The busy night

Two things I love are sleeping and data collection. Now, thanks to a new iPhone app, I can do both at once.

Sleep Cycle uses the accelerometer in the iPhone to record vibrations in your mattress caused by you moving in the night. In this way it acts as an actigraph, keeping a record of your body movement, which in this context reflects how deeply you are asleep.

sleepgraph.jpgHere is the data from my last night’s kip. As you can see I show a fairly typical pattern: sleeping deeper in the first half of the night, compared to the second half, and having alternating patterns of deep and light sleep (although I seem to cycle through the stages of sleep every hour, rather than the typically quoted every one and a half hours).

The app also has an alarm which promises to wake you up during a lighter stage of sleep, so saving you the unpleasant sensation of being woken by your alarm from deep sleep. I’ve yet to try this out but it sounds like a good thing, as long as avoiding the jarring sensation is worth forgoing the extra minutes shut-eye!

Link: to the Sleepcycle app


  1. Posted April 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Cool stuff. Hmm, wonder if an Iphone would work as an epileptic seizure alarm? It could even dial for emergency. Possibly.

  2. Posted April 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Actually, how about an Iphone app that delivers diazepam rectally?

  3. Posted April 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve posted a picture of how my sleep was affected after a serious night on the beer. take a look at it on my blog

  4. alex kwala
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Noteworthy too that if you’re woken up during REM sleep you’re likely to report having been dreaming- so using the app might make you more likely to recall your dreams…
    I think rectally dosed diazepam would likely interfere though, so maybe that could be used as a ‘dream control’ feature, easily turn-off-and-on-able.

  5. Lee
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Even better. I have one of these
    This is my sleep one night on klonopin

    Here’s a more typical night of sleep for me

    I’m pretty thrilled with the data it has given me. It’s neat to wake up, remember a dream and look to see that I just came out of REM sleep. Also to see when I’ve woken up feeling very disoriented that I just came out of slow wave sleep.

  6. Lee
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    whoops I ment for that first link to be to
    Had the wrong url on copy-paste

  7. Posted April 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    As if, im not sure if i could sleep with what looks like a caving light on me head. This is probably just as bad as having your phone on next to you while you sleep but i also feel a little worried that that little device is sending wireless information from right next to your brain!
    But apart from those little niggles i would deffo buy one if i hadn’t got me ipone to do the job for me.

  8. Posted December 20, 2010 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. MindHack,

    I have been reading you with pleasure for a few years now – indeed, you have helped me drag myself through the unfortunate tedium of my Research Neuropsychology masters.

    I am very interested as to your enlightened perspective on the Sleep App. Google is laden with marketing or just lay perspectives on it, but I think your readers (and of course myself) would be very keen to hear what you make of it!

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