Review Sleep Cycle alarm clock
Alarm clock that wakes you during lightest sleep
Author: Tariq Abdulla
Date: 05 Jun 2017, tested on HTC One S
Wake up gently, interesting functionality, convenient interface
Need to leave phone plugged in
Sleep Cycle alarm clock for Android is an alarm app with integrated sleep tracking. Sleep with your phone next to your pillow, and it picks up your movement from the accelerator via your mattress. There is a feature to test it where it plays a tone each time you move. I found that it picked up my movements extremely well.
It really is true that we sleep in cycles, from light sleep to deep, and back to light again, with periods lasting about an hour. So the way that Sleep Cycle alarm clock works is you give it a time, and it will decide when you are most awake within the half hour period before that time to wake you up. There should be a time, either at the start middle or end of that period when you are "almost awake".
You may have noticed that sometimes you wake up quite easily, whereas other mornings, getting your body moving seems as difficult as reanimating the dead. This is because, when you set an alarm with a fixed time, sometimes it will try to wake you while you're in a deep sleep.
Sleep Cycle alarm clock also has features to record some activities you did that could have affected your sleep (e.g. working out, drinking coffee, eating late) that will help you build a picture of just how much these things are positively or negatively impacting your sleep. You can add anything you want to it.
They recommend that you keep your phone plugged in and place it beside your pillow. I did find a reasonably charged battery was enough to get my phone through the night, with plenty to spare. But if you need to have it fully charged in the morning, you'll want to leave it plugged in. Plugging it in also helps to stop it moving around, and makes it less likely that you will look at it.
I found that I was pulled gently from my sleep by sleep cycle alarm clock, and I could get up easily. I did not have dreams or disorientation when it was trying to wake me up. But just being able wake easily doesn't mean that you will have had enough sleep, and I for one need to work on getting to bed much earlier.