MotionX Sleep: a sleep cycle alarm clock done right

Do you hate your alarm clock? I certainly did. I have broken many snooze buttons over the years. That’s why I’m so excited to have finally found an iPhone app that wakes me up.

MotionX is known for their wonderful navigation apps including MotionX GPS and GPS Drive. MotionX Sleep is their latest addition to their iPhone offerings and unsurprisingly it’s a wonderful experience…

Before I begin, let me explain that I am what some call an “aggressive sleeper.” When I’m asleep, I unknowingly do everything possible to stay asleep. To combat this, I have tried every trick from hiding my alarm clock to buying a sunrise alarm clock. I’ve heard about those “sleep cycle” alarm clock apps, but due to poor reviews, I was skeptical.

If you are not familiar with sleep cycle apps, the premise is simple. You place your phone face down on your bed or under your pillow (while plugged into a charger) and fall asleep. The app uses the accelerometer to track movements while you sleep and uses this information to determine whether you’re in a state of deep sleep or light sleep. The app then decides the best time to wake you up before the alarm time. Since you are not ripped out of deep sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. What is more important, you stay awake.

MotionX Sleep is both an exception and a life changer. While this app is a little bit late to the party, it certainly makes up for that with a great interface and an accurate algorithm. Setting the alarm is a breeze. Then you simply tap the start button, place it under your pillow, and it begins working. The alarm sounds are pleasant, since waking you up is not as difficult. You can choose between church bells, people cheering, thunderstorm rain, and a few others, along with music from your library.

MotionX Sleep comes with many additional features. When you set it up, you set a sleep goal at a certain amount of hours. You start logging before you go to sleep and you save the log when you wake up. From there, MotionX Sleep shows you a graph with information about when you were in light sleep, deep sleep, or awake. MotionX Sleep will also show you how long it took you to fall asleep. You are provided with statistics on deep sleep percentages and sleep efficiency, by day, previous week, previous month or an overall average. Your logs are viewable so you can compare sleep statistics on a day-by-day basis.

The alarm settings are most useful if you wake up at the same time on specific days. While you are able to set which days the alarm will sound, you can only store one time for it to wake you up. I would like to see multiple alarms for different days in future updates.

MotionX Sleep also knows that proper daily exercise is vital to a good night’s rest, and for this reason adds a highly accurate pedometer feature to the app. Start it before you start walking and it will continue working while the screen is locked or even if the app is running in the background. It can periodically provide you with spoken updates with the included Voice Coach on time, step counts, and calories burned. I have used this a few times and I actually find it useful.

In closing, I highly recommend MotionX Sleep to anyone tired of battling the alarm clock. If you are weary of waking up to annoying alarms or constantly changing up your wake up strategy, this app will be your savior. It is available to download in the App Store for only $1.99.

If you tried or like a similar app, let us know about your experience in the comments.