It’s All In The Way You Move

I’ve suffered from insomnia over the last ten years and, as I’ve not found any simple solution to this, I decided to read up on it. One of the standard things they all emphasise is the need to keep a ‘sleep diary’ so that there is an initial assessment of the condition. Then, after carrying out the various recommendations, you can monitor progress against this baseline. For example, it’s common to make progress and then suffer a temporary relapse (so having the data behind this will be reassuring).

Unfortunately I found this quite hard to do in a reliable manner – I even kept a notebook on my bedside table to jot down the times I woke. Having some real data is obviously important but I found the overall process awkward.

So I was quite amazed when I came across an iPhone app, Sleep Cycle, that automatically monitors your sleep by sensing your body movements (see picture below). It can also act as an alarm to wake you up during your lightest sleep phase (which is the best time).

A really innovative use of modern technology! It’s also incredibly cheap (UK 69p).

From their site:

“This isn’t really something new. These so called bio-alarm clocks have been around for years and work very well, but they usually come with a hefty $200 price tag. I realized that the iPhone has all the components needed, and decided to make an alarm clock that works exactly the same, but sell it for a dollar or two instead.” Maciek Drejak, the programmer behind the application, says.

sleep-cycle-sidebar_1

The only problem I can imagine is that you knock the iPhone off the bed and damage it (that might easily keep me awake…) – see picture below. Anyway, it’s worth a cautious try just to see what I can learn.

sleep-cycle-sidebar_2

There’s a recent review of different sleep monitoring apps here (Android and iOS) and a detailed review of the Sleep Cycle app can be found here.

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