Greetings techies, it’s that time of the week again! Today’s App Of The Week is Sleep Cycle. As always, I wouldn’t recommend an app that I didn’t use myself.
Sleep Cycle is an app that provides an alarm with sleep tracking. It plugs into Apple’s HealthKit, so you can see how you sleep over time. Unfortunately, Google Fit doesn’t support sleep tracking, as Sleep Cycle is available for both iOS and Android.
Features of Sleep Cycle
- Sleep tracking
- Smart alarm with wake up phase
- Sleep Aid
- Sleep Notes
The smart alarm is an interesting feature; it tries to wake you at an optimal time in between REM cycles so you wake up feeling energized and refreshed. Since REM cycles are typically about 90 minutes long, the app tries to wake you up by using your movements. You turn the alarm on, and without turning off your phone, you set your phone down face-up somewhere close to you on your bed.
The sleep aid feature is great for those people who have trouble falling asleep at night. I have insomnia, and while I’ve taken medication for it in the past, it’s nice to not have to take a pill every night and instead listen to certain relaxation sounds. The sounds available include ocean waves, sizzling rain, heavy rain, medium wind, and pink, brown and white noise, and much more.
You can have the sleep aid fade out after a certain amount of time, or leave it playing all night. Besides HealthKit, the app can also sync with Runkeeper, so you can see how the amount of exercise you do affects your sleep. However, since Sleep Cycle can read/write to HealthKit, it can access your exercise data from there, even if you don’t use Runkeeper.
Sleep Cycle only has one in-app purchase, which is SleepSecure. SleepSecure lets you backup your sleep data to their servers, sync them between multiple devices, and web access for more sleep graphs and detailed data analysis. SleepSecure is a subscription that costs $1.99 per year.
Sleep Cycle also has the ability to record your heart beat, and with Sleep Notes you can write down brief sentences of how your day went, like your stress level and whether or not you had caffeine and/or alcohol that day, since those two things can affect sleep quality.
Like I mentioned above, Sleep Cycle is on both iOS and Android, and it’s free with an optional in-app purchase.