Track Your Sleep and Wake Up Well Rested Thanks to Smart Alarm Clock

Aren’t you tired your alarm waking you up abruptly in the morning and feeling exhausted as soon as you open your eyes, with no energy to get out of bed? In most cases this is due to the fact that your alarm actually woke you up during your deep sleep cycle. There are various ways of overcoming these situations, such as sleep cycle calculators, or soft alarms that you wouldn’t hear unless you’re in a light sleep cycle.

Nevertheless, the most effective solution is to use a system that monitors your sleep cycles and wakes you up at the right time, so you don’t feel as tired in the morning. Smart Alarm Clock is the perfect solution, as it keeps track of your sleep cycles and wakes you up at the right time, but also records all noise disturbances, so you’re fully aware of what affects your sleep.

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Getting Started

Interface

Smart Clock’s interface mimics a clock and also displays the weather forecast for your location in the corner. You can truly use the app as a stand clock if you leave your screen on and put your iPad next to your bed, especially because the screen brightness can be dimmed by simply swiping your finger up and down — no need to tap that Settings button!

Smart Alarm Clock can be used as a stand clock

Smart Alarm Clock can be used as a stand clock

The on-screen clock can be changed to a classic, analog or a digital one and the background can also be customized to display the picture of your choice, in case you’re missing a picture frame in your room! If you don’t want to see the various tabs at the bottom of the screen, simply tap on the middle of the screen and all superfluous information will be gone.

Selecting Your Alarm and Sleep Tracking Mode

There are various modes you can pick from in Smart Alarm Clock, which range from simple sleep monitoring with no alarm to a full tracking mode with a smart alarm that wakes you up according to your sleep cycles. Depending on the mode, you can set the alarm to wake you up at a fixed time, or to adapt to your cycles. Also, if you’d rather sleep until you naturally wake up, you can deactivate the alarm and simply use the application to monitor your cycles.

If you’re curious about noise disturbances, the application can use your microphone to record sounds that may affect your sleep — it’s also a great way to find out if you snore!

It's very easy to pick which mode you want and track your sleep

It’s very easy to pick which mode you want and track your sleep

Music

Some people need white noise or music to fall asleep, and Smart Alarm Clock has you covered for this: you can pick any music or tone from a list of 20 built-in sounds, or browse your iTunes library to select the right one for you. Many of the tones that come with the app are white noises, such as rain or wave sounds and make falling asleep easier, especially in noisy environments — this actually works great on me and I’ve felt I was falling asleep faster than before.

The app also lets you set the duration of the ambient noise, so it stops after a you’ve fallen asleep. Naturally, you can select your morning alarm the same way, either from the presets or your iTunes library.

You can pick your alarm or ambient noise from preset options or directly from your iTunes library

You can pick your alarm or ambient noise from preset options or directly from your iTunes library

Monitoring Your Sleep

The way Smart Alarm Clock works is fairly simple: the application uses your iPad’s accelerometer to monitor your movements during the night and track them. According to them, the app can sense if you’re still awake or fell asleep, and determine which sleep cycle you’re in. In addition, it also records all sounds during the night, so it can track the disturbing factors that may be likely to wake you up during the night.

When you wake up, Smart Alarm Clock will have plotted all this information in a graph for you to review. These are extremely easy to read and deep sleep, light sleep and rapid eye movement cycles are easily differentiated, as shown below. In addition to simply tracking what cycle you were in at what time, you can add another layer of information to the graph: the noise disturbances. This is particularly convenient to see if you snore or if there are external noises that are waking you up in the middle of the night.

Your sleep cycles and noise disturbances are plotted in a graph for you to review

Your sleep cycles and noise disturbances are plotted in a graph for you to review

On all graphs, you can pinch to zoom on the information to have a closer look at it. What’s great is that the app will automatically adapt the scale and display it at the bottom. Similarly. you can tap and hold on a specific point to see the exact time on your screen, which is particularly more convenient than trying to guess using the scale.

You will be presented with a summary underneath the graph, which wraps up important information, such as the times at which you went to bed and woke up, your sleep phases, the total time you slept and the number of noise disturbances. It’s also particularly easy to share your sleep statistics with others, thanks to the app’s integration with social networks — even though I don’t see the point of sharing this kind of information with others.

Shortcomings

Smart Alarm Clock is fairly complete and easy to use, but it does have a few minor limitations that can affect the overall experience. For instance, one of the most irritating things with this app is that I have to manually set the alarm every day before going to sleep. While I understand I need to tell it I’m going to bed, it should at least remember to wake me up in the morning, which it doesnt do unless you reset the alarm the day before.

Because Smart Alarm Clock uses the accelerometer to track your sleep, it also doesn’t work very well if you’re more than one person in the bed, as it may detect too many movements. Similarly, I’ve realized the app seems not to notice when I wake up before my alarm actually goes off, and keeps considering I’m sleeping.

Lastly, it’s a bit of a shame the application doesn’t synchronize with third-party services. Indeed, there’s a lot of gadgets that now synchronize with health tracking systems, but Smart Alarm Clock doesn’t know how to do that just yet.

Conclusion

Thanks to Smart Alarm Clock you’ll no longer wake up in the middle of a deep sleep cycle and will instead feel more relaxed in the morning. You’ll also be able to track your sleep with great precision and even fall alseep more easily, thanks to a variety of white noises. If you’re not sure about getting the paid application, I strongly recommend you try the free version and see if it improves the quality of your sleep.


Summary

Monitor your sleep and wake up more pleasantly with Smart Alarm Clock for iPad.

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