If there is one thing we can all agree on it is that a good night's sleep is never a bad thing. That feeling of waking up well-rested is glorious, even if it's something we don't get to experience nearly often enough.
Hitting the hay earlier would help, sure, but with our busy lives that's easier said than done. And while sleeping in would be wonderful, life kind of gets in the way of that, too.
That's why we must make every opportunity to catch some zzz's. One way to make sure that happens is by using a sleep app.
Learn how you sleep
One of the top-rated apps in the Apple Store is Sleep Cycle. Free, it is both a sleep tracker and alarm clock. But while you may be familiar with sleep trackers and likely have some experience with alarm clocks, it is quite unique in both areas.
As a sleep tracker, Sleep Cycle will let you know not only when you fell asleep, but also how well you actually slept. Unlike previous versions of the app, the newest one makes it so that you do not even have to leave your phone on the bed with you.
While that is still one way to go, you can also just turn the app on and then leave your phone or iPad on the nightstand or floor near you. It will then record your sleep patterns via sound, providing analysis that will help you to understand what is going on while you are asleep.
The data will be presented in an easy-to-understand graph, which will be accompanied by details as well as ideas to help you sleep better in the future.
It will show your progression through different sleep stages, which range from light to deep. The data will be presented in an easy-to-understand graph, which will be accompanied by details as well as ideas to help you sleep better in the future.
But that's just the sleep data portion of the app. You will be happy with its alarm function, too.
Unlike a normal alarm, which goes off only at an assigned time, Sleep Cycle will take the time you enter and then give a 30-minute window prior to which it could go off. Now, why would you want your alarm to go off and wake you up early?
Well, Sleep Cycle will wake you up when you are in a stage of light sleep. You know that groggy feeling when you are jolted out of a deep sleep by your shrill alarm? By getting up during a light sleep cycle, you will feel better rested and more energized.
The paid version provides even more
While Sleep Cycle is an excellent app for free, you can pay $30 per year to access even more features. Among them, you will see your long-term sleep trends as well as how the weather impacts your slumber and a heart monitor.
You will also receive sleep notes as well as information about your wake-up mood, and it all will be backed up online.