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How Does Sleep Cycle App Work

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Setup For Sleep Tracking Using Samsung Health App

Does using the Sleep Cycle App to get better sleep in Medical School work?

If you havent done this already, we need to ensure sleep tracking is correctly configured.

First things first, you need to pair the Samsung Galaxy Watch with a smartphone. While you can use sleep tracking independently, a smartphone keeps the results over days, weeks, or even months of sleep tracking.

And thats a good way of motivating yourself to do better.

What’s The Verdict On Sleep

    Thanks to the Internet, it’s the age of self-diagnosis. People like to learn about themselves through technology.

    Especially when pretty graphs are involved .

    As a sleep researcher, I was interested in my friends’ use of sleep-tracking apps, and I received a pretty positive response when I prompted them for their thoughts:

    “I’m a believer.”

    “When I use it right, I feel less groggy.”

    The website sleepyti.me and smartphone apps like Sleep Cycle use the average human’s sleep pattern to determine the best window of time that you should wake up. The idea is that interrupting the “wrong” sleep cycle stage, such as slow-wave sleep or REM , results in grogginess upon awakening, as many of us can attest. Sleep researchers call this phenomenon “sleep inertia.”

    It’s such a big deal that, in the sleep laboratory, we techs are instructed not to wake participants if they’re in REM, even if the experimental recording time is over.

    So when a friend told me that he only feels refreshed after eight REM cycles, I was a little skeptical, given the average person will only experience four or five REM periods per night.

    What’s the verdict on sleep-tracking apps? How do they work, and how accurate are they? Is it all a big scam, or perhaps the placebo effect at work?

    How is sleep measured in the first place? To understand the premise of these apps, we must first understand how scientists quantify sleep: polysomnography.

    Here are a few reasons why:

    Of course, I may be biased.


    Track And Analyze Sleep Patterns

    Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep patterns through these sleep cycles. Using the microphone, it listens to and analyses your sounds by help of machine learning. Then, Sleep Cycle presents to you an idea of the quality of your rest and what influences that quality. You really dont need a tracker to tell you if you slept well or not. But Sleep Cycle is immensely useful in figuring out the cause and what you can change or maintain, to reach or keep better sleep.

    Sleep Cycle is by and large, an autonomous sleep tracking tool. Turn it on before bedtime and put it on the nightstand, and it does the rest. Everything it records and stores, is private and only yours. We dont share your sleep data with anyone. If you got an Apple Watch, you dont need the phone to track your sleep patterns. Use Sleep Cycle on the watch instead, and work with the results on your phone at a time thats convenient for you.

    Read Also: How Does Fitbit Track Sleep Stages

    See Your Sleep Data Using The Samsung Health App And Your Watch Or Phone

    Wear the smartwatch snugly on your wrist and get a good nights sleep, then in the morning

  • Head to the home screen of your Galaxy Watch and select Samsung Health
  • Tap on the sleep icon
  • Scroll down and check out your sleep stats, including your sleep score, actual sleep time, and your weekly average sleep time. Keep scrolling to see all the information.
  • If its all working as intended, you should see all of your sleep stats in detail. Your Samsung Galaxy watch tracks 4 stages in your sleep: awake, REM, light sleep, and deep sleep.

    Also Great: Sleep Cycle

    How Does Sleep Cycle App Work

    If youre a more visual person and you prefer a minimalistic interface, or if you own a phone thats incompatible with SleepScore, Sleep Cycle can be helpful, though in a different way. Sleep Cycle doesnt provide customized sleep advice on your phone, nor does it provide an explanation for its graphs or terminology. In our tests, it offered less data than any of the other apps we tried, at least in terms of the specific stages of sleep. But its as intuitive as SleepScore to set up, and perhaps because of the limited data output, the resulting sleep reports are pretty easy to understand.

    Sleep Cycles biggest win comes from how neatly it presents the sleep-lifestyle correlations on screen in comparison with the other apps we used. Simply tap the Trends button, andvoilĂ !any factors you typed in the night before, plus any Apple Health data, are automatically correlated with your sleep and shown in a way that even a third-grader could figure out. For instance: Compared with how Joanne slept at home in New York City, she slept worse when she was traveling for work, slightly better at her moms, and even better on vacation in the Catskills.

    Unlike SleepScore, which works only with iPhones 6 or newer and certain Android phones, Sleep Cycle is compatible with all iPhones and Android phones.

    Don’t Miss: How Long Is Each Sleep Cycle

    What Is A Sleep Tracker App

    While we sleep the brain works. It systemizes information, creates a memory and clears the waste. So, our body demands sleep and whats more, we need to take control of it. The best and easiest way to do so is to start using a sleep tracker app.

    If you Google sleep tracker app or sleep trackers youll come across a variety of apps and devices like smartwatches, smart rings, strips, and other wearables. The shape, form, and usage may be different but all apps that track your sleep have one aim to improve your sleep. These devices monitor everything that happens behind the scenes when you sleep. From your heart rate and oxygen consumption to the number of steps you take each day, you can see how your sleep behavior changes, how sleep cycles go and what influences good and bad in your sleep. The next step is to figure out how sleep tracking apps work.

    Apps That Track Your Sleep

    Several apps aim to chart your sleep patternssuch as how long it takes you to fall asleep, how long you spend in deeper stages of sleep, and how much you move around while in bed, which could indicate restless leg syndromeusing your phones built-in sensors. Some of these sleep-tracking apps also have a smart alarm feature that supposed to wake you when the movement sensor detects youre in a lighter stage. Examples include Runtastic Sleep Better and Sleep as Android. Others document whether and how much you snore .

    Tips: Experts say apps that track your sleep may be worth trying to make you more aware of your sleep and prompt you to take steps to improve it.

    But Khosla cautions that they shouldnt be used to diagnose sleep disorders. Researchers who have compared these trackers to the gold standard for monitoring used by physicians, known as polysomnography , find they fall far short. Thats why the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released a position statement last May urging that all sleep apps undergo FDA approval.If they want to be used as a diagnostic tool, they need to compare well to PSG. Its a high bar, but patients deserve that, says Khosla, the lead author of the statement.

    Editor’s Note: To learn how Consumer Reports collects and uses consumer data, please see our privacy policy.

    You May Like: Which Fitbits Track Sleep

    Track Your Sleep With Apple Watch

    With the Sleep app on Apple Watch, you can create bedtime schedules to help you meet your sleep goals. Wear your watch to bed, and Apple Watch can track your sleep. When you wake up, open the Sleep app to learn how much sleep you got and see your sleep trends over the past 14 days.

    If your Apple Watch is charged less than 30 percent before you go to bed, youre prompted to charge it. In the morning, just glance at the greeting to see how much charge remains.

    You can create multiple schedulesfor example, one for weekdays and another for weekends. For each schedule, you can set up the following:

    • A sleep goal

    • What time you want to go to bed and wake up

    • An alarm sound to wake you up

    • When to turn on sleep mode, which limits distractions before you go to bed and protects your sleep after youre in bed

    • Sleep tracking, which uses your motion to detect sleep when Apple Watch is in sleep mode and worn to bed

    Tip: To exit sleep mode, first turn the Digital Crown to unlock. Then swipe up to open Control Center and tap .

    A Brief Sleep Cycle Definition

    #HEROTech Sleep Cycle App Review How To Use It

    The first stage of sleep is light stage sleep. This occurs right after you doze off and only lasts for a few minutes. The second stage is also a relatively light stage of sleep. To give some perspective, a power nap could be used to describe a sleep session that only involved the first two stages. Its during the next two stages that move into a deep sleep. Finally comes REM sleep. This is where you dream and get your most restful sleep. During an ideal sleep cycle, you will experience this five or six times.

    Recommended Reading: Does Zoloft Cause Insomnia

    Deep Sleep With Andrew Johnson $299

    Are you sleepy now?

    One thing is for sure, Andrew Johnson has a very soothing voice. This app is basically a recording by a guy named Andrew Johnson and it helps you get in the proper mood to receive a good nights sleep. The app has a simple interface and very few options. You can select the short instructions, or the long ones, and the amount of repetition. After you begin the recording Mr. Johnson starts to give instructions in a very calm manner. The voice over is aided by a soothing melody played on a piano which really adds to the drowsiness.


    • Easy to use and simple interface.
    • Settings are minimalistic.

    Notable Feature:

    The calm voice of the instructor has an accent but the instructions and the piano soon makes you groggy and you will feel sleepy.

    How To Track Your Sleep On Apple Watch

    If youre having trouble sleeping, you may want to monitor your sleep cycle. An Apple Watch makes it easy with its own built-in sleep tracker and support for third-party apps.

    Yawwwwn. Waking up feeling tired? Think you’re not getting enough sleep, or even the best kind of sleep? You could turn to your iPhone for help, but it may be better to track your sleep patterns. One way to do that is with a sleep tracker app on your Apple Watch.

    In the past, you had to use a third-party app to monitor and record your sleep, but Apple introduced its own integrated sleep tracker with watchOS 7. The built-in tracker gets the job done, but it doesnt have all the bells and whistles needed to fully track and record every aspect of your sleep. For that reason, you might still want to try a third-party sleep-tracking app to get a more complete picture of your sleep patterns.

    Worried about battery power? Don’t be. Your Apple Watch won’t run out of battery in the middle of the night if you give it a power boost before bed. Connect it to the charger for an hour or two before sleep, and it should last the entire night.

    These apps aren’t always 100 percent accurate. A more comprehensive test would involve your doctor and a full sleep study where you would be hooked up to monitors. However, these sleep trackers at least offer a good place to start.

    Recommended Reading: Does Medicare Cover Sleep Apnea Machines

    How Sleep Trackers Work

    Tracking sleep at home is hard. In fact, its like trying to track an earthquake, said Thomas Penzel, PhD, research director of the Interdisciplinary Center of Sleep Medicine at Charité University in Berlin. Just as you cant sit inside the earth and watch tectonic plates shift, you cant directly peer into your own brain as youre sleeping. So you need proxies. In a sleep lab, scientists use medical-grade equipment and sensors to record brain activity, eye movements, body movements, heart rate, oxygen intake, and more. This process, called polysomnography, is the most reliable method of sleep tracking.

    Unfortunately, the sleep trackers designed and currently available for home use cant read brain waves and eye movements, which most reliably track stages of sleep, so instead they guesstimate based on less accurate signs. The current technologies include the following:

    Movement tracking: Accelerometersmore commonly used to measure sleep in fitness trackers and other wearables than in phone appsinterpret stillness as sleep and movement as wakefulness. But an accelerometer is not very accurate when you use one alone because it may perceive you as being asleep when youre merely lying still staring at the ceiling. And if you toss and turn a lot in your sleep, the accelerometer will register that youre awake. Thats why sleep tracking typically pairs movement tracking with other technologies, such as optical heart-rate monitoring.

    Your Options For Sleep

    REM, Light, Deep: How Much of Each Stage of Sleep Are You ...

    These include wearable and non-wearable sleep monitoring devices.

    • Non-wearable

    If you want to keep track of and improve your sleep pattern without having to wear a sleep tracker, I’d suggest that you consider a sleep monitor like Withings Sleep Tracking Pad for a single user or sleep tracker by BeautyRest for couples.

    • Wearable

    In case you don’t mind having a sleep monitor in the form of a headband or ring or smartwatch, you have many options to choose from. For example, if you want more accuracy, Dreem sleep headband is designed to track your brain waves and provides additional sleep-improving programs.

    Read Also: Does Zoloft Cause Insomnia

    The 10 Best Sleep Apps

    The benefits associated with a good nights sleep are endless, yet a significant number of people are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. We have identified the best sleep apps out there to maximize your forty winks and send you happily off to dreamland.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 1 in 3 adults do not get their recommended hours of sleep each night. To promote optimal health and well-being, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommend that adults should sleep for at least 7 hours per night regularly.

    Not getting the recommended hours of sleep is linked to weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease, stroke, and a greater risk of death. Furthermore, sleeping for under 7 hours is associated with impaired immune system, a decrease in cognitive performance, and an increased risk of accidents.

    Promoting regular sleep patterns and healthy sleep habits is known as sleep hygiene. 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.

    Introducing a sleep app to your sleep hygiene routine may also help you to accomplish those 7 hours of bedded bliss. Here are Medical News Todays top 10 sleep app choices.

    How Much Will Sleepcycle App Cost You

    Sleep Cycle App is free to install for Android Playstore or Apple App Store. It also comes with numerous free services such as sleep analysis, apple health integration, and database export on iPhone, snooze, and intelligent wake-up. However, it also has optional premium features that require in-app purchases. They include personalized alarm sound addition, sleep aid, snore detection and Philips Hue integration. The premium in-app prices range from $ 0.99 to $29.99 annually.

    Recommended Reading: Does The Fitbit Versa Track Sleep

    Best Versatile App: Sleep Cycle

    Sleep Cycle

    Why We Chose It: We chose Sleep Cycle as the best versatile app as it is available on iOS, Android, and Huawei.

    • Overlay of audio recordings on the sleep cycle graph for better interpretation

    • Able to identify a variety of different sounds, including coughing, talking, snoring, and a baby fussing

    • Lack of in-depth analysis of sleep compared to other apps

    • Need to manually start and stop sleep tracking

    • Poor descriptions of different tracking metrics

    Sleep Cycle by Sleep Cycle AB gives you a simplified look at sleep patterns by analyzing audio recordings of snoring, talking, coughing, and other sounds. This app tracks your sleep cycle graphically and overlays audio recordings to help identify what is going on during different periods of sleep.

    It has an average rating of 4.7 stars on the App Store and 4.4 stars on Google Play, as of March 2021. Sleep Cycle offers sleep statistics and can identify both short- and long-term trends. No equipment or fitness wearables are needed all you need to do is have your phone beside your bed. The app must be turned on before going to bed, and since it uses sound analysis to identify sleep states, there is the potential for error if you sleep with others in the room. You do need to start and stop the sleep timer manually, which can be problematic if you forget to do this regularly.

    Apps That Calm A Racing Mind

    The Breakdown: Do sleep apps like the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock really work?

    If music or white noise isnt enough to quell your rambling or anxious mind at bedtime, apps designed for mental relaxation might help.

    Some use guided imagery or other form of meditation, typically soothing voices describing peaceful scenes, sometimes with accompanying music. Examples include Calm, Pzizz, Headspace, and the Relax & Rest Guided Meditations App, which Shaw swears by.

    Others use hypnosis, which combines imagery with targeted suggestions, such as you can relax completely and your mind is quiet and still. Examples include Sleep Well and Hypnosis for Sleep and Dreaming.

    Tips: Some research, such as a 2002 Behavior Research Therapy report, does suggest that guided imagery can relax the mind and assist with sleep. But its unclear if guided imagery apps also work, and some may overpromise. The website for Pzizz, for example, states that its method, where guided imagery or other narration is combined with music and sound effects, is clinically proven to help you sleep. But the study it bases this on involved just 29 people trying to nap during the day for just two weeks, and wasn’t published in a major medical journal.

    Recommended Reading: Does Zoloft Cause Insomnia

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