“I got 9000 steps today, how about you?”
“My FitBit says I got 4 hours of deep sleep last night so that must be good.”
“Do you like your Garmin tracker? I want a fitness tracker but don’t know what to get.”
We’ve all heard it. We’ve all seen them. Fitness trackers. Whether purple or black, touchscreen or not, they’re everywhere. And everyone is buzzing about how many steps they got today or how well they slept last night. We’re sure there are plenty of you who refuse to give in to the craze or prefer not to wear something like a Fitbit every day.
But … we all want to know how well we are sleeping. If it doesn’t give us something to brag about, it will be something to complain about. Well, look no further. How about some phone apps that help to monitor and track your sleep? We’re betting your phone is next to you every night already, so you don’t even have to adjust your sleep habits for these!
Take a look at the reviews of some snooze-worthy apps below and give one a test-drive!
Sleepbot (iOS and Android)
This has been rated as the number one sleep-tracking app. It has some great features that provide you with data and tracking as well as ways to adjust your sleep habits for a better night’s sleep. This app includes a motion tracker, sound recorder and smart alarm. Simply turn on the app, plug your phone in and tuck it under your pillow. It will log your body movement throughout the night, and then provide a smart alarm in the morning (within a 30 minute) window based on more movement. Research shows that you are probably in a light sleep when you are moving more, and it is easier to wake up when you are in this sleep state. It also means that you will be less groggy in the morning and we all like that! The Sleepbot app also records sounds throughout the night that may affect your sleep. One user noticed traffic patterns at a certain time of night was affecting her sleep cycles! The app stores up to 6 months of data and provides you with daily stats about your length of sleep and a graph of your movement.
Pillow (iOS only)
The Pillow app has a clean and minimal interface which is beneficial to those who may be Apple-challenged. It will also connect to your Apple watch, so you don’t have to sleep with your phone near you to track your sleep habits. It tracks your motion and sleep cycles and records sound throughout the night. The user is then able to export sound recordings that may identify sleep apnea, snoring or outside noises that could affect sleep. Pillow also tracks daily activity that may affect sleep. The user can enter data about physical activity and eating habits. The negative to this app is that the free version is very limited, but Apple boasts the cost at less than $5 for the full version.
Motion 24/7 (iOS only)
Another Apple-friendly app that includes a sleep tracker, pedometer and heart rate monitor. Users have the ability to log exercise, body weight, and step goals. Motion 24/7 also integrates with the Apple Health app and saves up to 30 days of data. This app includes a movement monitor, sound recorder and smart alarm, as do most of the sleep apps we are reviewing. A downside to this app is that users indicate the motion monitor is less sensitive so it may not provide an accurate reading of sleep cycles.
How about those of us who have to sleep with some kind of noise at night? Some keep a fan running, others have purchased a white noise machine or even leave the radio on (or Pandora). Here are a few apps that provide sounds to fall asleep to.
White Noise (iOS)
This app boasts a simple and easy to navigate interface. It is a free app through iTunes and provides the user with more than 15 different sounds to choose from (white noise, thunderstorms, city traffic, etc). You can also create a favorites list as well as downloading sounds from elsewhere. You have the ability to create and record your own sound and includes an alarm. Users also have the option to set a sleep timer or let the sound play all night. This is also a great option if you are traveling, who wants to pack a fan or noise machine to take with them? One user said, “Save $50 on a sound machine and use the free app – it’s just as good and you can use headphones if your sleep mate doesn’t like the sound.”
Pzizz (iOS and Android)
This free app gives you the ability to blend gentle music, voice-based meditation, and natural sounds. It has an attractive interface and includes spatial 3D audio effects. While this may be good to use before sleep as a way to calm your body and brain, some users indicate that it can be distracting to sleep with due to the sound options.
mySleepButton (iOS and Android)
While not a noise or sleep tracker app, mySleepButton is a great way to calm your brain and body before falling asleep. It has audio instructions that guide the listener through visualizations and mental images to distract the conscious brain. It has a basic interface and is often used by people who like to meditate before bed.
So maybe you’re more willing to try a free sleep-tracker app than dishing out $100+ for a wearable fitness tracker. If you are, check these apps out first and let us know what you think! We are always looking for the new, cool app on the market!
… sleep happily ever after …