Sleep Time Apps
By Gail Suberbielle
Getting the right amount of sleep also is crucial to a healthy life and sweet dreams have never been easier than with the Sleep Pillow app. Sleep Pillow provides ambient or “white” noise to block out sounds that might be keeping you from getting a good night’s rest. Choose from a crackling fire, soft waves lapping on the beach, a gentle rain, birdsong or other pleasant sounds simply by clicking on the corresponding image. Users can create mixes of sounds, mark favorites, set an alarm or set a sleep timer to end the noise after a particular length of time. If you’re already sleeping with a sound machine but don’t want the inconvenience of taking it with you for overnight work trips or vacations, Sleep Pillow makes portability a snap since it’s right there on your mobile device. Cost: Free. Additional sounds are available through the paid version: $1.99.
There’s nothing as annoying as the feeling of being jarred awake by your alarm clock when you are in a deep sleep. The Sleep Cycle app uses your iPhone’s accelerometer to measure when you are in a light sleep cycle so you can be awakened then, rather than during a deep sleep. Give the app a window of time (30 minutes by default), and it will wake you during this window at the optimum time for you to be awakened. Alarm sounds, like “warm breeze,” “sunrise,” and “morning mist” gently wake users. This handy app also measures your sleep quality to give you data about your sleep patterns – you’ll get a higher score for longer and calmer sleep. You can add additional data if you like, such as your wakeup mood or sleep notes, and the handy sleep aid feature plays soothing sounds to help you fall asleep and fades out by itself as it senses you are sleeping. Hitting the “snooze” button is also simplified – simply tap the phone, which can remain under the sheets if you like. Cost: $0.99