Downloaded a new app for my iPod a couple of days ago – Sleep Cycle.
You use it instead of an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. You set the “alarm”, put the iPod/iPhone on your mattress, and it tracks how much you move around in bed to determine which stage of sleep you’re in. And then it wakes you up within 30 minutes of your alarm at the best time based on your sleep stage.
It also gives you a graph of your sleep patterns so you can see the difference between a good night sleep and a not such a good night. Fascinating!
It’s supposed to take a few days to calibrate, but the first morning it woke me up 3 minutes before the alarm and I felt fantastic. This morning it woke me up 20 minutes before the alarm – not so fantastic, but I didn’t sleep as well. Seems like you could use it to track your sleep for a few weeks and see just how much sleep you really need to feel your best the next morning.