Smart alarms and nifty monitors – apps and gadgets for better sleep and easier wake-ups

If you can’t get to sleep, can’t get up and haven’t been able to for some time then you’re way beyond lavender sprays, whale music and black-out blinds.  I’m sure you’ve tried everything that seems reasonable and are desperate enough to make a small investment and try something new in a bid to get a little shut-eye. Here are some apps and gadgets to help you analyse your sleep, hopefully get you more and make sure you get up.

Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager

The first thing you’ll need to do in your quest for 8 hours a night is to find out how desperate your situation is. The Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager doesn’t claim to be able to uncover any deep-rooted psychological issues that may be keeping you up at night but it can certainly get a handle on how bad the problem is and what your general sleep patterns are so you can draw some educated conclusions and remedy it as much as can reasonably be expected for it’s $99 price tag.  It is said to be the most accurate consumer sleep product on the market and works with a headband that monitors your movements during the night, recording these on a chart that differentiates light sleep, REM sleep and deep, restorative sleep.  In the end you’ll have nightly sleep charts and a record of how long you spend in each stage of sleep.

Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager

Sleep Cycle
This is essentially a smart alarm clock. The Sleep cycle app, available on iTunes for $0.99, analyses your sleep patterns with the use of a sensitive accelerometer in your iPhone and wakes you in the lightest stage of sleep – ensuring you wake easily and refreshed. Placed at the head of your bed under your covers and pillow, your phone will monitor your movements and track your sleep and waking patterns. Based on your movements, the phone will know when best to wake you up for a rested feeling. This is the top paid app in Germany and Japan (according to them) so I suppose it can be trusted for accuracy though it’s said to be less accurate than the Zeo system.  Plus it has pretty high scores and good reviews on iTunes if you trust other peoples’ opinions. Use it in conjunction with the Zeo for super accurate records and an easier wake-up.

Sleep Cycle



Sleep if you can

This new Android app is far less compassionate than the above alarm, actually resorting to annoyance tactics to get heavy sleepers out of bed. This is an extreme measure for people who just can’t get up in the morning and works by continuing to ring until you are physically out of bed. You will be given instructions to take a specific photo of something in your home and the alarm can only be silenced when it’s satisfied that this has been done. Once downloaded the app requests that you photograph a variety of locations around your home, when the alarm goes off in the morning it will randomly request one of the saved locations for a re-shoot at which point the shrill ringing will stop. You won’t know what it will request until it does and by the time you’ve gone there, taken the pic and disabled the high-pitched irritation you should be wide awake.


Developed by Japanese company, Eureka, the Okite app takes a slightly different approach to getting sleepy heads up in the morning. The iPhone alarm app is linked to your Twitter and uses fear and embarrassment as the motivation for getting you out of bed, posting cringe-worthy tweets every time you hit the snooze button. Although the humour has a Japanese slant and probably won’t have the same effect on everyone, the inconvenience of having ridiculous messages posted under your name every morning will probably still get to most people. Messages include – “Not enough talented people like me in the world”, followed by the hashtag #Okite. Even if the content isn’t that embarrassing to you, everyone will still know that you struggle to get up every single morning and that is probably embarrassing enough in itself.

Okite app


There’s a million different approaches to take when finding a solution for a problem as complex as a lack of sleep and inability to wake. It all depends what works for you. Once you’ve figured out what your pattern is you will at least be armed with enough evidence to take applicable measures. There probably is no better solution than a complete lifestyle change but until then a little technological push in the right direction could do the trick.                                                                      









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