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By Rachel Chung, Vernon Hills

Recently, iOS 10 has come out for iPhones. With this new update, there are many different features, one of them being “Bedtime” (sleep tracking) under the Clock app. It has a range of options like a bedtime reminder and different soothing melodies to wake you up peacefully. The layout is different with a clock on the screen, and you can adjust your bed- and waking times to see how many hours and minutes you’ll be sleeping for. I wanted to test out this new feature and see if it is good enough to replace other sleep tracking apps out there.

Monday (10/03/16): Today is a no school day thanks to Rosh Hashanah. I slept quite late, at 4 am in fact, because panic over my homework procrastination set in. However, I was determined to wake up earlier than normal, 12 pm for me, so I could get more work done. I woke up at 10 am, and I found that the relaxing alarm was loud enough to wake me up but didn’t jolt me awake. I was happy with my successful “early” wake up time, and I was pleased with the “Bedtime” feature so far. However, I was confused on the lack of sleep tracking information. I wasn’t sure if it’s because there is very little data inputted about my sleeping patterns, or if my phone simply didn’t track my sleep patterns at all, but I didn’t find any information on sleep analysis. I did keep my phone on my bed, so it could more accurately follow my sleep, but it didn’t seem to have worked. It merely told me my “In Bed” times, which I already knew. I am happy with the alarm and convenience of this feature, but I’m still confused on how it works, and I may have to download another app to get my proper sleep analysis.

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Tuesday (10/04/16): After praising the soft alarm, it seems that it was not enough to wake me up this morning. I found myself easily ignoring it, and I ended up falling back asleep. I am lucky enough to have parents who drive me to school because I slept 30 minutes than later. There was also a dilemma with the fact that I didn’t turn off the alarm, so it didn’t log in my hours at all. I am starting to think that the extent of the app’s sleep analysis is based on the fact that you can see bars of your sleep, and you are trying to get an equal amount of sleep each night. However, you are supposed to be able to see your “In Bed” period and “Asleep” period. I’ve decided to download a different sleep tracking app I have used as well, but you need more sleep logs entered to get accurate data on your sleep patterns. I have already used the “Sleep Cycle” app, but it didn’t work particularly well for me.

Wednesday (10/05/16): Last night, I used the regular iOS 10 Bedtime feature as well as the “Sleep Cycle” app, which I have used before. Because I was using the “Sleep Cycle” app, the Bedtime feature did not track my sleep. The “Sleep Cycle” app uses motion and sound detecting to determine when you were awake, sleeping, or in deep sleep. After you use this app for a few days, then this app also determines what your sleep quality was. I decided that from then on I would just use the “Sleep Cycle” app, as it was much more effective.

Thursday (10/06/16): Today, I just used the “Sleep Cycle” app for tracking my sleep. It takes five nights of sleep for it to determine sleep quality. It does show the stages of awake, sleep, and deep sleep though. I find it interesting that I am rarely in deep sleep, and I’m not sure why I am not. I am constantly going from awake, to sleeping, to deep sleeping, and then I slowly go back to sleep and being awake. My sleep patterns were more consistent, and I spent a longer time asleep than yesterday. I took a nap yesterday, and it was a late start, so I was not as tired as I would usually be. It shows how much the nap and late start affected my sleeping patterns. Although there is value in taking short naps, I might decide not to seeing as how I am able to get a much better night’s sleep without them.

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Friday (10/07/16): I again woke up tired today because I slept an hour later than usual. Even without tests or quizzes to study for, I usually go to sleep at around 12. This has become a habit, and I often can’t fall asleep any earlier. I blame having my phone in my room because I often get distracted before going to bed. My sleep is very light right when I go to bed and right before I wake up. Other than that, my sleep was usually in the sleep or deep sleep stage. I do realize that I start to get very tired as the week goes on, and I have deeper sleep, but it overall doesn’t make me feel more awake in the morning. This buildup of sleep affects me negatively after school because I crash and take a long nap, and I binge sleep over the weekend. I’m going to try to be more conscious with my efforts to sleep the same amount of hours each night, and I do not want to binge sleep on the weekend.

 

Saturday (10/08/16): After watching two movies and one TV show episode, I finally slept at 1 am. Yesterday, I sleep-walked into my sister’s room, which is empty because she’s at college, and slept there. I didn’t even realize where I was until I woke up shivering in my sister’s room. Because of that, my sleep was tracked as being really deep at 4 am, but it was because there was no sound for the phone to track. I only ever sleep walk on the weekends, and my sleep patterns are a lot more irregular too. I also realized that I rarely am deep sleeping during the weekend. After around 6, which is my normal wake up time, I am more awake than I am before that. However, I sleep a lot longer to make up for the poor quality of my sleep. Overall, I am realizing that I am going to have to try to get my sleep schedule on a regular pattern to have the most hours of deep sleep.

Sunday (10/09/16): I had my normal pattern of sleep with the hourly rise and fall from awake to sleep to deep sleep. I don’t notice anything particularly interesting, but I definitely do believe that “Sleep Cycle” is a better app to use than the iOS 10 feature. I also get my sleep quality review, and this night was 53%. My sleep quality is usually not very good over the weekend, so I’m not surprised. I do plan to sleep and wake up earlier on the weekends now. I also need to get a normal bedtime.

I expected this “Bedtime” feature from iOS 10 to do it all without needing to install another app. If you just want to get your sleep schedule on track, then I would totally recommend just using that. However, for more intensive analysis, I would recommend an app like “Sleep Cycle” or another sleep tracking app. After a week of sleep tracking, I really do realize the importance of a proper sleep schedule. Sleeping at the same time and waking up at the same time seems to be the best way to get those hours of quality sleep.

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