It’s not just quantity of sleep you get that determines how you feel in the morning, it’s also the quality of your sleep. So how do you make your few precious hours of rest really count?
Lark Pro, an iPhone-based app and sleep-monitoring device, helps answer that question by determining what type of sleeper you are and then delivering a custom sleep program.
During the first week, Lark Pro establishes your sleep baseline. It determines when you usually go to bed, how many hours of sleep you’re getting and how often you wake up.
Lark monitors your sleep with a matchbox-size device you wear strapped to your wrist at night. I’ve tried a few sleep coach devices, but have found them uncomfortable and felt they interfered with my ability to sleep properly. While I do notice the wristband while I’m initially falling asleep, it doesn’t wake me up or interfere with my ability to fall back asleep at night.
Turning on the alarm in the Lark app tells the device to start monitoring your sleep. Turning the alarm off with the app in the morning initiates the data transfer from your Lark device to the Lark app. So within seconds of waking, you can check out last night’s sleep cycle. You can see how long it took to fall asleep, how many times and when you woke up and your sleep score on a scale of 1 to 10.
After your 7-day assessment, you get a set of personal goals to help you get to the next level of better sleep. You’ll also start receiving tips and other reminders on your iPhone to help your get a better night’s sleep. For instance, you’ll be told when you should have that last cup of coffee for the day, so the caffeine won’t impact your sleep cycle.
One other big benefit of the Lark is that it vibrates to wake you. I can attest to that being a much gentler awakening than a traditional clock radio. It also means my husband can sleep through an early alarm, if I want to go to the gym.
The Lark appeals to me because I can see at a glance how I’m doing with a daily snapshot of the last night’s sleep. I also know that the gentle reminders are sent throughout the day will have more of an impact than if I had to actively seek out sleep advice.
The Lark Pro is $189 on Lark.com, which includes with one year of sleep coaching. If you don’t need those mobile reminders and the 7-day assessment, you can get the Lark for $129 on Lark.com. You’ll still get your sleep snapshots on your iPhone and historical stats online.