Friday, January 30, 2015

Second review of Sleep Cycle

I've been using Sleep Cycle for just over two weeks now, and I think it's about time to share again how it's working for me.

I blogged about Sleep Cycle two weeks ago, shortly after I started using it.  Now that I have two weeks of records, I think it's time to revisit my review.

When I blogged about Sleep Cycle early on, I had so far found it helpful, and was optimistic that I would continue to do so.

I'm happy to report that I was right!  Even after two weeks, I've gotten a little used to my chosen alarm sound, but not so much that I don't hear it -- I think because it's designed to ring when I'm sleeping lightly already, so I'm not depending on an unfamiliar or loud sound to startle me out of sleep.

It appears to track my sleep cycles very well, although of course I have nothing to compare it to, really.  But it's interesting to see the graph showing my sleep patterns throughout the night.

The first night I used it, my sleep cycles looked almost textbook:

More often, though, my sleep cycles look more haphazard, like this:

And I verified that staying up late to finish deadlines when I have to get up early in the morning really does affect the quality of my sleep, as this was my shortest as well as my worst night of sleep, according to the app.

I also really like the sleep analysis feature, which allows you to document the impact of various factors on your sleep, and to track sleep trends over time.  I only have a couple weeks of data in here, obviously, so it'll be some time before the results aren't overly swayed by one night's data, but it's interesting nonetheless:

All of these things are fascinating, of course, but what I like most is being able to wake up in the morning more easily.  I'm still tired, of course -- I mean, it's me, I hate mornings -- but it's easily the easiest time I've ever had waking up.

In fact, I liked the app so much that I bought their Power Nap app, too, which also works great.  I like it because you can choose between a power nap, a recovery nap, or one full sleep cycle.  I usually have to sleep for longer if I want a nap to be effective, and the full sleep cycle setting ensures that I don't go back into deep sleep for the next sleep cycle before my alarm rings!

I highly recommend these apps, but if you think you might like all three of their naps (the regular Sleep Cycle alarm, Power Nap, and their heart rate tracking app), be sure to get the bundle for $2.99 (which saves you $1.99 over the cost of all three).

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