An app to check your sleep patterns

I promised you yesterday that I’d share about an app I’ve been using.

First off, this is how it came about.

I was very nervous about oversleeping and I vaguely remembered reading somewhere (no idea where) about apps that sound an alarm when you’re between sleep cycles so you don’t feel so groggy when you have to wake up.

That’s me – very groggy (and grumpy) when I have to wake so I thought it was worth a try.

I searched in the app store and found this one, Sleep Time. There is a free version but that only stores your information for the 5 latest days so after I realised that, I paid R8 and got the paid version and I’m giddy with the stats.

As at this snapshot, you can see my average bedtime is 11:36 pm, my average duration was 7 hours 16 minutes and my sleep efficiency is 91%.

My stats don’t look like that anymore…

My average bedtime is now 12.25 am and my average duration is only 6 hours 23 minutes. Efficiency still 90%.

This is great because it’s giving me the information so I can do something about it. I know I function best on at least 7 hours of sleep, so no wonder I haven’t been at my best and the after midnight sleep really needs to stop 🙂

By the way, I do think I wake easier with this app but the real test will come this winter.

Do you wake easily?

Have you tried this or any other sleep app?

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  1. I don’t wake easily and I’ve never ever tried a sleep app. I think I am going to look into this some more!

  2. Rachel says

    I’ve used a similar app (SleepCycle – for ipod touch/etc) for about 3years now. It cost me $1 (US), and I’ve raved to many friends that it’s one of the best dollars I’ve ever spent!

    Love the enjoyable wakeup, love the stats, as you do…. and over time I’ve begun to notice other benefits.

    I will sometimes wake up before my alarm time now. I’ve never done that in my life before having this ‘friendly’ wakeup solution train my body to behave more naturally.

    Now I can tell when I’ve had too much sleep, because I’m used to what feels ‘right’.

    Extra features like you can ‘rate’ your sleep, so that you can see what days/times are consistent problems and fix them – this is your subjective measure of how good you feel, as opposed to just the metric. (E.g. thurs mornings I always had an early work meeting. Shifting my overall regular bedtime a bit earlier made my sleep better all week, because I wasn’t burned out Thurs/Fri) Despite being a geek and liking objective measures, the subjectivity helps for filtering out things like sleeping real good when you are sick, because your body needs extra healing.

    Bad habits like cheating on bedtime / or having social activities that kept me out later than usual, I can now quantify the damage, and I’m much more incentivised to be careful about regular patterns – not watching ‘just one more show’. I also am more diligent about allowing occasional late nights for something really important/special, but not allowing too many in my schedule or close together.

    Mine also has custom tags you can fill in before bed. E.g. I set up some for “online late” and “read before bed”, but you could also correlate caffeine, etc. Whatever it is you sometimes/often do, that you suspect affects your sleep. If you select the ones you’ve done that day, after a few months of stats to pull into graphs, you can see that your sleep productivity is decreased by some activities and increased by others. For me, the only one I’ve found that increases my sleep productivity is the days I manage to exercise.

    You mentioned your app allows a wakeup at a good time in your sleep cycle. Does it also allow gradual wakeup, i.e. alarm 15mins before, then 7 mins before then 3mins before then 1min before… not exactly the same times every night, it depends on where you are in your cycle, but it allows increasing frequency as you get closer to your set time?

    I love that routine, because it not only picks a good time in your cycle to wake you up, but it allows you to ‘surface’ gradually and naturally. (*Before* your alarm time, not for the next 40mins After your alarm goes off, and I am floundering through my morning routine!) This means I can actually be ready to start my day at the exact time I planned, not botch up my morning by taking twice as long for some tasks because I “forgot the time” / “was half-asleep” when I did it.

    I better stop before I ramble on too far. 😀 Hope you are/will enjoy some of the same benefits! I’d be interested to know more about the features you’ve found helpful in your app, as it may be different to mine. Thankyou!

    • Marcia Francois says

      Rachel, thanks for your comment. Maybe I should type a blog post as a reply – you asked such great questions and posted so many useful tidbits for thought.

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