SLEEP­CLOCK

Snooping on snooze time

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

FIT­NESS gad­gets can tackle the fi­nal health fron­tier: sleep.

They can tell you how much deep sleep you’ve had, how many times you’ve tossed and turned, and whether or not you’re truly rested.

But there’s a catch – you must wear them on your wrist, clipped on your py­ja­mas or strapped to your fore­head in a way that can in­ter­rupt the sleep they mon­i­tor.

Gear4’ s sleep- watch­ing gad­get gets around this hur­dle with ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy.

It uses ra­diowaves to mea­sure your move­ments and breath­ing. You sim­ply need to sleep near it.

The Re­new Sleep­Clock looks like a mod­ern alarm clock. An LCD screen shows the time, a panel of but­tons let you pro­gram alarms, play mu­sic or scan for FM ra­dio sta­tions, and a dock even ac­com­mo­dates cased iPods.

Plug in an iPhone and you don’t have to set the time on this clock ra­dio – it steals de­tails from the phone.

Dock­ing an Ap­ple gad­get also trig­gers a re­quest to down­load a Re­new Sleep­Clock app. It’s this free app that lets you play mu­sic from your iPhone, set alarms and in­spect sleep records.

To use the Sleep­Clock’s mon­i­tor­ing skills, it should be placed on a bed­side ta­ble about 15cm above the bed and up to 1.5m away from your sleep­ing po­si­tion. It should also be pointed at your top half so it can mon­i­tor your move­ments.

To start mon­i­tor­ing sleep, users open the app’s Wake Up tab and tap the Go To Sleep icon.

If the clock is po­si­tioned cor­rectly, the app will show move­ments in a graph that looks like a sound record­ing.

This unique alarm clock works by emit­ting a low- pow­ered ra­dio fre­quency to mea­sure two things: a low- am­pli­tude sig­nal mon­i­tors your breath­ing and a high­am­pli­tude sig­nal mon­i­tors body move­ments.

Breathe quickly and it will as­sume you’ve wo­ken up, for ex­am­ple.

When you do wake and tap the I’ve Slept Enough icon, the app will de­liver your sleep score and a graph show­ing how long you slept, how long it took you to fall asleep, how much deep sleep you had, and how many in­ter­rup­tions you reg­is­tered.

The app also fea­tures a jour­nal to log fac­tors that may have af­fected your sleep, so you can im­prove fu­ture sleep scores.

It’s also a handy guide to what you do with the un­con­scious third of your life.

Even hand­ier, per­haps, is the Sleep­Clock’s alarm.

Users can set a time win­dow in which to be wo­ken and the de­vice will de­ter­mine when you are most awake dur­ing that pe­riod.

The app also fea­tures a large alarm­sound li­brary, from birds to rain to the sound of the Aus­tralian rain­for­est, to wake you up in a gen­tle fash­ion.

These can take a while to ad­just to, when you’re used to a vi­o­lent alert tone, but are highly prefer­able.

On the down­side, the Re­new Sleep­Clock will work only for Ap­ple gad­get users – no Google An­droid fans can ap­ply – and its sleep- mon­i­tor­ing is not as de­tailed as de­vices like the Zeo Sleep Man­ager Pro that reg­is­ters rapid- eye move­ment too.

For ease of use, ba­sic sleep sta­tis­tics and a gen­tle start to the day, this Gear4 gad­get de­serves at­ten­tion . . . even while you nap.

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