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Review: Sleep-As-An-Droid visualizes your sleep

Sleep and I rarely get along well. I’m a long-standing insomniac with morning classes, and this usually results in me being pretty dead on my feet. My alarm clock is situated across the room to prevent me from hitting “Snooze” so easily, but this too seems to be of little consequence.

Android’s decided to help me out, though, with an app called “Sleep as an Droid.” Grammatically-incorrect title aside, it’s a very robust alarm clock and sleep tracker: there’s a number of features that set it apart from the stock clock, and make it worth looking at if you’re interested in the way you sleep.  

Most prominently featured is the sleep tracker: each night, before sleeping, you can put the app into a mode that reads from your phone’s gyroscope. You’ll then lay your phone on your mattress and begin to sleep.

The app will then track your movements in the night and plot them on a nice graph for you to see: times of inactive movement are referred to as “deep sleep” (or rapid-eye-movement cycles) as opposed to times when you’re more active. Settings within your alarm configuration make it possible for you to be woken up during a period of light sleep, making it easier to get out of bed. Upon waking up (to a pre-set alarm or otherwise), one is asked to rate that night’s sleep on a five-star scale, and add any comments if they wish: I’m usually quite groggy, and usually don’t bother typing anything out.

Doing this on subsequent nights can yield interesting results, though. One can see comparisons of nights across a span of time, and measure exactly how much sleep they’ve gotten. An “ideal sleep range” can be set (measured in hours) within the preferences menu so the app can tell you your cumulative sleep debt. If you have an alarm set, the app will also notify you when it’s time to go to bed in order to get those 8 hours you’ve been craving.

This app is useful for data freaks like myself who enjoy seeing things visualized: it’s interesting to see nights where I sleep quite soundly, but end up feeling like garbage in the morning regardless. There’s also a function to use the phone’s microphone as an anti-snoring monitor, but I haven’t explored that yet: as I leave my computer running during the night, I don’t want it setting the vibrating “snore alarm” off prematurely.

Other than that, it’s a fairly competent alarm clock. You can set music on your SD card as a wake-up call, but it requires an outside file viewer (Handcent SMS works, weirdly) to choose which song you’d like. Fine-tuning options like requiring a math question to turn off the alarm helps with snooze button abusers like myself.

I’ve been using this app for a couple weeks now, and the screenshot above shows roughly one of those weeks; these data points can be posted to Facebook from the app itself, but I doubt even my friends are that curious about my sleep patterns. Give it a try and see what your sleep schedule’s like: I doubt too many Droid Life readers are 4 A.M. night hawks like myself.

Sleep as an Droid is available for free as a two week trial. It’ll cost you $1.35 for an unlock key after that.


Matt Demers is Droid Life’s app guy, and would love to get back to a normal sleep schedule. The Internet makes that hard sometimes.

You can find him on Twitter and get ahold of him via e-mail.

  • http://twitter.com/Urbane_Gorilla Urbane_Gorilla

    Should have called it “Electric Sheep” from the Philip K Dick story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, (which was the basis for Blade Runner BTW)….You’d have had the double pun of Androids and counting sheep. ;=)

  • Ahkowalski

    Do you need to put your phone screne down or does it not matter ?

  • Ahkowalski

    Does it need to be screne down on the mattress like the sleep cycle app fr ipods or does it not matter.

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  • http://www.best-mattress-4u.com bestmatt

    I think it’s brilliant in that one can try out different sleep remedies and check which one is giving you the best quality sleep. It would be good to see which natural sleep remedy works well for a friend of mine who was insomnia

  • Johnny

    oh yeah this is sweet, definitely using this data to help me lucid dream!

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/107430353005607798966 KiriusKris

    Best thing ever: I had it set to record audio like if i snored or talked in my sleep, but it didn’t pick up either. It did pick up something else…. you guessed it. A big ol’ fart!

    • Anonymous

      Beautiful!

  • Justin

    Data that is recorded it’s sent to google to further their human genome projects.

  • Bradenbrand

    used the app last night. its very cool to see when i move around in the night.

  • Charlie

    Gentle Alarm is still the greatest alarm clock ever made. At least for me.

  • Obviousman

    Learn basic grammar or gtfo.

  • Jawshua

    I’m also a troubled sleeper even with taking a massive anti-psychotic dose every night, and I always have the hardest time waking up after being drugged. So this is going to help immensely, especially having to do simple math problems, which to me will we equate astro physics since I suck at math. I’ll always get up on time now!

  • Anonymous

    I’m a certified night owl like you and 3 out of my 5 days of classes start at 9am, even when I dont have class until the afternoon I still wake up at 9 which sucks. I’ve been using gentle alarm but I’m curious to try this thing out.

    I may need to rig up something to secure it to my bed since I fell asleep with my droid on my bed a few nights ago and it ended up on the floor….

  • Anonymous

    I’m a certified night owl like you and 3 out of my 5 days of classes start at 9am, even when I dont have class until the afternoon I still wake up at 9 which sucks. I’ve been using gentle alarm but I’m curious to try this thing out.

    I may need to rig up something to secure it to my bed since I fell asleep with my droid on my bed a few nights ago and it ended up on the floor….

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      My bed lays along a wall which has an outlet; I have my charger attached to that outlet, so my phone stays on the side of my bed closest to the wall. It doesn’t fall down because the bed is firmly against it, and doesn’t get tossed around due to it being tethered by the cable.

      • Anonymous

        Yea I dont have that luxury here in my college house since it only has two outlets which are far away from my bed. I used it last night and it fell of my bed once but somehow I noticed that and picked up back up lol

  • Amarao

    I wonder how well this works on a memory foam mattress…

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      I have a layer of foam on my bed, and it works fine, I guess.

    • http://www.wjwoodjr.com Jarmer

      I was wondering this as well, I’ll try it out since Matt said it’s reporting okay and if it doesn’t, I recomment on this thread.

    • Justin

      Tape your phone to your head

  • Mf28

    It might not be a gramatical error maybe he meant sleep as ANDROID take away the dash, get it? Might be a coincidence, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that’s what they meant.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      Maybe saying “grammatically incorrect” was the wrong phrase to use: “Sleep as an droid” is just really awkward to say, and kind of requires you to be like “Does he mean it in the same way I think he’s meaning it?”

      Which fails, to be honest.

  • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

    Today, I am going to try this out. I usually get to sleep around 1-2amish, that’s if I’m not super tired by 12am.

    “Sleep as an(ha!) Droid” sounds like it could be a worthwhile app, and with a two week trial and only $1.35 afterwards, definitely something to consider and use. Sweet!

  • Anonymous

    Opps. Wrong thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538200320 Daniel Sasson

    how do u set your own alarm?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538200320 Daniel Sasson

    how do u set your own alarm?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538200320 Daniel Sasson

    how do u set your own alarm?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538200320 Daniel Sasson

    how do u set your own alarm?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538200320 Daniel Sasson

    how do u set your own alarm?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538200320 Daniel Sasson

    how do u set your own alarm?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1538200320 Daniel Sasson

    how do u set your own alarm?

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      There’s a “+” button there.

  • tbaybe

    No f-ing way! Gotta give this a try!

  • tbaybe

    No f-ing way! Gotta give this a try!

  • Jroc869

    The quality of Android apps is beginning to get better. I love being a Droid owner!

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully it works as well as Sleep Cycle for iOS. This appears to have slightly more features since I last used Sleep Cycle so that’s good.

  • Anonymous

    If you guys can’t use this program for whatever reason (won’t download/force closes/issues with software/against your religion/etc), you might want to try ElectricSleep. Similar premise, and it doesn’t seem to drain battery worth a damn.

    (And if you’re in the mood for old school hip-hop, you may want to try ElectricRelaxation. But only if you’re a Midnight Marauder.) ;-)

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      New York city, represent represent.

      • Anonymous

        Long Island born and bred – if you make it to this neck of the woods, Matt, first beer’s on me. Great places in the 5 boroughs if you know what you’re looking for. :-)

        (and right now, I live literally around the corner from “The Boulevard of Linden”)

        • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

          Toronto here, good sir. I will keep that in mind if I’m ever in the neighborhood.

        • Tom

          Damn straight there are!

          • Anonymous

            Tom – I don’t know what your poison is, but one of these days, I’m looking to get down to Idle Hands on Avenue B… it’s a bit of a haul, I know, but I’d like to at least try the place. :-)

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      New York city, represent represent.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      New York city, represent represent.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      New York city, represent represent.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      New York city, represent represent.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      New York city, represent represent.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      New York city, represent represent.

  • Sputnick

    How bout a booty call tracker?

    • scrizzo

      like an app that tells you who (of your friends) is having a rough time sleeping so that you can “assist” them? lol. I’m sure its in the works.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/107430353005607798966 KiriusKris

    I just downloaded and installed it. I have had sleep problems in the past and this is weird because I was just at my doctor’s office today and he suggested I go back to the sleep specialist for a follow up. Since I work for the hospital where my sleep doctor is, I e-mailed the nurse practitioner who I usually see to get her advice on it. This looks pretty cool! We’ll see!

  • Anonymous

    I feel your pain. If I could, I would stay up until 4 or 5 am every night (in fact I do sometimes on school nights). I might try this out.

  • http://twitter.com/VeeDrummer Derek Stiles

    I’m also wondering how it will work when someone is sleeping in bed with you. We’ll see.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      I tried another app that has a “two person” setting, but it seems to be absent from this app.

    • Waddell Amber

      How does it work with 2 ppl in the bed?

  • Brad

    Great idea, in fact I love the idea. But, if I put it in bed with me, my phone would end up on the floor or under the headboard, where I’d have to move the bed every morning to find it. I move around way too much to have it stay there. Someone needs to come up with an inexpensive Bluetooth gyroscope/accelerometer that can be clipped under the mattress, or in the form of a super thin pad that can be placed under the sheets or something. Then your phone can sit nicely in it’s dock next to your bed…

  • http://twitter.com/VeeDrummer Derek Stiles

    Nevermind got it working. Really cool app. I’ve been waiting for something like this.

  • http://twitter.com/VeeDrummer Derek Stiles

    How were you able to add an mp3 as the alarm? I have handcent involved too.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      When you go into the options to choose a song, it’ll ask what to use; choose Handcent, then navigate to your songs.

      • Neo6289

        When I select the ringtone it doesn’t ask what to use… any suggestions??

  • Spamcoholic

    I noticed it has a snore tracker. Anyone know how well that feature works?

  • FortitudineVincimus

    hmm.. I’d like to put this on my mattress when getting some whoopee and see what it reports :)

    • http://twitter.com/ThePeacedOut Phil Stout

      lol…I would defaultly rate your night’s sleep as 5 stars

    • Jawshua

      It will of course say you have a horrible asleep pattern, but yet you finish completely satisfied.

    • motograter7

      it will probably say that you’re over 50, for saying “whoopee”.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    “Sleep as an Droid”

    Grammatically incorrect phrase/name. It might work if they did it like “anDroid” to act like they are playing off the name Android. But clearly, it should not be “an” or instead should be “A”.

    • http://twitter.com/mattdemers Matt Demers

      I didn’t make the name, dude.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        slow your roll dude, I didn’t say you did. I know it is the authors title.

    • Tofasttafuri

      it’s a play on words

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710530141 Tyler Buchanan

      Clearly? Its a play on words Mr. Grammar Nazi.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        “an Droid” is clearly looking like an error

        “anDroid” makes the play on words.

        even Matt noticed it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710530141 Tyler Buchanan

      Clearly? Its a play on words Mr. Grammar Nazi.

  • http://twitter.com/ThePeacedOut Phil Stout

    This is quite possibly the coolest app I have ever heard of. I know, I am lame, sure maybe some would think that netflix, angry birds, or fruit ninja should top this… but like Matt, I love data, and I love calculating hours and quality of sleep! CAN’T WAIT TO TRY THIS TONIGHT! I might even get better sleep/ sleep more just so I can use this app! lol

  • http://twitter.com/ThePeacedOut Phil Stout

    classic alarm clock across the room move.. i live by it..

    P.S. – This is my 100th comment. Long Live Droid Life!

    • Jawshua

      Whoa….. you count your comments and they hold a significant enough meaning to boast them? Yikes, I’m sending you to nerd rehab for two months. No computers! No smart phones! Just in depth group sessions with other humans! You’ll hate… and thank me.

      • Anonymous

        If you have a Disquis or whatever account it tells you how many posts you have above the comment box. (This will be my 17th).

        • Anonymous

          this is my 200th….

          • Anonymous

            467th..

          • Iamsteventucker

            i don’t have disqus..

      • http://twitter.com/EvanTheGamer EvanTheGamer

        LMAO!

        Yes, everyone needs that. Seriously. Everyone.

        Just not me.

        EDIT: Oh yeah, forgot to add, this is my 424th comment! Yeah for the comments system! Seriously. I’m being serious here, people.

    • Anonymous

      my 257 comment and 355 likes! :D

  • GUEST

    could be cool

  • GUEST

    could be cool