STYLE
08/12/2013 10:37 am ET | Updated Aug 13, 2013

Sleep Cycle App Is A Must-Download For Girls Who Take Their Beauty Rest Seriously

I've become a slave to my snooze button. Not getting the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night has forced me to squeeze every single minute out of the next day. But it never seems to add up to me looking and feeling well-rested. So I decided to try out the Sleep Cycle app to get to the bottom of my beauty sleep, or lack thereof.

The Sleep Cycle app uses the accelerometer in your phone (similar to the sensors used in the Nike + iPod running device or the Wii remote control) to monitor your movement and determine which sleep phase you are in (awake, sleep or deep sleep). Once you've set your alarm within a 30-minute window and placed the phone underneath your sheets, the app awakes you in your lightest sleep phase -- a more natural method that ensures you're rested. Sound too good to be true? Well, here's why you should have faith in Sleep Cycle.

sleep cycle app

Before testing out this sleep app, five hours of sleep was the maximum I would get during the work week. Between a two-hour commute, late-night dinners or putting off bedtime to watch "Orange Is the New Black," I relied heavily on serums and creams to make up for my lack of beauty rest. Sleep Cycle takes into account all these factors and more that affect my sleep, as well as my skin's health.

I was able to log sleep notes on if I had tea, worked out or had a stressful day. The alarm sounds are also more pleasant than those found on my iPhone, including "Warm breeze," "Morning mist," "Gymnopédie" (my sound of choice) and "Dreaming near the sea." If you have difficulty falling asleep, there's even a sleep aid option which emits a soothing sound to guide you into slumber.

sleep cycle app

The data is translated into a series of easy-to-read graphs that illustrate the actual amount of time spent in bed, sleep quality and which hours you were in a particular sleep phase. This last feature I found particularly interesting, as I was generally in a deep sleep before my alarm would go off. Hence, my devotion to the snooze button.

Having an alarm that went off at a time when my body was more rested made for less groggy mornings, and it spurred energy to start my day. And having this data motivated me to get into bed even earlier, which made a major difference in my physical appearance -- no more puffy eyes staring back at me in my bathroom mirror. I think I've finally got this beauty sleep thing figured out.

Rating: 4 out of 5. I appreciate the thorough analysis of my sleeping patterns, however, having my cell phone this close to my body can't be healthy.

Have you ever tried a sleep app to get better beauty rest?

How to tell you need more sleep:

Signs You Need More Sleep

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