For every genius app in Apple’s App Store there are over a hundred mediocre ones. Thankfully, with more than 100,000 apps available, that still leaves plenty of gems to make our iPhones better with each download. Sleep Cycle is one of those genius apps.
Waking up in the morning is always unpredictable; sometimes you wake up feeling on top of the world, other times feeling like crap. That may sometimes have more to do with the alcohol consumption the previous evening, but as any “sleep expert” would tell you, it will often have more to do with the state of sleep you were in when your alarm went off.
Throughout the night, everyone moves between different sleep phases; from a deep REM sleep to a very light nearly-awake doze. Sleep Cycle analyses your night time movement using the iPhone’s accelerometer and determines which stage of sleep a person is in at which times. According to the developers this allows the app to “use a 30 minute window that ends at your set alarm time to wake you up when you are in the lightest sleep phase… a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.”
So, does it work? Well, yes! Each morning you awake to an alarm that is less fog horn and more like the gentle kisses of Cheryl Cole (Ashley, take note). For the data geeks out there, there’s even a sleep cycle graph showing the different phases of your previous night’s sleep as well as a total average sleep time.
The product itself is nothing new; so called bio-alarm clocks have been around for years and work very well but usually come with a hefty price tag, Sleep Cycle is one of those apps that makes use of the iPhone’s technical components and provides a great experience at a very reasonable price. With a price tag of just 59p, Sleep Cycle (iTunes store link) is a very small price to pay for waking up feeling on top of the world. It’s just a shame you’ll turn into a grumpy sod again as you brave the morning underground rush.