App review: Sleep Cycle
Charlotte Goldthorpe reviews a free app which promises to help you feel rested.
Described as ‘the natural way to wake up feeling rested’ Sleep Cycle works by allowing your phone to analyse your sleep and wake you up in your lightest sleep phase. It serves two functions: It’s an alarm clock and it’s a sleep monitor.
Like many night owls, I was desperate to improve my sleep. The free app worked by tracking my sleep patterns and monitoring signals from my body. It recorded sleep quality and hours of sleep over days, weeks and months to get a good picture of my sleep pattern.
The app required five days of data before it could collate my results, and after just a week I started to see a pattern emerging. I was going to sleep later and waking up later through the week too which I hadn’t realised. This was impacting my sleep quality and by Thursday I could feel the negative effects on my mood.
It’s important to place your phone correctly; I placed mine screen down on my bedside table which uses the microphone to detect movement, but you can also place it on your mattress. The phone is required to be on charge through the night.
While Sleep Cycle might not be the most accurate way to assess sleep, the upside is that it made me become more attuned to my own circadian rhythms and the effect of sleep (or lack thereof).
Marks out of 5? 4