I’m known for being a productivity freak, so this post caters to that niche of mine.
Sleep is a vital part of our lives, and studies suggest that we spend one third of our lives sleeping.
So a good night sleep is not to be taken lightly.

 A fair warning: This post isn’t based on a doctor’s advice, I’m not a doctor and this shouldn’t be treated as medical advice, if you have troubles sleeping please consult a real doctor!

For this post, I’m going to talk about sleep cycles and how understanding them can improve the quality of your sleep, and a great tool to help you harness the power of sleep cycles (and tools to avoid).

What are sleep cycles?

Sleeping isn’t a single phase, it’s divided to several stages that repeat themselves in cycles, the stages are: lights sleep, deep sleep and dream state.
According to this scientific finding if you wake up right during light sleep you would feel that you had enough sleep, waking up in the middle however causes headaches and discomfort.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Knowing that a sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes, you can easily predict your sleeping pattern and set an alarm accordingly, but that can be troublesome after a while.

Here is where the apps come to play!

There are several applications out there for Android (I don’t know about iOS) that can help you with determining the perfect time to wake up.

Apps to avoid

Apps like sleep bot “monitor” your sleep by recording your noise to determine the best time to wake you up, and that is a big no – no in my book!

Somewhere in the middle

There is a web app called sleepyti.me that helps you predict a sleep cycle, it’s perfect for those who want a minimal phone or system and are willing to compromise some of the functionality.

The app I use

ZzZ sleepy timer is a perfect balance between minimalist needs and functionality, it has a very simple user interface and comes with very limited permissions, making it perfect for people with privacy concerns, it is also ad free till the time of this writing.

You can use it to set an alarm for waking up later, or tell it when you want to sleep. And it will calculate the upcoming sleeping cycles and determine the ideal one to wake up upon.

 To download Sleepy timer, click here.

If you doubt the importance of a good nights sleep, then try being woke up in the middle of the night or when napping in the afternoon (hurts like a Wednesday, doesn’t it?).

Fatigue Management

I remember when I worked for Schlumberger that I took a course called fatigue management, one of the important topics in that course was sleep and how to improve the quality of ones sleep. Apparently my manger and “mentor” didn’t hear of this course or ignore it on purpose..

How is your sleep dear reader? Do you use any applications to help you sleep at night? If so, what are they?

Let me know what you this in the comments section below, and I hope that you find this post useful.