Sleep App-y

We all know that your quality of sleep can be affected by your pillow or mattress, but a recent rise in the popularity of sleep apps has left people wondering whether their phones could hold the answer to a better night’s rest. Here at Soak&Sleep we’re obsessed with all thing’s sleep – so of course it goes without saying that we had to try some out! We roped in four members of the team to test four of the bestselling apps on the market out for a week and here is what they discovered.

Reviewer: Laura (Our PR guru)

App: Sleepbot (available for Android & Apple) 

Sleep Bot

Price: Free (bonus!) 

Features:

  • Movement and sound tracking

  • Sleep-sensitive alarm (bliss)

  • Sleep Advice/tips

  • Ambient noise options

Pros:

  • A great selection of alarm tones – a lovely change from her usual selection  

  • Laura found it very simple to use, and really appreciated the help section with advice about sleep, sleep disorders, and potential health problems. It also gives informative pieces on what to eat, what to read, how to prepare your bedroom, exercises, and also quick wins on ways to switch off – handy!

Cons:

  • For the app to work correctly, it needs to be plugged in (otherwise it drains your battery!), and under your pillow. Laura felt uneasy with her phone being so close to her head whilst she was slept, and this even made her wake up a few times during the night.

Would you use it again?

Laura is undecided whether she will continue to use it – being a naturally good sleeper this app was more a hindrance than a help!

Star rating

3/5

Take a look at her findings below.

Sleepbot findings
Laura’s Sleepbot findings!

 Reviewer: Ruth (Marketing department)

App: Sleep Better (available for Android & Apple)

Sleep Better

Price: Free (upgrade available at £1.99)

Features:

  • All sleep tracking features

  • Smart alarm

  • Moon phase monitor (ooo)

  • Dream Diary

  • Apple Health integration

Pros:

  • Ruth has always been a bit of a snoozer, rarely waking up feeling refreshed, therefore the personalised wake up window which softly wakes you up during a light sleep period over a half hour period was a welcome addition. This meant that instead of snoozing for at least an hour, she was stirred at a time that was not such a shock to the system. 
  • Ruth also loved the ‘dream note’ function – perfect for jotting down your dreams when they are fresh in your memory – really useful for tracking how life can affect what you dream about. Read more about dreams here.

Cons:

  • Ruth was keen to look at the moon phase analysis, but unfortunately this was only available with the upgrade (at an additional £1.99)
  • Ruth also sleeps with her other half which meant that a lot of movement the app detected was not her own. 

Would you use it again?

Ruth is going to continue using the alarm, as it has left her with more time in the morning, and not being in a rush!

Star rating

4/5

Sleep Better app
Sleep Better app

 Reviewer: Su (Marketing Manager)

App: MotionX 24/7 (available for iPhones only)

Motion 24/7

Price: £0.79

Features:

  • Smart alarms

  • Measures heart rate whilst resting

  • Breaks your night down into deep sleep, light sleep and awake time

  • Records any noises – snoring or sleep talking (may be a tad embarrassing in the morning!)

  • Additionally it measure the steps you take during the day, your heart rate, and also allows you to track and input your weight

Pros:

  • Su and her husband were not sure if it was the placebo effect (or their new Soak&Sleep pillows) but when trialling the app they definitely felt as though their quality of sleep.

  • They both also liked the gentle wake-up call melody, and they teamed this with a wake-up light alarm clock – making a lovely unison!

  • Husband Matt loved the pulse reading – and boasted about how ridiculously low his resting heart rate is!

Cons:

  • Unfortunately, the app isn’t very consistent or accurate in tracking sleep. Despite a busy road guaranteeing regular disturbances at night, the app struggled to distinguish between light sleep and wakeful periods.
  • Whilst the sound recording could have been an interesting feature, all it managed to pick up was buzzy interference likely from the charger.

Would you use it again?

Despite the inconsistencies, the couple said the app was great to encourage the development of a stronger bedtime routine and a mindfulness approach towards sleep.

Star rating

3.5/5

 

Reviewer: Becki (from the merchandising department)

App: Sleep Time (available for Apple & Android)

Sleep Cycle

Price: Free

Features:

  • Sleep cycle analysis

  • Relaxing nature sounds to drift off too

  • A sleep workout plan

Pros:

  • Pre bed time habits: the app allows you to record habits that may/may not affect your sleep. For example, exercise, drinking alcohol or even if you have had a stressful day. Becki is a keen gym goer so found it interesting to see how different levels of exercise changed her sleeping pattern

  • Becki loved the wakeup call – finding it much less abrupt than her standard alarm.

Cons:

  • Despite sleeping well, Becki did not notice any difference in her sleeping pattern from using the app

Would you use it again?

Becki’s dream is to get the hang of waking up naturally with an app – if she cannot manage this with Sleep Time, she may look into using another app on the market.

Star rating

5/5

 

Reviewer: Alex (techy whizzkid) 

App: Sleep Cycle (available for Apple & Android) 

Sleep Time

Price: Free

Features:

  • Analyses sleep patterns

  • Wakes you up in your lightest cycle

Pros:

  • Alex liked the way it clearly laid out his sleeping pattern in a tidy graph

  • The gentle alarm clock woke him up at a good time – leaving him feeling refreshed

  • He also did not notice his phone being close to him, and felt that it was not intrusive.

Cons:

  • Like many of the other reviewers, Alex also shares his bed, and found that the app struggled to measure his pattern effectively without picking up interference from his girlfriend. Perhaps he needs a firmer mattress

Would you use it again?

Alex will continue to use the app, to try and improve his sleep pattern by collecting more data.

Star rating

3/5

Sleep Cycle App
Sleep Cycle App

SO there you have it…the apps have been tried and tested and the results are in! Sleep time scored the highest with five gold stars, closely followed by Sleep Better. Both had great features and helped Becki and Ruth understand their sleep patterns, and helped them wake up at the right time, feeling refreshed. 

Do you use a sleep app? Is it helping you to achieve the perfect night sleep? Get in touch and tell us more.

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