Monday, January 23, 2012

Sleep Cycle App Review

Introduction

Good morning/afternoon/evening readers! I have a new app review for you guys today for an iPhone/iPod touch application called Sleep Cycle. This app helps you manage how many hours you sleep per night, and assists you in waking up refreshed in the morning. Continue reading for more information!

The Review

When you first enter the Sleep Cycle app, there is a welcome screen that explains how the app works. SC makes use of your iPhone or iPod touch's accelerometer to track your movement as you sleep to determine your different stages of sleep.

The second tab at the bottom of the screen opens a placement test. This makes sure that your phone can track your movements laying facedown on your bed. (The iPhone/iPod must be on during the test, more on that later...) When you press start, there is a red stop button at the bottom og the screen and a green light that illuminates and makes a noise if it senses movement. Toss and turn a little to test this out. If you hear a noise when you move, it works!



On the third tab, you can change a few settings in the app. The first setting is Alarm Sound. What makes these alarms different from other alarms is that these calmly wake you and do not rudely awaken you or jerk you as soon as the set time approaches. They still do their job, but let you awaken peacefully. You can choose from 8 of the preset alarms, of choose a song from your iPod, but I'd advise you to choose wisely, if you pick a song too loud it may cancel the effect of you trying to wake up peacefully.



The other two setting options are snooze (self explanatory), you can turn snooze off completely, or you can set a wake-up window, where the alarm rings for a 30 minute time period until you wake up, i.e. 6:30am to 7:00am.
This is another way Sleep Cycle helps you wake up feeling better. There are also some advanced settings you can tinker with if you want to.

The fourth and most important tab is the Alarm tab. This where you can actually initiate the sleep test. First, set a time for you to wake up. In the example below, I picked 6AM. Notice how the app automatically sets the wake-up window from 5:30am to 6am. This means my alarm will start ringing at 5:30am and stop at 6am. If I don't want to wake up that early, I can switch the alarm time to 6:30am, this way, the alarm rings from 6am to 6:30am.




After you have set your time, turn the volume all the way up, and press start. As soon as you hit the button, you get some important reminders on how to conduct the test. Read through these, then press OK. Turn your iPhone or iPod touch on its face so the glass touches your bed, and you may go off to sleep. Until the app senses you wake up, the test will run. Keep your iPhone or iPod plugged in because this app runs all night and uses lots of battery. I know from experience that when my iPod is unplugged and I run this test, the battery is dead by morning and I have incomplete results. Press the home button when you get out of bed, and hit "Stop old alarm".

The fifth and final tab is labeled "Statistics". Here is where you find the results of your sleep test. It will show the date of your test and the graph that shows your different stages of sleep throughout the night. The information below the graph shows when you went to bed and when you woke up. You may be suprised about when you shifted most during the night! After using the app for a few nights, Sleep Cycle calculates an average of all your sleeping times. If you are proud of what a great night's sleep you got last night, you can share your results to Facebook or by email. 

Here are my results from a couple nights ago:



Click the button to the right to buy Sleep Cycle for $1.99: Sleep Cycle alarm clock - Maciek Drejak Labs

I hope you enjoyed this review and that you're having a great year so far! Please share Soleil Tech Princess with your friends and like this blog on Facebook: www.fb.com/soleiltechprincess

Thanks for reading!

-Elisabeth

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