By Oktay Ozadam
In this review, we are going to look at the innovative Sleep Cycle App, which is designed to improve your sleep.
Although health experts emphasize time and again that we need to sleep well and enough for an array of benefits, including stress relief and better mood, 10 to 15% of the total world population experience habitual sleeplessness. This review analyses the effectiveness of the app in improving your sleep pattern.
So, What is the Sleep Cycle App?
Sleep Cycle App is a leep tracker with a smart alarm feature. It is designed to keep track of your sleep patterns and achieve the best rest from your sleep. According to its developers, you can use the app to find your ideal sleep and wake up time.
Besides, the app doubles up as an alarm that wakes you up in light sleep during your selected and appropriate wake-up alarm time. As a result, it makes you wake up feeling as easy and relaxed as you would without using an alarm.
How the App Works
Sleep Cycle App uses an inbuilt microphone or accelerometer for sound and motion detection/analysis, respectively, to keep track of your movements while asleep. The app finds your different sleep phases by detecting specific body movements using sound and accelerometer.
If you want to learn more about how sleep tracking apps and sleep tracker devices work, this article can help you to understand the basics.
What You Need to Know About Sleep Cycle
In case you didn't know, you normally undergo aseries of sleep cycles while asleep. The duration of a full sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes, during which you go through five stages of sleep.
- The initial phase is typically characterized by light sleep.
- The second one prepares you for deep sleep.
- You fall in a deep sleep in the third phase
- The fourth one is when you maintain a deep sleep.
- The fifth is called rapid eye memory (REM) sleep.
In a normal situation, the cycle repeats numerous times a night.
What the App Does
So, what this sleep analysis app does is to track your lightest sleep phase in a sleep cycle using either of its detection modes. Then, it uses the 30-minute alarm window you've set to wake you up gently during the light sleep phase.
If you'd like to snooze, the app has the corresponding functionality too. Better still, it gives you an option to use the intelligent or the regular snooze by just a tap on your phone or picking up the phone.
In case you want to snooze through your ideal wake up phase, the intelligent snooze mode will be the better choice. While in the mode, the sleep stage alarm clock snoozes regularly but with gradually reducing snooze durations. The snoozing wakes you up completely but gently from sleep.
On the other hand, in regular snooze mode, the app allows you to select a definite snooze time. However, the snooze period has to be within one to twenty minutes. While in this mode, you can snooze as many times as possible.
Generally, the app is designed to show and improve your sleep quality.
How Does the App Measure Your Sleep Quality?
There are four parameters that the app uses to measure the quality of your sleep (sleep quality score). They include:
- The number of hours you spend in bed per day
- The number of hours you spend in deep sleep per day
- The consistency of your sleep pattern
- The number of times the Sleep Cycle App shows that you are entirely awake.
The app will start by showing your sleep quality score right from the very first night. However, the readings for the first few nights might not be precise, but with time, the sleep data becomes more meaningful and provides more accurate statistics of your sleep patterns.
The app has free and premium features.
The free features comprise:
- Database export
- Intuitive wake-up
- Sleep analysis chart
- Nightly sleep graph
- Apple Health integration
- Alarm tunes
The premium ones are:
- Snore recognition
- Online back-up
- Sleep aid
- Snore recognition
- Sleep notes
- Wake-up mood detection
- Wake-up weather analysis
- Heart rate tracking
- Philips Hue integration
- Additional alarm jingles
- Personalized music library sound upload for alarm
Frequently Asked Questions
- How accurate is Sleep Cycle?
It is an accurate sleep tracker and alarm if you place your compatible phone correctly. Putting the phone on bedding will affect the app's accuracy negatively. If the phone is iPhone 8 or X, you can place it facing up by your bedside.
- Does the app support Apple Watch or Wear OS?
Currently, the app doesn't support Apple Watch or Wear OS, but its developers say that they are working on various options to see if they can make the app available on both devices. We'll share any new information concerning that as soon as we have it.
- Will it work for two people sleeping on the same bed?
Yeah, it will work without any issues for people sharing the same bed. However, the bed partners have to be connected to the same wireless internet (Wi-Fi) and using iPhone mobile phones. Although it is a sleep tracker for Android, the bed partners' functionality isn't compatible with the operating system.
- Does the app have IFTTT integrations?
Yes, it has Phillips Hue 1.0 and 2.0 hub as well as Apple Health integrations but exclusively oniPhone but not Android. Besides, the app supports any bulb that's compatible withthe Phillips' systems. Some of the integrations, like Philips Hue, are only available for paid users, while other features such as Apple Health integration are free.
The majority of Sleep Cycle App users are thrilled by the value they get from the software. From the hundreds of user reviews that we've seen at different online platforms, most users think that it's the ideal app for anyone who wants to get his/her sleep quality improved for a healthier lifestyle.
However, there are a few common complaints about the app, including the lack of a nap feature. Other users complain that they were billed forpremium subscriptions, which they hadn't subscribed for.
How Much Will SleepCycle App Cost You?
Sleep Cycle App is free to install for Android Playstore or Apple App Store. It also comes with numerous free services such as sleep analysis, apple health integration, and database export on iPhone, snooze, and intelligent wake-up. However, it also has optional premium features that require in-app purchases. They include personalized alarm sound addition, sleep aid, snore detection and Philips Hue integration. The premium in-app prices range from $ 0.99 to $29.99 annually.
Alternatives for Sleep Cycle App
Apart from Sleep Cycle, there are many other reputable apps for sleep tracking and improvement. If you are indeed serious about tracking your sleep life and making it more refreshing but can't get all the features you need from Sleep Cycle, there other top-notch options you might consider. The alternatives include apps and sleep tracking devices.
The Best Alternative Apps
When it comes to the best alternative apps, a couple to mention is: Sleep as Android, Runtastic Sleep Better, and SleepRate. Of the three, Sleep as Android is the most commonly used as it has been installed more than 10 million times from the Google Playstore. One of its huge pluses is integration with a wide range of common wearable devices such as Pebble, Galaxy Gear, Mi Band, and Garmin.
Your Options for Sleep-tracking Devices
These include wearable and non-wearable sleep monitoring devices.
If you want to keep track of and improve your sleep pattern without having to wear a sleep tracker, I'd suggest that you consider a sleep monitor like Withings Sleep Tracking Pad for a single user or sleep tracker by BeautyRest for couples.
In case you don't mind having a sleep monitor in the form of a headband or ring or smartwatch, you have many options to choose from. For example, if you want more accuracy, Dreem sleep headband is designed to track your brain waves and provides additional sleep-improving programs.
Sleep Cycle App is a reliable and effective tracker for monitoring your sleep life and improving where and when necessary. However, just like any other human-made thing, it has a few flaws. Still, overall, it's one of the best sleep app options for monitoring sleep cycles, especially for people looking for non-wearable sleep tracking device.