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5 apps to help you get a great night's sleep

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | May 29, 2013
Modern technology beats drinking warm milk any day.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock also has an intelligent alarm clock that will wake you up at the best time in your sleep cycle. You set a 30-minute window during which you want to wake, and Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock will start ringing the alarms when you appear to be the closest to "already awake" (moving a lot). Ideally this means you'll wake up with your alarm when you're out of deep sleep.

Some of Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock's other neat features include sleep notes (you can further improve the quality of your stats by noting whether you drank coffee or tea before bed, ate late, worked out, or had a stressful day) and the ability to integrate with RunKeeper, a fitness-tracking app.

SleepBot--Android (Free)
SleepBot is a full-featured sleep-tracking app similar to Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock. SleepBot uses your Android device's built-in accelerometer to track your sleep habits while you sleep. You place the phone near your head or body, turn on SleepBot, and throughout the night (or even just throughout a nap) the app records any movements you make to determine the quality of your sleep. SleepBot can also record sounds, which is great if you want to know what unintelligible gibberish you might be saying at night.

Like Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, SleepBot has an intelligent alarm clock that will use the app's sleep-tracking capabilities to determine when to wake you up within a 30 minute window. Unlike Sleep Cycle, SleepBot lets you choose the length of that window--the default is 30 minutes, but you can set it between 15 and 90 minutes, which is convenient if you've got more (or less) time to play around with.

SleepBot's biggest advantage over Sleep Cycle is its ability to record sounds while you sleep. You can set the recording threshold in the settings (the app will only record sounds over a certain volume), but if you set the threshold too high you may only get background noise like sirens and moving trucks. The bottom line is this: If you've got an Android phone, and want to know what you're saying in your sleep, SleepBot is as accurate and useful as Sleep Cycle but has more features and a more polished overall look. Plus, hey, it's free.


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