The Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

But, it is also a fact that I love the ‘Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock’ on my iPhone.
Why did I get it?

I woke up VERY annoyed one morning. I was angry – angry with the world, irritable and even banged the table a couple of times when something didn’t work as it was supposed to. I don’t generally do that.
And, in the middle of the day, I took an opportunity to take a 20 minute nap. And voila.. when I woke up, everything changed. I felt positive, happy – different!
My Conclusions

I sat back, thought about what went wrong and concluded that my alarm clock might have rung at the wrong moment. I had slept 7+ hours and I wasn’t lacking sleep. Hence, decided to read more about ‘Sleep cycles’ as I’m fanatical about eliminating sources of negativity in a day.
And Voila…

I found the Sleep Cycle Alarm clock, bought it for $0.99 and began using it. The concept is simple – you place the iPhone at the edge of your bed, it records your body movements and calibrates the depth of your sleep. So, a normal night of sleep looks like this –
After 1 month of analysis, I’ve figured out that this is my ‘normal’. Deep sleep for a couple of hours and then ups and downs in depth of sleep.
If I’m very very tired, then I expect the graph to look like this –

When to wake you up?

And now, you probably see where the alarm clock adds value. If you give it a window of 30 mins to an hour, it will wake you up when you are closest to being awake.
The 3 coolest value adds for me have been –
1. Understanding how I sleep. After a month of data collections, I pretty much wake up and guess how I think I’ve slept. And by now, I’m getting fairly accurate! And just knowing this – typically makes me feel happy.
2. Great snooze!. Firstly, the alarm clock always tends to wake me up when I’m ready for it. And even if it’s 20 minutes before the ‘deadline’ time, it has a brilliant snooze. The snooze concept is that it snoozes if you just hold the phone (no fiddling around searching for a button required) and it calibrates according to time remaining. So, if your alarm rings with 20 mins to go – the snooze will likely be after 7 mins, then 5 mins, then 4 mins, then 3, then 1 etc..
3. Good feeling when I wake up. I was skeptical at first wondering if it was all psychological. But, my conclusion by now has been that even if it is, then that’s great. I feel great when I wake up.. and it’s generally added a lot of joy to a typically painful experience!
Not sure if similar trackers/alarm clocks are available on your Blackberry’s or Androids – so I wish you all the best if you plan to search! For iPhone users, I’ve had a great experience. So much so that if they decided to charge me $49 for it, I would pretty much still pay.
And if you decide to take the punt, do keep me posted of your experience. My colleague just got it and I can see he’s been bitten by the bug too!
Note: I found the clock useful when I had a 4 hour sleep night planned. Gave it a 1 hour window and again, worked like a charm.
Note 2: The alarm clock recommends you leave it on charge. Not necessary. On an iPhone 4 – it typically eats up only around 30-35% over 7-8 hours from my experience last month.