Sleep. We all need it, yet many of us do not get enough of it. While it is common knowledge that we need around 8 hours of sleep per night, the average American will sleep for around 6 hours, falling way short. So how can we improve upon this, and not only increase our sleep time but also increase our sleep quality so we don't hear that dreaded alarm and snooze and then wake up feeling like we've barely slept at all?
Pillow is a sleep app invented for just that purpose. Pillow is based on science and the 4 universally accepted sleep stages, and the two categories REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and Non-REM sleep. These sleep stages tend to vary in succession or what we like to call sleep cycles. The science says that when you are awoken out of REM sleep or really deep sleep, you will feel groggy and not be able to perform to your best capability.
Pillow aims to help your sleep by tracking it through your iPhone or Apple watch (currently only available on Apple devices). Pillow will calculate your sleep quality based sleep cycle duration, the percentage of sleep time in each of the four stages, disturbances through the night and environmental noises. Upon waking, Pillow also enables you to enter your mood based on your sleep, this can then be correlated with the sleep score.
Pillow also contains 5 sleep tracking modes and integrates seamlessly with Apple Health. You can also enable power naps, although you'll have to pay for the premium version to use this feature. Pillow also has sleep melodies and wake up sounds so you can easily doze off to sleep and also wake up slowly and gently as opposed to reaching for the alarm as it is giving you a mild heart attack in the morning.
When you set a wake-up time, Pillow will ask if you can be woken up within a certain time frame of this time as it will allow the app to wake you during a light sleep cycle as opposed to when you're in deep REM Sleep. This will mean (in theory) you should wake up feeling more refreshed.
If you pay for the premium version ($4.99) you will also receive (in addition to the power nap feature): detailed sleep statistics, unlimited history, full access to recordings, Access to sleep aid, personalised sleep tips and customised wake up sounds.
A great app, sleep apps are not the most accurate and Pillow publically recognises this and tried to work as best as they can to help enhance your sleep!