Six hours? Eight hours? Ten hours?! We all have our number. How many hours of sleep does it take for you to fire on all cylinders the next day? How hard is it for you to get out of bed in the morning? It’s amazing, we spend a good percentage of our lives sleeping and yet, how often do we look for ways to maximize and improve that time? Well, technology isn’t only meant for use on-the-go, and more and more we’re seeing the market for sleep tech grow. So here are some great cyber-slumber technologies to help you feel well-rested, and make the most of your time in the sack.
Deep sleep doesn’t happen the second your eyes close. Sleep consists of deep peaks and high valleys. During this time, your body is going through different levels of sleep called REM cycles.
Using Sleep as Android and an accelerometer sensor built into the Android phone, users can place the phone on their bed at night and track these cycles. Now, it’s important to note that to truly track REM cycles, brain mapping and slightly more advanced technology from research labs are required – but if you’re looking for a slightly less accurate, cost-effective alternative, a smart phone will do the trick. The accelerometer tracks your movements throughout the night. Muscular movement is linked to sleep patterns, meaning that when your muscles are most inactive, the deepest sleep is occurring. Your smart phone is pretty… smart.
Why does it matter if you phone can track your REM cycle? Because your alarm clock rings right at 6:30am whether you’re in a peak or a valley – it doesn’t care if it interrupts your most valuable sleep. This is exactly why after a good night of sleep you can still wake up feeling tired and groggy. The Sleep as Android technology allows you to be woken up at a time that’s right for your REM cycle (your lightest sleep) so that you can start your day feeling rested and refreshed.
Cost: $4.49 to download the app
Jawbone is most known for its fitness tracking technology, like tracking movement or letting you know when you’ve been slacking (and to get up and do something). Most recently, the Jawbone Up turned to sleeping.
Fitness revolves around recovery and you better believe sleep plays a big role in that. Up can track how many hours you’ve slept and pays attention to the tossing and turning you’re doing.
Why do you care if your Jawbone band knows you had a restless night? Because Jawbone Up is about fitness, and whether that means breaking through plateaus and improving personal bests or monitoring your diet and feeling better overall, sleep matters. Each morning, the data is uploaded to either the web app or your phone app for analysis. You can compile the data to notice trends and gain valuable insights into sleep patterns.
Sleepbot is a free application that’s similar to Sleep as Android. A cool feature here is the clock-in/clock-out feature that makes it easy to let your phone know exactly when you’re ready to hunker down and then when you’re ready to attack a new day.
Another cool feature of Sleepbot (as well as Sleep as Android) is its ability to track audio. Just how loud do you snore? Are you having breathing problems? If you sleep alone, you might never know without the app. If you are having problems sleeping, using the data it collects, Sleepbot provides helpful tips and hints for achieving a better night’s sleep.