Life Tech Feeling snoozy? We rate the best nap apps
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Feeling snoozy? We rate the best nap apps

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Deep sleep with Andrew Johnson (Android) 

By Greig Johnston, deputy sports editor

unnamedDeep Sleep with Andrew Johnson is a recording of some soothing synth pads with some gentle single-note piano melodies, while a man from the east of Scotland speaks in soothing broguish tones (think Sean Connery without the ‘shhhh’). The premise is that this man, I presume his name is Andrew Johnson, can lull you into such a state of relaxation that you drop off.

The problem – actually there are a few – is that Mr Johnson sounds a little like a Bond villain who’s slipped me a Mickey (“Your muscles feel very heavy, Mr Bond … relax your thighs …”). Yes, there’s something a trifle unnerving about it all. Also problematic is the fact you need headphones. I like to sleep on my side, so that makes my big noise-cancellers a tad cumbersome, and yet I can get a bit of a congealed-wax-earache sleeping with ear buds.

The recordings also cut out at inopportune moments – it was almost as if they were track breaks on a CD – which were incredibly annoying the first night, less so the second.

The other thing is that Andrew doesn’t seem to shut up – the second night I used the app for around 20 minutes before I got sick of hearing him drone on about how tired I was feeling and turned it off for some peace and quiet.

Best bits:

  • The gentle synth and piano noodlings
  • The warm, soothing Scottish brogue

Worst bits:

  • Having to pay $3.00. Yes, as far as I’m aware I’m the only member of The New Daily staff duped into testing a paid app. (Note: Greig was NOT the only staff member to pay for his app).
  • Having to use headphones
  • The unnerving warm, soothing Scottish brogue
  • The neverending warm, soothing Scottish brogue

Rating: 1/5

Sleep cycle (iPhone)

By Susannah Guthrie, reporter

UnknownLike a really smart alarm clock, Sleep Cycle lets you track your snooze, holds you accountable for your own exhaustion and uses its clever data to gently wake you up at the optimum point in your sleep period.

My first night using Sleep Cycle tells me that the app has no concept of personal space. It expects you to sleep with your phone next to you so it can monitor your every movement and demands that you keep your phone connected to a power source. My bed isn’t near a power point so I skip that advice and it makes no difference.

Before you nod off, ensure you put your phone face down, otherwise it lights up like a beacon – not conducive to solid shut-eye.

When I wake up in the morning to my favourite song (Sleep Cycle lets you choose your own alarm sound from your iTunes library) I am pleasantly surprised to see my evening’s movements mapped out by the hour. The app also politely asks to measure my heart rate and share my mood, like a super-caring, early-rising mother.

Cuddling up with my iPhone will take some getting used to, but I’m going to keep using Sleep Cycle to track my slumbers and get sleep savvy.

Best bits:

  • Being able to choose your own alarm sound.
  • The easy-to-use format.
  • The high-tech movement detector.
  • The summary chart, telling you your longest and shortest nights of sleep.

Worst bits:

  • Having to sleep next to a power point.
  • Sharing a bed with your phone.

Rating: 3/5

SleepBot (iPhone and Android)

By Antonia Acott, entertainment editor

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 3.23.08 PMI used the sleepbot for three nights. Initially it seemed complicated as the instructions weren’t that clear but by the second night I’d worked out how to use it and it was totally fascinating.

It monitors your sleep across three areas: time, movement and noise. It has a function that can wake you up at an optimal time but I didn’t use this.

Instead I liked looking at how I slept. I found out that while I don’t snore, I sleep talk a lot – the app records your every sound which can make for some pretty hilarious breakfast listening. However, I’m not quite sure about the point of these sleep apps. SleepBot didn’t exactly help me get to sleep and, if anything, it made me more aware if I stayed awake late.

Best bits:

  • The creepy yet hilarious sleep-talk recorder.
  • The informative chart format.

Worst bits

  • The overwhelming layout and complicated instructions.

Rating: 2/5

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