Getting enough sleep is vital, but it’s not just about quantity. Sleep quality matters as much as quality to overall health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, women have more problems falling asleep and staying asleep than men, but significant proportions of both genders don’t feel sufficiently rested. In its 2014 report on Americans and sleep, 24% of women reported that they woke up feeling rested zero days of the past 4 days, compared to 16% of men.
NorthCube, a Swedish app development company, designed the Sleep Cycle app for a single goal. Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis to identify your sleep states by tracking your movements in bed. With that information, Sleep Cycle monitors a 30-minute wake-up window to gently wake you when you are in the lightest possible sleep state. Depending on your comfort having a phone in your bed, you can use one of two Sleep Cycle detection modes. You can put a smartphone on an adjacent nightstand to use its microphone to listen to your movements. Alternately you can put the phone on the bed near your head to use the onboard accelerometer to track your movements. You also can configure snooze modes and times and view nightly graphs to learn more about how you sleep.
Sleep Cycle’s premise is that if you wake up at the optimal point in your sleep stage, you will feel more rested and generally better. As you become accustomed to feeling rested when you wake up, the idea is that your quality of sleep will gradually improve. There are additional measures of sleep quality than just waking up at the best time. A big factor in Sleep Cycle’s appeal is that it’s not complicated, doesn’t require users learn much, and is easy to use.