty gentle so you won’t be blasted out of bed with a klaxon even if you hit your alarm time.

I’ve seen watches that claim to do this but always been a bit skeptical. I thought I’d give Sleep Cycle a go but wasn’t too sure it would actually work. You can see the graph of my sleep cycle above, but without specialist equipment I can’t say for sure how accurate it is. I have noticed, though, that the points where my daughter’s woken me up at 4am have been recorded as “awake” times, and on the mornings where my cycle has worked out I’ve been able to wake up early without feeling like death warmed up.

It’s not a guarantee to waking up bright and cheery every morning, but it does actually seem to work pretty often, and at 59p it’s cheap enough to try it out without a worrying about the cost. Try it out and see how it works for you!

Have you tried Sleep Cycle out? How did you get on? Did it make a difference to how you woke up in the mornings? Let us know in the comments.

iTunes links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase Sleep Cycle  I will earn a small commission on your purchase.

Do you want more on the iPhone? Find our best iPhone posts here.

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  1. Been using it a while now…really made a real difference! Written about it on my blog – http://www.kevcharlton.com/sleep-cycle-iphone-app/

  2. Thanks Kev – I'm certainly finding that it helps me get up much earlier than I would otherwise. It's amazing to think that just picking the right moment to set the alarm off can make a difference.

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