You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Review: Sleep Cycle alarm clock

March 3, 2010


Do you wake up still feeling tired? Can't do anything until you've had your morning coffee? Then perhaps you should try Sleep Cycle alarm clock. Sleep Cycle alarm clock is an app that measures your movements while you sleep and wakes you up at the optimum time. The optimum time being whilst you are in the lightest sleep phase. Graphs of your sleeping patterns are created and the more you use the app, the more accurate it becomes. But can an app really make you feel more awake in the morning? Let's find out.


- 8 alarm sounds to choose from - Graphs of each nights sleep pattern - Share graphs via email and Facebook - See your average sleep time When you first open Sleep Cycle, you are presented with descriptions and screenshots of how to use the app as well as how it works. Once you have worked out the appropriate placement of your iPhone, it's best to test Sleep Cycle to make sure it will register your movements. Press start from the test page, place your iPhone on your bed and roll from your back to your stomach. Sleep Cycle will make a very loud noise to indicate that it is registering you rolling on your bed (and most probably looking foolish, like I did). The alarm itself can be changed from the alarm page and the alarm sound is changed on the settings page. From here you can also reset the calibration of the app if, for example, you change your bed as this can affect the accuracy of the graphs and alarm. Now I need to explain when you will be woken up as it's not as simple as just setting a time. Lets say you set the alarm for 10am; Sleep Cycle will wake you up somewhere between 9:30am and 10am. The alarm will sound if and when you're into your lightest sleep phase. If you don't go into the light sleep phase during the half hour time slot, the alarm will sound at the time you set. Okay, now you've got all that, you can go to sleep, remembering to open Sleep Cycle and leave it open. Sleep Cycle will record all your movements during the night (or whenever you happen to sleep) and present that night's data in a handy graph for you. These graphs can then be emailed or shared on Facebook.

The Breakdown

The Good: I'll admit, I was a little sceptical about how well this app would perform and for the first few days of using Sleep Cycle, I didn't feel any better or worse than I did when using my usual alarm. However, after this time, I genuinely felt more alert and awake when the alarm sounded. The view of each nights graph as well as your average sleep time is great for seeing if your sleep patterns are improving. As well as that, the choice of sounds and clear instructions included make Sleep Cycle a pleasure to use. The Bad: As great as being able to share graphs on Facebook or by email are, there is one sharing option I feel is missing; Twitter. It surprised me to see I couldn't share my graphs through Twitter and I was a little disappointed. It would also to be nice to save the graphs to your camera roll, so you can share them with whatever services you want. The only way I was able to do this was to share via email, then save the image from the email that Sleep Cycle creates.

The Verdict

Sleep Cycle has been great for me as I feel ready for the day in the morning rather than ready to give up on whatever the days task might be. If you always need that extra bit of sleep, I suggest you get Sleep Cycle.

Related articles