You may well have seen here on the Sleepy People blog that we don’t recommend the use of technology in the hour just before bedtime, so you might find it a bit odd that we’re looking at Sleep apps in this blog post.
We still recommend that you try to eliminate the use of backlit screens in the hours or so before you got to be. Especially screens that you view in very close proximity like laptop, tablet and smartphone screens. However there are some apps that have now become available on common smartphones and tablets that can monitor your sleep and help you improve it too.
This blog looks at some of the major sleep apps out there and their benefits. If you fancy giving any of them a try we would recommend that you do the minimum amount of time on your screen to set them running before you sleep and always make sure any ringtones and vibration modes on your device are turned off if your device needs to be at your bedside or under your pillow.
Sleepbot (Android and iOS)
We like Sleepbot because it is something of an all-rounder of a sleep app. Where some apps concentrate on very specific things, Sleepbot does them all – and really well too. The best thing for us is that it builds up a record of your sleep history. This is really useful if you have been struggling with your sleep for some time. One thing a doctor will almost certainly ask you for is a sleep diary, but we know from experience that these are not always easy to complete accurately. With Sleep bot you don’t have to remember how many times you woke in the night. The app will record this for you.
If you’re not sure how loud you snore (a possible sign of sleep apnoea), Sleepbot will make a recording of any loud sounds. Not only does this include your snoring, but if you have had a feeling that something else is waking you up, like the neighbours dog barking, Sleepbot will provide you with a recording of it.
Like many other sleep apps, Sleepbot has the usual alarm features which is based on the time you wish to wake up and the maximum number of sleep cycles you’ll be able to complete between your bedtime and the desired waking time.
One thing that is sure to be loved by all users of Sleepbot is that it is FREE (at the time of writing).
Sleepcycle (Android and iOS)
Is another great sleep app. It will keep a history of your sleep cycles and uses the phone accelerometer to check when your sleep has been broken. This means that you will need to place your phone on the mattress or under the pillow.
A really nice feature of Sleepcycle is that it has built in soothing wake up music. So you’ll no longer be rudely woken up by the ‘mad marimba man’ on you iPhone, but instead gently roused by some soothing sounds.
Sleep cycle isn’t currently free, but at £0.99 it won’t break the bank either.
Motion X 24/7 (Android and iOS)
If you want an all round solution that not only monitors your sleep but also you health and movement when you’re awake, you’ll really like Motion X 24/7. As well keeping track of your sleep patterns and an alarm to wake you after you’ve completed a sleep cycle, you’ll also find a pedometer and heart rate monitor that keeps track of what you’re up to during the day.
What we really like about Motion X 24/7 is that you can easily export your sleep data out to a spreadsheet. This is really helpful when you visit a doctor because you can give them a print record of your sleep patterns, rather than just showing them the app on your phone.
Motion X 24/7 isn’t free, but it only costs £0.99. We think the data export feature makes it well worth that on its own.
So, there you are. Three of the best sleep apps that are out there today. Overall we have to say the winner is Sleepbot, because it is solely focussed on sleep, is feature rich and FREE. Have fun experimenting with a sleep app and hopefully getting a better night’s sleep.