When it comes to sleep tips, the first piece of advice you usually hear is keep the technology as *far away as possible*. We’re told to reduce screen usage, so that our mind has time to *adust* before bed, instead of being stimulated + kept awake from the light. Cutting down on technology use before bed is an easy way to increase your quality of sleep, but technology can be useful too. Introducing: Sleep Cycle.
Ever have those mornings where you wake up feeling groggy, despite getting *enough* sleep? The quality of your sleep could be the culprit behind those AM sleepy feelings. Sleep Cycle is an app that uses the accelerometer in your phone to detect + graph your movements as you sleep. The app uses this data to map your sleep levels [awake >> sleeping >> deeply sleeping] + grade your *sleep quality* for that night. Be it a good nights sleep…
Or not so great…
The app stores data over time, so as you use it each night it creates a more in-depth analysis of your sleep data. You’re able to track the time you went to sleep, how long you slept, when you woke up, + if your phone tracks your steps, you can measure sleep quality vs. activity. All can be measured over days, weeks, + months. This has been extremely helpful in tracking how my exercise patterns affect my overall sleep quality — very important for helping you stay energized the next day! If you’ve been wondering how the time of day you get your sweat on affects your sleeping habits, this is the perfect app to help you track + determine the perfect time for sweat sesh.
The time you’re waking up could be another possible cause behind feeling more tired *than usual* in the mornings. One of my favorite parts of the app is its alarm clock feature that uses the your movements to identify the *best* time to wake you up based on how asleep you are. Don’t worry about this feature making you late — you set the time you want to wake up + Sleep Cycle sets a timeframe + wakes you when you’re at your lightest sleep [aka the *easiest* time to wake up!]. The app recommends that you allow a 30 minute window, but you can decrease//increase this as needed [or turn it off completely, but that kind of defeats the purpose ; )].
The app also comes with a variety of options to use as your alarm + defaults to nature sounds that gradually increase in volume as they wake you up — MUCH kinder than the unpleasantly jarring alarm clock you probably use.
When I first started using the app, I was hesitant to use a *timeframe-style* alarm clock [give me as much sleep as possible, please!], but I promise it is *very* worthwhile. Pulling yourself out of bed when you’re woken from a deep sleep is not a fun way to start your morning, + giving yourself a little bit of an earlier start can help you overcome that grogginess ++ will help you avoid feeling super rushed.
Now I know keeping your phone on the bed with you + not touching it is a little easier said than done, but I promise you, you can handle it. Think of it this way — the longer you continue to use your phone with the alarm clock turned on, the more it’ll reflect on your quality of sleep when you wake up in the morning ; ).
To use Sleep Cycle, set your phone [make sure it’s plugged in!] face down on the corner // side of your bed — somewhere you won’t roll on top of it + it won’t bother you. They recommend that you don’t put your phone under a pillow, but I haven’t noticed issues if it’s under a *spare pillow* rather than the one I use.
Sleep Cycle is available through the App Store for iPhones + Google Play. For more deets, check out their website.
+Ali [@ali.inchaarg], Virt CHAARG girl from Philly