A good night’s sleep is hard to come by these days, whether it’s because of work, tending to young children, insomnia or sleep-related conditions such as sleep apnea. The good news is plenty of mobile apps can bring a more restful night. The best sleep-tracking apps come with a hardware component such as a wristband or under-the-sheet sensor and are more accurate than stand-alone apps because they have contact with the body during the night, says Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep. “You want something that’s touching the skin,” he advises. Here are 10 mobile apps to help you track your sleep.
Like Sleep Cycle, the free Jawbone Up app for iOS and Android can track both light and deep sleep. It draws data from an Up or Up 24 wristband, which connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Smart, a power-efficient version of the wireless technology. In the app, you can see how many minutes it took you to fall asleep on a given day, how long you were in bed and the number of times you woke up.
Withings, a France-based maker of baby monitors and wireless scales, offers the free iOS Health Mate app. It stores your sleep data from the Withings Pulse armband or the company’s Aura Sleep System, introduced at January’s Consumer Electronics Show. Aura Sleep System will be available this spring for $299. Health Mate provides insight on what wakes you up and helps you compare nights of sleep. It also keeps track of heart rate and breathing cycles at night and features personalized wakeup.
A company based in Finland, Beddit transmits data from an ultra-thin film sensor under your sheet to a free iOS mobile app. Beddit’s technology is based on ballistocardiography (BCB), which measures cardiorespiratory functions by detecting movements caused by respiration and heartbeats. Beddit measures sleep time, sleep latency (the time required to fall asleep), awakenings, resting heart rate and snoring.
If you want to wake up when you’re sleeping the lightest, try Sleep Cycle, a 99-cent app from Northcube. Available for iOS and Android, the app records the percentage of sleep quality and the average time in bed. It also highlights when the shortest night of sleep occurred. Sleep Cycle uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to track your sleep phases, and the app wakes you during light sleep. Be prepared to sleep with your iPhone.
This free app for iOS and Android includes a motion tracker that uses a smartphone’s accelerometer. It also keeps track of sleep cycles and records sound levels. SleepBot features detailed tables that break down your sleep history by date, sleep time, wake time, hours of sleep and debt, or amount of sleep lost.
This app monitors the motion of your body in bed to sense the quality of your sleep. MotionX-24/7 records audio clips of when a person snores or moves in the middle of the night. In addition, you can set the app to wake you up at the optimal time in a sleep cycle. The app also provides a view of your light sleep, deep sleep and total sleep times. It also plays white noise or music to auto-fade out when you fall sleep.
Azumio’s $1.99 Sleep Time app monitors light and deep sleep phases and graphs from data acquired by a smartphone’s accelerometer. It incorporates an algorithm designed at Stanford University to analyze sleep cycles. Sleep Time rates your sleep with an average efficiency percentage. You can pick your soundscapes among choices such as ocean waves or a rain forest storm. Note that the app doesn’t work if the phone locks during the night.
Ever wanted to hear what you sound like at night? Sport.com offers a $2.99 Smart Alarm Clock app for iOS that records noise disturbances while you sleep. The app takes advantage of the iPhone’s touch-screen capabilities to allow you to browse through stats in graphs, such as duration of sleep and time of disturbance, like talking or snoring.
This mobile tool from AppBrain uses your phone’s accelerometer to track when you’re asleep or awake by tracking your muscle movements. Sleep As Android, which costs $3.19 for an unlocked version, is one of many sleep apps that allow you to share your sleep data on Facebook or Twitter. It also backs up data to a SleepCloud online storage platform.
A 99-cent app from Vanke Software, eSleep provides a plethora of tunes to send you to sleep and drown out the sounds in your home. Options include white noise (a flat sound), pink noise (3 decibels per octave lower than white), brown noise (a deeper sound) and nature sounds. It also plays multiple sounds simultaneously and lets you record your own.