As the semester continues to progress, you may be finding that your sleep schedule is becoming worse and worse. Whether you’re stressed from Zoom classes, thinking about the impending election, or just the general chaos of the times we’re living through thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to get the sleep that your body really needs. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, but for students struggling through midterms and waking up for early morning synchronous classes, it can sometimes feel like you’re barely getting three.
According to the AASM, “sleep hygiene methods include going to bed and rising at the same time each day, avoiding large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime, and avoiding nicotine altogether.” Some of these may seem impossible as a college student living through a pandemic, but maintaining a regular sleep schedule is extremely important to both physical and cognitive health. That’s where SleepCycle comes in.
SleepCycle is a free app that tracks your sleep patterns throughout the night from when you go to bed to when an alarm gently wakes you up in the morning. It monitors your sleep patterns, detecting snoring, coughing and other sounds and analyzes your bedtime patterns and process of falling asleep. The app uses sound analysis to track and identify your sleep states, using your phone’s microphone to record sounds of your movements in bed.
The next morning, you are able to look at your sleep statistics and graphs. The “Trends” dashboard details your sleep quality percentage as well as your sleep and wake up times, all of which can help you better understand your sleep phases and what you might have to change about your schedule if you wish to improve it. The app also features an alarm clock that gently helps you wake up in the morning when you are in your lightest sleep phase, to ensure that you wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested. You can also snooze the alarm by shaking or double tapping your phone.
Sleep apps are all about working towards getting a better night’s sleep, so monitoring your sleep can be a great addition to your lifestyle, hopefully leading you towards progress in enhancing the quality of your sleep. Even if it can be challenging at times, making an attempt to pay attention to (as well as correct) bedtime habits or other factors throughout the day can lead to an overall improvement in your day to day health, and will leave you feeling better about yourself and your body.
SleepCycle is available on iPhone and Android.
Email Christine Feeley at [email protected]