By: Shannon McHale ’15, CRS Weight/Fitness Supervisor
This Week’s App: Sleep Time
App : Sleep Time
Price: FREE for basic version, $1.99 for Sleep Time+; Sleep Cycle is a similar app that works almost the exact same way and also costs $1.99
For: Apple App Store, Google Play
Wellness Dimensions: Physical
Sleep Time is one of those apps that will leave you stunned by modern technology. The app is an alarm clock designed to go off at just the right time so you wake up feeling refreshed, not groggy. How does this sorcery work, you ask? It’s insanely easy: choose a 30-minute window during which you want to wake up, leave the app running, and put your phone somewhere on your bed.
Sleep Time uses your phone’s accelerometer to monitor your movement and breathing throughout the night, and can tell what part of a sleep cycle you’re in – how cool is that!?
The alarm goes off when you’re in the lightest part of a sleep cycle during the half-hour window you selected. The result: waking up (and staying up) is much easier because you’re not disrupting your deepest sleep cycles.
Sleep Time is cool enough that we probably would have tested it even if it was totally phony. Even cooler, though, is that it actually works. Waking up feeling well rested majorly improves our day.
We found that using the app also nudged us into keeping a more regular sleep schedule, since you can see your bedtimes and “rise times,” among other data, on the app’s “Sleep Lab” section.
The only major issue we encountered was that you need to have the app running on the front of your phone for it to work – talk about a battery drain. You can leave your phone plugged in overnight, but if you don’t have an outlet close to your bed, be prepared to wake up with less than 100% of your battery. The paid version includes sounds designed to help you fall asleep, but we didn’t feel we were missing out by using the free version.