Friday, March 14, 2014

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

I am more excited today than in a very, very long time that it's Friday. I'm quite certain that it's because the time change completely messed me up this week!

I know Spring Ahead is always rough, but I feel like this year was more difficult than usual. I am happy to have daylight after work so I'll be more likely to walk home instead of taking the MTA, but, boy, I am really hoping to finish adjusting this weekend.

Starbucks has certainly benefited from my sleepiness. I usually try to stick to going to Starbucks as a treat -- maybe because I got up extra early for physical therapy, or I had a particularly tough day at work -- but I realized this morning that I had Starbucks more than five times since the time change, which is far more than I should be visiting them.

While signed into my Starbucks app on one of the mornings this week, I checked out the free app offers while I waited in the slow line for my latte. Appropriately timed for this time-change week, one of the free apps offered this week (free from now through June 3rd through the Starbucks app) is an alarm clock app called Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock.

The Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock tracks the user's sleep cycles based on how much she moves around during the night, and using this data, chooses the best time to wake her. By choosing a time (during a 30 minute window) that the user is not in deep sleep, the idea is that she wakes up more peacefully than if she is woken up at the mercy of a regular alarm.

The data is fun to check out -- here's mine from last night...

I think it's so neat to know how many times I went into REM sleep! But I must admit that even though I was still a little unhappy to wake up this morning, it really was an easier wake-up than I've had in a long time. So far I've used it twice, but a funny benefit I didn't expect is that I hurried to bed last night, reminding myself that I didn't sleep well the night before. Usually, even if I know I was tired on a given day, I don't always hurry to bed, so I think the visual picture of my sleep graph is what made a difference in motivating me.

Using this app a couple times this week made the time change just a tiny bit easier, and I am really looking forward to tracking my sleep over a few weeks. Maybe it will even start to get me to bed earlier on a regular basis, but either way, it is really neat to see the way I sleep, and even better to be woken up gently.

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