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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Hands On: Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock and Power Nap (iOS)

Hands On: Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock and Power Nap (iOS)
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MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Feb 21, 2015, 12:55 PM
We're all adults here, and as adults, we understand a very simple truth ... Sleep is awesome. We've mentioned Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock before, but it recently got an update, and we also want to talk about its companion app Sleep Cycle Power Nap. Because the only thing more awesome than sleep, is more sleep on the side, also known as a nap. These two apps use an iOS device's accelerometer to track movement during the user's sleep, and gently wake them up when it's time.

First, the Alarm Clock app. When the user tells it what time they would like to wake up, the app quizzes them about their day. Taking into account caffeine consumption, if the user ate late, worked out, or had a stressful day. When the user wakes up, there's an option to use the back-facing camera to take an approximate pulse, and the user can rate how they feel upon waking up.

All this collected information, including the weather, is included in a chart of the night's sleep, as well as charts that show information across days, weeks, or months. The app can send sleep and heart rate data to the iOS Health app, and can receive fitness data from the health app to make the sleep quality trends even more detailed.

Do you think maybe this person slept well?
Do you think maybe this person slept well?

The Power Nap app works similarly, though the phone is placed in the user's pocket instead of on the bed. There is a 20-minute, 45-minute, and 120-minute nap timer to choose from, and the app keeps an eye on the user's movements to make sure REM sleep isn't reached during shorter naps. Reaching REM sleep would make it difficult to wake up from a nap, and the nap wouldn't be as restful as it could be; so the app will gently wake the user a bit to maintain a light sleep. The Power Nap app has all of the snooze, sound, and sleep aid features of the Alarm Clock. It even has the ability to input mood upon waking, which is a little odd, since Power Nap doesn't track any data at all.

We really enjoy using the Sleep Cycle apps, the Alarm Clock app in particular. Being able to see trends in the quality and amount of sleep we're getting is super interesting, and even a little helpful. The Alarm Clock app isn't good for naps however, so the Power Nap app does that job really well. Because we're used to the way the Alarm Clock app wakes us up, using Power Nap provides a consistent experience when it's time to wake up. Though we'd really like it if Power Nap tracked the same information as Alarm Clock.

Sleep Cycle alarm clock is currently available from iTunes for $1, and Sleep Cycle power nap is currently available for $2 on the App Store.

Who these apps are for::
Anyone interested in a more gentle wake-up routine, as well as data about what contributes to the quality of their sleep.

Who these apps aren't for:
People who just want a simple alarm clock, and don't want to deal with questions about their day or how they feel when they wake up.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Feb 21, 2015 at 08:14 PM. )
Alarm Man
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Join Date: May 2017
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May 15, 2017, 09:28 AM
Try this one: Sleep With Sheep:

You don't have to sleep with your head on your iPhone. And you can enjoy 90 minute phases sleep.
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