App of the Week | Sleep Cycle

You’re running from the police, with one sack of cash in each hand amounting to the full ten thousand dollars you demanded from the bank teller. The police are gaining on you, so you swerve behind a building into a dark alley and laugh as they run right past you, unnoticing. Then, from behind, you hear a low growl. You turn and see the largest lion ever seen. The growl turns into a roar and the roar turns into a BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. You slam a hand on your alarm clock – completely unable to open your eyes despite having slept a decent eight hours – roll over in bed, and contemplate skipping your 9AM class.

This scenario has happened to all of us at least once in our lifetime, though for college students, it seems like it happens every day (or even more than that, if you take naps). Let’s face it: waking up is the absolute worst. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. The Sleep Cycle app is available on iTunes for just ninety-nine cents and will rest on your bed as you sleep to monitor your sleep cycles. According to its website, Sleep Cycle is designed to register your movements as you sleep and discern from that motion whether you are in a phase of light sleep, deep sleep, or REM sleep, the phase in which you experience dreams. The alarm system operates so that it will wake you up within a thirty-minute window at the lightest phase of your sleep cycle. The goal of the app is to have you wake up feeling refreshed rather than exhausted, no matter how many hours of sleep you’ve gotten that night. The app also allows you to rate the quality of the sleep you had that night, so as to better understand and monitor your motions and sleep cycles in the future. While I have yet to use this app, I have many friends who rave about it and I fully recommend spending the 99 cents on it. Sleep is a rarity in college, and this app helps make the most of it.